Tag Archive | "Ravens"

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Powers passes conditioning test, but others added to Ravens’ injury list

Posted on 30 July 2016 by Luke Jones

(Photo courtesy of BaltimoreRavens.com)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Cornerback Jerraud Powers made his training camp debut after finally passing the conditioning test, but the Ravens added two to their growing list of absences on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan left the field with what appeared to be an upper-body issue and did not return in the second half of practice. His absence allowed Kapron Lewis-Moore to receive more reps along the first-team defensive line.

An unexplained absence from Saturday’s practice was rookie wide receiver Chris Moore, who was a standout performer in the first two days of training camp. There was no obvious sign of an injury on Friday as the University of Cincinnati product finished the entire practice and caught a long touchdown from quarterback Joe Flacco at one point.

Others missing from the workout included tight end Crockett Gillmore (hamstring), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman (knee), and running backs Kenneth Dixon (knee), Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot), and Trent Richardson (knee).

With an open roster spot after their initial agreement with offensive tackle Jake Long fell through, the Ravens signed punter Michael Palardy to their 90-man roster. Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said Palardy being a left-footed punter added appeal to better evaluate a young group of candidates vying for the return specialist job while also preventing veteran Sam Koch from having to take too many reps.

Camp highlights

** Taking part in his first full-contact training camp practice in almost two years, tight end Dennis Pitta took a big hit from linebacker Zach Orr as he tried to catch a short pass, but he immediately popped back up without hesitation. Pitta is moving around smoothly over the first few days of camp.

** Serving as an inside linebacker in the starting base defense, rookie Kamalei Correa made an acrobatic one-handed interception on a Joe Flacco pass intended for tight end Maxx Williams down the seam. Correa has moved to the outside in sub packages, but he appears to be the very early favorite to start at inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley.

** It was a sloppy day for the offense overall with bad snaps, dropped passes, and off-target throws from the first and second units, but running back Terrance West and wide receivers Kamar Aiken and Chris Matthews turned in good performances. Keenan Reynolds and Michael Campanaro were among the receivers who dropped passes.

** Matched up against speedy receiver Mike Wallace, cornerback Shareece Wright picked off Ryan Mallett in an 11-on-11 drill.

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jakelong

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Ravens’ deal for veteran tackle Long reportedly falls through

Posted on 29 July 2016 by Luke Jones

The Ravens apparently won’t be signing veteran offensive tackle Jake Long after all.

Despite the sides agreeing to a one-year deal pending a physical earlier in the week, the Ravens were concerned with the condition of Long’s right knee after he suffered ACL tears in 2013 and 2014. After being examined by Dr. James Andrews, the 31-year-old declined to sign an injury waiver and will instead remain a free agent, according to ESPN.

Head coach John Harbaugh had no news on Long’s status earlier in the day before the news broke.

“I don’t have an update on Jake,” Harbaugh said. “I haven’t heard. I’m waiting to talk to Ozzie [Newsome] actually and see where we’re at with that.”

Appearing in just seven games over the last two seasons, Long was viewed as a candidate to provide improved veteran depth behind 2016 first-round left tackle Ronnie Stanley. However, the Ravens did not want to take on the financial risk of his knee not holding up.

The Ravens would still like to add to a reserve group of offensive tackles that includes James Hurst, De’Ondre Wesley, and Blaine Clausell behind Stanley and starting right tackle Rick Wagner. Rookie Alex Lewis played tackle in college, but he has been working at guard since being selected by the Ravens in the fourth round of April’s draft.

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Ravens tight end Gillmore to undergo MRI for hamstring injury

Posted on 29 July 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam for a hamstring injury suffered in the latter half of Friday’s practice.

It’s unclear how Gillmore hurt himself, but he was spotted walking off the field with a member of the  training staff less than an hour before the conclusion of the morning workout. The third-year tight end was limited to 10 games last season as he dealt with back, shoulder, and calf ailments. He underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason, but the 2014 third-round pick returned for spring workouts.

The Ravens are fortunate to have a deep group of tight ends that also includes veterans Benjamin Watson and Dennis Pitta as well as second-year options Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle, Darren Waller, and Daniel Brown. Gillmore emerged as a legitimate threat at the position last year, catching 33 passes for 412 yards and four touchdowns.

“He’s just got to improve on everything, really,” said tight ends coach Richard Angulo about Gillmore’s development. “Execution of the small things. For him and all the other guys, I just want them to be great at all the little things. Stats and touchdowns are just byproducts of what you do with all the details.”

Early rookie standouts

The Ravens have only worked out in helmets, shells, and shorts over their first two days of training camp, but a pair of rookies have turned heads during the non-contact practices.

Wide receiver Chris Moore has shown impressive burst on vertical passes and caught a 60-yard touchdown from quarterback Joe Flacco on a play in which the rookie sprinted past cornerback Jimmy Smith. The fourth-round pick from Cincinnati has already made a number of plays down the field and has taken advantage of the current absences of older receivers on the roster.

“Chris made some plays today,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “We made a little snafu in the secondary there. I was really happy that the offensive took advantage of it, and I was really ticked off that the defense let it happen. Such is the nature of training camp.”

Fourth-round cornerback Tavon Young also shined, intercepting a pass on a deflection in the middle of the field and picking off quarterback Ryan Mallett on a deep sideline pass intended for Kaelin Clay. With veteran slot cornerback Jerraud Powers still needing to pass his conditioning test, Young has receive dmore reps at the nickel spot with the first unit than veteran Kyle Arrington.

Steve Smith still on mend

Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith remains on the active physically unable to perform list and observed a few minutes of Friday’s practice, but it’s unclear when he will be ready to return to the field.

As Bleacher Report’s Dan Pompei noted in an excellent piece about Smith’s horrific injury and the long recovery, the 37-year-old’s right calf is still noticeably smaller than the left one after the muscle atrophied in the injured leg. This certainly isn’t abnormal, but it does illustrate how long and difficult the rehabilitation process has been and how Smith’s return to the practice field isn’t imminent.

Fortunately, Smith has just over six weeks until the season opener against Buffalo and the Ravens aren’t concerned with him returning in time to play in the preseason.

First fight

Running back Buck Allen and linebacker Patrick Onwuasor got into the first fight of the summer as Allen took a couple swings at the Portland State rookie after the two were engaged in an aggressive pass-blocking drill.

Order was quickly restored, but Onwuasor was the defensive player who shoved rookie running back Kenneth Dixon out of bounds on Thursday. Dixon suffered a Grade 1 MCL sprain and did not practice on Friday.

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Wallace passes conditioning test, Dixon out with knee injury

Posted on 29 July 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After missing the first practice of the summer on Thursday, Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace has passed his conditioning test and participating in Friday’s workout.

The eighth-year wideout failed on his first try Wednesday and was officially placed on the non-football injury list. Though not a great impression to make at the start of training camp, a veteran or two failing the Ravens’ challenging conditioning test has been a common occurrence in the John Harbaugh era and is not a real concern in the big picture.

Also absent on Thursday after failing his conditioning test, cornerback Jerraud Powers was once again missing on Friday morning. Powers, 29, is considered the favorite to be Baltimore’s slot cornerback in the nickel and dime packages this season.

Rookie running back Kenneth Dixon was not practicing on Friday after suffering an MCL sprain to his left knee on the first day. Other players absent from the session included wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman (knee), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), and running backs Trent Richardson (knee) and Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot).

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Flacco “comfortable” in first full practice since knee injury

Posted on 28 July 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In his first full practice since injuring his left knee last November, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a dart down the seam to Dennis Pitta for a big completion during an 11-on-11 drill.

The play conjured memories of their many connections during the run to Super Bowl XLVII and was the highlight of Thursday’s no-contact session. Less than eight months removed from surgery to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee, Flacco also reminded us of his big-league arm by hurling a 50-plus-yard strike to hit rookie Chris Moore in stride during individual drills.

Flacco, 31, did show some rust as he was picked off by Sheldon Price and nearly threw another interception to Shareece Wright, but the number of errant throws was no greater than you’d typically see in the first practice of the summer.

Regardless of how he might have practiced, the mere sight of the franchise quarterback healthy and back on the field was more than enough for the Ravens on the first day of training camp.

“It felt really good to be out there,” said Flacco, who wore a red non-contact jersey and a black brace on his left knee. “I wasn’t as efficient as I’d like to be, but I felt comfortable. I just need to throw it a little better and complete some more passes.”

Flacco moved well in the pocket and did not appear to be limited in his practice reps, only abstaining from a drill in which the other quarterbacks practiced falling on fumbles.

With other key players such as wide receivers Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman and linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil beginning the summer on the physically unable to perform list, questions will remain about the Ravens’ play-making ability at key positions, but the healthy return of Flacco alone is enough to provide hope that 2016 will bring better fortune than last year.

“He looked good. He seemed confident and wasn’t back there hobbling around or stumbling or footwork was off,” said safety Eric Weddle, who was excited to be able to practice against Flacco after playing against him several times with San Diego over the years. “You couldn’t tell he just had surgery in the offseason. It’s definitely a positive sign.

“He’s got the ‘it’ factor, and it brings everyone else’s level up.”

Nine players absent on first day

Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) was added to the active physically unable to perform list, joining wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles tendon) and Breshad Perriman (left knee), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), and running back Trent Richardson (knee). Those six players may begin practicing at any point, but the Ravens are proceeding cautiously with the aforementioned veterans coming back from injury.

Cornerback Jerraud Powers and wide receiver Dobson Collins joined receiver Mike Wallace on the non-football injury list as the three had yet to pass the conditioning test. Harbaugh wouldn’t comment when asked whether Wallace was any closer to passing the test after failing on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t matter,” Harbaugh said. “You pass it or you don’t. You make it or you don’t.”

Dixon injures knee

After finishing the 2015 season with 20 players on injured reserve, the Ravens couldn’t escape an injury in their first practice of the summer as rookie running back Kenneth Dixon suffered a knee injury diagnosed as a Grade 1 MCL sprain.

The fourth-round pick is considered day-to-day and left Baltimore with just three healthy running backs at the end of Thursday’s session: Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, and Terrance West.

“He’s going to be OK. He’s got just a little slight thing with the knee,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He should be fine. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll see.”

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Wallace fails conditioning test, Long’s deal on hold for now

Posted on 27 July 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Two veteran newcomers could be missing from the field as the Ravens conduct their first full-squad workout of the summer on Thursday.

According to head coach John Harbaugh, wide receiver Mike Wallace did not pass the team’s rigorous conditioning test and will be placed on the non-football injury list to begin training camp. Though it’s not the ideal way to begin his first camp with the Ravens, it’s not uncommon to see a veteran or two — especially those new to the organization — fail the conditioning test at the start of camp and Wallace is expected to pass and be on the practice field within the next couple days.

Wallace could retake the test as early as Thursday morning and would be allowed to participate in the Ravens’ 9 a.m. practice should he pass.

The Ravens’ one-year agreement with veteran offensive tackle Jake Long is on hold as some concern arose about his right knee during his physical. The 31-year-old sustained separate anterior cruciate ligament tears to the same knee in 2013 and 2014 and appeared in only four games for the Atlanta Falcons last season.

Long is visiting Dr. James Andrews for an examination, but optimism still remains that a deal that makes sense for both sides can be finalized.

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jakelong

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Ravens add veteran depth with offensive tackle Jake Long

Posted on 26 July 2016 by Luke Jones

Seeking veteran depth for their offensive line, the Ravens are adding offensive tackle and former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long to the mix.

According to ESPN, the sides agreed to a one-year deal on Tuesday that is pending a physical. Long, 31, will need to prove he is healthy as injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in 2013 and 2014 have derailed the four-time Pro Bowl selection’s NFL career.

Long hasn’t started a game since suffering the second injury to his right knee on Oct. 26, 2014 and appeared in just four contests for the Atlanta Falcons last season. The University of Michigan product told ESPN last month that he was ready to help a team and feels healthier than he has in several years.

The 6-foot-7, 322-pound lineman confirmed the news of his agreement with the Ravens via Twitter.

With the Ravens selecting left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the sixth overall pick in April’s draft and cutting oft-injured veteran Eugene Monroe last month, Long figures to have a chance to compete for a roster spot and to serve as a more established backup tackle. Last November, it was reserve left tackle James Hurst who was driven back into franchise quarterback Joe Flacco’s left knee, causing a season-ending ACL injury.

Since the Ravens already had an open spot on their 90-man training camp roster, they do not need to make a corresponding move upon officially signing Long.

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Ravens place six players on active PUP list to begin training camp

Posted on 23 July 2016 by Luke Jones

Set to open their 2016 training camp this coming week, the Ravens announced Saturday that six players would begin the summer on the active physically unable to perform list.

Wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles tendon) and Breshad Perriman (knee), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon) and Elvis Dumervil (foot surgery), running back Trent Richardson (knee), and cornerback Jumal Rolle (Achilles tendon) were placed on the PUP list ahead of Wednesday’s report day for veterans. Rolle is expected to miss the 2016 season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon during a spring workout.

Head coach John Harbaugh indicated during last month’s mandatory minicamp that the Ravens would be careful with the workload for Smith, Suggs, and Dumervil during training camp and even in preseason games as they work their way back to full strength. After suffering a left knee injury originally feared to be a season-ending ACL tear in June, Perriman is expected to return at some point during training camp, according to Harbaugh.

Signed to compete for a roster spot with a deep group of running backs, Richardson was hampered by a hamstring issue during organized team activities and underwent knee surgery last month.

Often confused with the reserve list that requires a player to miss the first six weeks of the regular season, active PUP is used for any player who isn’t ready to begin practicing at the start of training camp. Players on active PUP may return to the field at any point, but that activation makes them ineligible for the reserve list that doesn’t count against the 53-man roster limit to begin the regular season.

It’s worth noting that quarterback Joe Flacco (knee), cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot surgery), cornerback Will Davis (knee), and wide receiver Michael Campanaro (calf) were not placed on PUP, meaning they should be ready to begin practicing immediately. Flacco said during last month’s minicamp and reiterated this past week that he would be back on the field for the first day less than eight months after undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery on his left knee.

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Ray Rice pledges to donate NFL salary if given another chance

Posted on 21 July 2016 by Luke Jones

It’s been nearly two years since the Ravens terminated the contract of Ray Rice, but the 29-year-old still isn’t giving up on the possibility of playing in the NFL again.

In an interview with USA Today, Rice said he would donate his entire 2016 salary to organizations combating domestic violence if he were to sign with a team. The three-time Pro Bowl selection hasn’t played in the league since video surfaced of him striking his then-fiancée and current wife, Janay, in an Atlantic City casino elevator, which prompted the Ravens to release him and the NFL to suspend him on Sept. 8, 2014.

“All the scrutiny that I’ve got, it was deserved, because domestic violence is a horrible thing,” Rice told USA Today. “Me donating my salary is something that’ll be from the heart for me. I only want to play football so I can end it the right way for my kids and for the people that really believed in me. But I know there’s a lot of people affected by domestic violence, and every dollar helps. It’s raising awareness.”

He hasn’t received as much as a tryout with another NFL team, but he was invited back to the Ravens’ training facility in Owings Mills to speak to their current class of rookies in May. Rice has also spoken at multiple colleges to share his cautionary tale with young players in hopes that they don’t follow the same path.

Considering he hasn’t played in the NFL since 2013 and averaged just 3.1 yards per carry in his final season with Baltimore, Rice receiving a second chance with another team has felt like a long shot for quite some time, but he has continued to stay in shape in hopes of resuming his football career. The minimum salary for a seventh-year NFL veteran in 2016 is $885,000.

Rice received a total of $25 million over his final two seasons with the Ravens, the first two years of a five-year deal worth up to $35 million that was signed in 2012.

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Ex-Raven Monroe decides to walk away from NFL

Posted on 21 July 2016 by Luke Jones

Just over a month after being released by the Ravens, veteran offensive tackle Eugene Monroe is retiring from the NFL.

On Thursday, the 29-year-old announced he was walking away from football after seven NFL seasons. Injuries limited Monroe to just 17 games over the last season, which prompted Baltimore to select Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the sixth overall pick in April’s draft.

“I still have the physical ability to play at a very high level, so I know that my decision to retire may be puzzling to some,” Monroe wrote in The Players’ Tribune. “But I am thinking of my family first right now — and my health and my future.”

After becoming an outspoken advocate this offseason for the use of medical marijuana to manage pain as well as to combat chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), Monroe was released on June 15 as the Ravens were preparing to start Stanley and did not want to pay the oft-injured veteran $6.5 million to be a backup in 2016. Baltimore’s decision to cut Monroe drew criticism from those believing it was a response to his views on medical marijuana, but his retirement certainly appears to reinforce the opinions of those who questioned his desire to continue playing as he criticized both the NFL and the Ravens this offseason.

Monroe said in his retirement announcement that he will continue to support the use of medical marijuana in hopes of fighting the use of opioids in NFL locker rooms.

The 2009 first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars thanked the Ravens for giving him the opportunity to play for a contender as well as bringing him closer to his family. The Plainfield, N.J. native attended the University of Virginia.

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