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Nothing surprising about Ravens in blowout defeat

Posted on 13 December 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — The most depressing part of the Ravens’ 35-6 loss to Seattle on Sunday was it not being surprising.

Maybe quarterback Jimmy Clausen played a little better than most predicted. And after showing improvement against a list of underwhelming offenses in recent weeks, the Baltimore defense didn’t perform as well as expected — or at least hoped — by fans.

But was there anything else all that unexpected about the injury-ravaged Ravens being blown out by the two-time defending NFC champion and red-hot Seahawks?

Everything felt off at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, a venue that’s hosted so many meaningful December games over the last 16 years. Not only was the contest originally scheduled to be a nationally-televised Sunday night game, but it kicked off a three-game homestand, the kind of scheduling the Ravens would typically embrace when in the midst of the playoff race.

Instead, the seating bowl was virtually empty in the fourth quarter after Russell Wilson threw his fifth touchdown pass of the game and third to Doug Baldwin.

“It was bad. [The pass defense] has to be better than that,” said head coach John Harbaugh, who unsurprisingly labeled Sunday’s performance the “worst” of the season. “It’s no individual guy’s fault; it’s just not as good as it needs to be. I’ll take responsibility for that. We have to play way, way better pass defense.”

In addition to Clausen becoming the first quarterback not named Joe Flacco to start a home game for the Ravens since Dec. 30, 2007, just four of the 14 offensive skill position players — quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends — active for Sunday were even on the 53-man roster at the start of October. After Eugene Monroe was placed on injured reserve a day earlier, guard Kelechi Osemele made his first NFL start at left tackle.

Perhaps the best reflection of just how depleted the roster is, right guard Marshal Yanda was the last player out of the tunnel as the Ravens introduced the starting offense before the game. Taking nothing away from the four-time Pro Bowl selection and one of the best players in franchise history, but an offensive lineman being the last player announced doesn’t exactly energize a crowd already struggling through a miserable season.

Where have you gone Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs — or even Joe Flacco and Steve Smith?

At least the weather was beautiful for a mid-December day?

It was the worst home loss since 2013 when New England handed the Ravens a 41-7 defeat in Week 16. Their six points were their lowest output since a 20-3 loss at Indianapolis in the 2009 postseason, and it was the first time Baltimore failed to score a touchdown in a game since Justin Tucker kicked six field goals in a win at Detroit on Dec. 16, 2013. The Ravens’ 28 rushing yards were the second-lowest total under Harbaugh.

But what did you really expect with a quarterback claimed off waivers less than three weeks ago leading an injury-depleted unit against one of the best defenses in the NFL?

Clausen wasn’t the one who gave up five touchdown passes on Sunday.

The Ravens ended all discussion about the defense making recent progress as they failed to record a sack for the first time since Week 16 of last year. At least they aren’t alone in falling victim to Wilson recently as the fourth-year quarterback has thrown a whopping 16 touchdowns without an interception in his last four games.

But beyond the season-ending injury to Terrell Suggs in the opener, the Baltimore defense can’t use injuries as an excuse in the same way that the opposite side of the ball can. It’s clear the unit needs an infusion of talent to bolster the pass rush and secondary this offseason.

“We already know how tough it is. I’m not going to stand here and make excuses,” cornerback Jimmy Smith said. “We know what the situation is. We know what we came from. We know what we don’t have. Playing in games against teams that are fighting to make the playoffs is going to be even tougher on us. Obviously, you saw that today.”

Officially eliminated from playoff contention and having clinched the first losing season of the Harbaugh era, the Ravens will now compete in their first games since 2007 knowing they have nothing to play for beyond pride. It isn’t about accountability at this point — that will come after the season — as we know what’s been wrong with this football team for three months, with injuries only turning problems into full-blown crises in recent weeks.

No, Sunday didn’t bring frustration as much as resignation for the Ravens — and their fans — against a strong football team, something they pride themselves in being most seasons. But certainly not this one as Seattle showed the Ravens just how far away they are from being a playoff-caliber team at the moment.

There will be plenty of time for discussion about which players and coaches will or won’t return in 2016.

But the final three games are just about survival while taking a peek at young players for the future.

Though Sunday was the first time all year that the Ravens have lost by more than one score, the lopsided defeat wasn’t remotely surprising.

It made for a sobering day at a place not used to such misery.

And feelings don’t figure to get much better before this season mercifully comes to an end in three weeks.

“It’s a test of our pride, and it’s a test for us as men,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “We have to care for one another, and we have to always do for each other. These aren’t the results that we want, and it’s not our time for this season, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have [anything] to play for.”

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Ravens-Seahawks: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 13 December 2015 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — It’s 65 degrees in mid-December and Jimmy Clausen is the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens.

Thanks a lot, climate change.

Yes, Clausen will start against the two-time defending champion Seattle Seahawks, becoming the sixth quarterback in NFL history to start twice against the same opponent in the same season while playing for two different teams. Playing for an injured Jay Cutler in Week 3, Clausen and the Chicago Bears were shut out in a 26-0 defeat on Sept. 27.

After being listed as questionable on the final injury report and missing practices all week, Matt Schaub is inactive with what was listed as a chest injury. The 34-year-old veteran was banged up significantly in last week’s loss to Miami, slamming his head against the ground and finishing the game with knee and shoulder soreness.

Promoted to the practice squad on Saturday, Bryn Renner will serve as the backup quarterback to Clausen. Renner spent the entire offseason and summer with the Ravens before being released from the practice squad in mid-December.

Perhaps an even more intriguing development than the quarterback situation is the Baltimore offensive line where Kelechi Osemele lined up at left tackle during pre-game warm-ups. Eugene Monroe was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder ailment on Saturday, but it appears that the Ravens have seen enough from second-year lineman James Hurst at the position.

Osemele is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, so it appears that the Ravens want to at least explore the possibility of him playing left tackle, the position he played at Iowa State before he was selected in the second round of the 2012 draft. This would be his first NFL start at left tackle.

As expected, tight end Crockett Gillmore (back) is inactive, meaning rookie Maxx Williams moves to the top of the depth chart. Despite sitting out last Sunday’s game with a concussion, Williams is active and will start with Gillmore out and fellow rookie Nick Boyle suspended for the rest of the season. Former practice-squad member Konrad Reuland will serve as the No. 2 tight end.

Former Seahawks receiver Chris Matthews is active for the Ravens after being promoted from the practice squad on Saturday. Third-year receiver Marlon Brown will miss his third straight game with a back injury.

The Ravens and Seahawks will be meeting for the fifth time in the regular season with the teams splitting the first four contests. Seattle is visiting M&T Bank Stadium for the first time since 2003, but the Seahawks have won the last two games played between these teams.

Sunday’s forecast in Baltimore calls for partly cloudy skies with temperatures reaching the mid-60s and winds up to four miles per hour, according to Weather.com.

The referee for Sunday’s game will be Walt Coleman.

The Ravens will be wearing purple jerseys with black pants while Seattle dons its white tops with blue pants.

Below are Sunday’s inactives:

BALTIMORE
QB Matt Schaub
WR Marlon Brown
CB Tray Walker
TE Crockett Gillmore
TE Richard Gordon
DT Carl Davis
DE Kapron Lewis-Moore

SEATTLE
WR B.J. Daniels
CB Tye Smith
FS Steven Terrell
RB Marshawn Lynch
OL Kristjan Sokoli
DE Demarcus Dobbs
DT Jordan Hill

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Ravens-Seahawks: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 12 December 2015 by Luke Jones

We’ve officially reached the silly season for the disappointing 2015 Ravens.

Starting left tackle Eugene Monroe became the latest to be placed on injured reserve on Saturday.

Starting tight end Crockett Gillmore is doubtful to play with a back injury and rookie Nick Boyle was suspended for the rest of the season, prompting the signings of tight ends Konrad Reuland and Richard Gordon earlier this week.

And Jimmy Clausen — who hasn’t even been a Raven for three weeks — is likely to start at quarterback against two-time defending NFC champion Seattle on Sunday. The Seahawks have won three straight games by a combined 56 points and sport a defense ranking fourth or better in virtually any significant category you can find.

You’ll excuse me if I’m having a difficult time taking these predictions seriously anymore.

Alas, it’s time to go on the record as the Ravens meet the Seahawks for just the fifth time ever with the teams having split the first four contests. Seattle is playing at M&T Bank Stadium for the first time since 2003, but has won each of the last two meetings with Baltimore.

Here’s what to expect as the Ravens try to avoid clinching their first losing season since 2007 …

1. Clausen will not be shut out again against Seattle, but his performance won’t be pretty. The promotion of Bryn Renner to the 53-man roster on Saturday said everything you need to know about the Ravens’ confidence level in Matt Schaub being able to start against the Seahawks. Considering the depleted offensive cast, it doesn’t really matter who plays quarterback. Clausen is set to become the sixth quarterback in NFL history to start two games against the same team while playing for two different teams in one season. Sunday’s performance will go better than his Week 3 start for Chicago, but Clausen won’t throw for more than 150 yards and will commit two turnovers in an almost-impossible spot.

2. Buck Allen will lead the Ravens in receiving for the second straight week. Kamar Aiken has played respectably since becoming the de facto No. 1 receiver in place of Steve Smith, but he won’t be able to find room against Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, which will force Clausen to check down repeatedly to Allen out of the backfield. The rookie running back has been a bright spot, particularly with his ability to catch passes, and he will follow his 12-catch, 107-yard performance against Miami with 70-plus receiving yards. He won’t find much room between the tackles against the NFL’s third-ranked run defense, but Allen will still be Baltimore’s best option to move the chains on Sunday.

3. Russell Wilson will throw for two touchdowns and run for another. The Ravens defense has shown improvement in recent weeks, but that came against an underwhelming list of offenses. In addition to having the league’s top-ranked rush offense, Wilson has thrown a whopping 11 touchdown passes over his last three games without tossing an interception. Much like the dilemma they face every year when playing Ben Roethlisberger, the Ravens must find ways to make Wilson uncomfortable while still keeping him in the pocket. The defense will play well for stretches, but second-half fatigue will ultimately lead to Wilson making big plays with his arm and his legs.

4. Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett will combine to collect 3 1/2 sacks against an overwhelmed offensive line. Second-year tackle James Hurst has started six games in place of Monroe this year, but offensive coordinator Marc Trestman acknowledged that the Ravens have shuffled the offensive line during practices this week, making it possible that we see a new look on Sunday. Unfortunately, it won’t matter as Seattle’s pair of defensive ends will be too tough in addition to Clausen being indecisive in the pocket. Even if the Ravens had a full and healthy offense on the field, the Seahawks’ front would be a lot to handle. At this point, it almost seems unfair.

5. The Ravens will break their streak of 12 consecutive games being decided by one possession in a 29-10 loss. It’s the NFL, so anything could happen. A few turnovers and a special-teams score or two can dramatically change the outlook of any game, but the Ravens are just too undermanned to objectively think they have much of a chance to win on Sunday. Considering the heart with which John Harbaugh’s team has competed throughout a trying season, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Ravens make it closer than most expect. But this one is far more likely to turn ugly than for the Ravens to pull off an upset, even playing at home.

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Ravens place Monroe on IR, promote Renner to 53-man roster

Posted on 12 December 2015 by Luke Jones

Veteran left tackle Eugene Monroe officially saw his 2015 season come to an end on Saturday.

The decision to place him on injured reserve could also represent the end of his time with the Ravens. Having already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against Seattle, Monroe hadn’t played since re-aggravating a previous shoulder ailment on Nov. 22 and started just six games this season, finishing three.

The shoulder was just the latest injury to plague the 28-year-old left tackle, who is in the second season of a five-year, $37.5 million contract that included $17.5 million guaranteed. After signing that deal in March 2014, Monroe will have started just 17 of 34 games (counting the postseason) through the 2015 season, often leaving the Ravens no choice but to turn to former undrafted free agent James Hurst at left tackle. Pro Football Focus has graded Hurst 75th out of 76 qualifying offensive tackles in the NFL while Monroe was 23rd, a disappointment considering his level of compensation.

Monroe’s early exit against St. Louis in Week 11 preceded Hurst falling into Joe Flacco’s left knee on the final drive of the game, causing two torn ligaments that required season-ending surgery for the franchise quarterback. After missing only four games in his first five seasons, the 2009 first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars hasn’t been able to stay on the field at a crucial position after the Ravens made him one of the better-paid left tackles in the NFL.

Scheduled to make $6.5 million in base salary and to carry an $8.7 million cap figure for the 2016 season, Monroe is a candidate to be released with a pre-June 1 designation, which would clear $2.1 million in cap space. However, his release would leave $6.6 million in dead money on the 2016 salary cap and require general manager Ozzie Newsome to address the left tackle position via the draft, free agency, or the trade market.

With veteran Matt Schaub questionable for Sunday’s game with a chest injury and the recently-signed Jimmy Clausen likely to start against the Seahawks, the Ravens promoted quarterback Bryn Renner from the practice squad on Saturday, a clear sign pointing toward Schaub not playing. Renner spent the entire offseason with the Ravens before being cut in early September. He was signed to the practice squad earlier in the week.

Baltimore also promoted former Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews to the 53-man roster and waived guard Kaleb Johnson. Matthews was signed to the practice squad on Nov. 23 and was a standout performer in Super Bowl XLIX, catching four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in the 28-24 loss to New England.

Having been on the practice squad since the start of the season, Johnson was promoted to the active roster on Nov. 30 and appeared in one game. The Rutgers product would figure to be a strong candidate to be re-signed to the practice squad should he clear waivers.

Rookie safety Nick Perry was also re-signed to the practice squad on Saturday.

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Schaub questionable, Gillmore doubtful for Seattle game

Posted on 11 December 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — John Harbaugh wasn’t tipping his hand about his quarterback situation on Friday, but the Ravens coach doesn’t think Seattle is waiting with bated breath over who will be under center, either.

After missing his third straight practice with what’s been listed as a chest injury, Matt Schaub was officially designated as questionable for Sunday’s game. Should Schaub not be able to play, sixth-year quarterback Jimmy Clausen would make his first start for the Ravens after being claimed off waivers from Chicago on Nov. 24.

“I don’t think it matters to the Seahawks. They don’t care,” Harbaugh said. “They’re going to play against our offense. That’s what they’re getting ready for. That’s not going to matter to them. But we really don’t know yet.”

According to Harbaugh, Schaub worked out on his own on Thursday while Clausen continued to receive the starting reps in practice with the newly-signed quarterback Bryn Renner working behind him. After expressing optimism on Wednesday regarding his status, Schaub declined an interview request in the locker room following Friday’s practice.

Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman has constructed a menu of plays for Clausen as he continues to get up to speed with the Baltimore offense in a short period of time. He said he’s feeling more comfortable working with center John Urschel and starting receivers Kamar Aiken and Chris Givens after he did not receive first-team reps in his previous two weeks with Baltimore.

Schaub has prepared to play from a mental standpoint while resting a body that was battered in last Sunday’s loss to Miami.

“There’s no sense in putting him out here in practice where he can get banged and bumped around,” Harbaugh said. “But if he can go, he will. If it’s best for our team for Jimmy to go, then that’s the way we’ll do it there.”

Should Clausen start against the Seahawks, he would come the sixth quarterback in NFL history to start two games against the same opponent in a season while playing for two different teams. The 2010 second-round pick from Notre Dame can only hope the results are better this time around after the Bears were shut out in a 26-0 final in Week 3.

“It’s crazy to think of it,” said Clausen was asked about potentially making history. “I’ve seen crazier things happen to me and to other guys in the league before, so we’ll see what happens.”

Starting tight end Crockett Gillmore (back) and wide receiver Marlon Brown (back) were both listed as doubtful after missing practice all week. Rookie tight end Maxx Williams has been fully cleared from the concussion protocol and is probable to play against the Seahawks. He would be in line to start with Gillmore likely out and fellow rookie Nick Boyle suspended for the rest of the season.

To no surprise, the Ravens officially ruled out left tackle Eugene Monroe, who will miss his third straight game with a shoulder injury and has started just six games all season.

In the second season of a five-year, $37.5 million contract, Monroe has started and finished just three games in 2015. Harbaugh hinted at the possibility of the 28-year-old being placed on season-ending injured reserve, but nothing had been made official as of Friday afternoon.

That resolution could mean the end of Monroe’s time in Baltimore as he simply hasn’t been reliable over the last two seasons at one of the most important positions on the field.

“He’s not going to play this week,” Harbaugh said. “Any other announcements beyond that, season-wise, a decision has been made, but I don’t think it’s really for me to announce it at this time. We’ll let Eugene or Ozzie [Newsome] announce what the plans are with that.”

Cornerback Jimmy Smith was added to the injury report as a limited participant in Friday’s practice because of a knee issue, but he was designated as probable to play. Nose tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder) and right tackle Rick Wagner (ankle) were also probable after missing practice on Wednesday and being limited the rest of the week.

Meanwhile, Seattle officially ruled out defensive end Demarcus Dobbs (concussion) and declared defensive tackle Jordan Hill (toe) as doubtful to play. Running back Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) was already ruled out for Sunday’s game earlier in the week.

The referee for Sunday’s game is Walt Coleman.

According to Weather.com, the forecast for Sunday calls for mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the high 60s and winds up to four miles per hour.

Below is the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
OUT: OT Eugene Monroe (shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: WR Marlon Brown (back), TE Crockett Gillmore (back)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Matt Schaub (chest)
PROBABLE: DE Chris Canty (non-injury), LB Elvis Dumervil (non-injury), LB Daryl Smith (non-injury), CB Jimmy Smith (knee), OT Rick Wagner (ankle), DT Brandon Williams (shoulder), TE Maxx Williams (concussion)

SEATTLE
OUT: DE Demarcus Dobbs (concussion), RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen)
DOUBTFUL: DT Jordan Hill (toe)
PROBABLE: DE Cliff Avril (non-injury), DE Michael Bennett (non-injury)

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Change remaining constant for Ravens offense

Posted on 09 December 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It was just a run-of-the-mill practice for the Ravens offense on Wednesday as the group continued preparations for a Week 14 meeting with the surging Seattle Seahawks.

Jimmy Clausen was the No. 1 quarterback.

Buck Allen played running back after the rookie began the season third on the depth chart.

Kamar Aiken, Chris Givens, and Jeremy Butler were the top three wide receivers.

The top tight end was Konrad Reuland — yes, the former practice-squad member just promoted to the 53-man roster a day earlier.

And the offensive line? Tackles Eugene Monroe (shoulder) and Rick Wagner (ankle) were absent — after center Jeremy Zuttah was already lost for the season last month — leaving one to ponder what that unit might have looked like after the portion of practice open to reporters concluded.

The only constant for the Baltimore offense these days is change as veteran quarterback Matt Schaub — already replacing franchise starter Joe Flacco — sat out Wednesday’s practice with what was listed as a chest injury. Starting tight end Crockett Gillmore (back) was also absent while rookie Maxx Williams (concussion) returned to practice wearing a red non-contact jersey, signaling he hasn’t yet been fully cleared after missing Sunday’s game in Miami.

“We’re pretty numb to it now. It is what it is,” Aiken said. “We’re just rolling, to be honest. We really haven’t had any time to sit back and really think about all the injuries or sit here and sulk on them. We’re going as it goes.”

Also missing from Wednesday’s practice included nose tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder), wide receiver Marlon Brown (back), and linebacker Elvis Dumervil, who was given a veteran day off.

Schaub expressed confidence that he would be able to play, adding that it was head coach John Harbaugh’s decision to sit him out and give some much-needed practice reps to Clausen. At 4-8, the Ravens are keeping their options open at the position with an eye toward determining who can best fill the backup role next year with Flacco unlikely to be ready until some point in training camp.

“As a competitor, you want to be out there,” Schaub said. “I’m gearing all my mindset and everything towards Sunday.”

As expected, the Seahawks have already ruled out running back Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) for Sunday’s game. Starting defensive end Cliff Avril sat out Wednesday’s practice for non-injury reasons.

Below is Wednesday’s full injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Marlon Brown (back), LB Elvis Dumervil (non-injury), TE Crockett Gillmore (back), OT Eugene Monroe (shoulder), QB Matt Schaub (chest), OT Rick Wagner (ankle), DT Brandon Williams (shoulder)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: TE Maxx Williams (concussion)

SEATTLE
OUT: RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DE Demarcus Dobbs (concussion), DT Jordan Hill (toe), DE Cliff Avril (non-injury)

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Ravens making contingency plans at quarterback for Seattle

Posted on 09 December 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — John Harbaugh was coy when initially asked about the health of Ravens quarterback Matt Schaub on Wednesday.

The head coach was addressing reporters after a morning walk-through the 34-year-old quarterback attended. In addition to slamming his head on the ground in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to Miami, Schaub was also dealing with shoulder and knee soreness as the Ravens fell to 4-8 on the season.

“He’s doing good. He’s banged up a little bit, and he’s sore,” said Harbaugh while smiling. “He’s doing good. He’s doing well. Great guy — smile on his face. You saw him right out here.”

Harbaugh has expressed optimism that Schaub will be able to play in Sunday’s meeting with the Seattle Seahawks, but the head coach has left open the possibility of backup Jimmy Clausen playing in Week 14. Claimed off waivers from Chicago on Nov. 24, Clausen started in place of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler at Seattle on Sept. 27 and went 9-for-17 for 63 yards in a 26-0 loss.

Already decimated by injuries at wide receiver and tight end, the Ravens will be facing the NFL’s fourth-ranked pass defense. Seattle ranks 11th in the league in sacks, but Baltimore already lost starting center Jeremy Zuttah for the season last month and is waiting on the status of left tackle Eugene Monroe, who has missed the last two games with a lingering shoulder injury.

That doesn’t sound like a promising recipe for a banged-up Schaub.

“I usually don’t rate it, but it’s going to be, probably, just a tolerance issue and how well he moves around and stuff,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not going to practice him too much early in the week. It’s good to get Jimmy the reps anyway. Jimmy needs the reps more than Matt does. But if Matt can go, he will.

“Matt’s tough — he showed that in the game. He’s tough as nails. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see him play. Maybe we’ll play them both. We’ll just see how it goes.”

The Ravens are making contingency plans in case Schaub cannot play as they signed quarterback Bryn Renner to the practice squad. The 25-year-old represented the best available option to be ready to serve as a backup on short notice if Clausen is forced into starting action.

Renner spent the entire spring and preseason with the Ravens and began the year on the practice squad before being released in mid-September. The University of North Carolina product completed 43 of 65 passes for 409 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions in the 2015 preseason.

“Bryn knows the offense, and he’s talented and he’s conscientious,” Harbaugh said. “It seemed like a good fit for us in the situation that we’re in right now. It’s not a guy who we have to bring in and teach, and he’s got talent. We’re very fortunate that he was still available.”

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Ravens add two tight ends to 53-man roster

Posted on 08 December 2015 by Luke Jones

With the tight end position decimated by injuries and the suspension to rookie Nick Boyle, the Ravens added veterans Konrad Reuland and Richard Gordon to the 53-man roster on Tuesday.

With Monday’s news of Boyle being suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, the Ravens were left with no healthy tight ends on the active roster with rookie tight end Maxx Williams recovering from a concussion and starter Crockett Gillmore leaving Sunday’s loss to Miami with a back injury.

Head coach John Harbaugh expressed optimism that Williams and Gillmore could play in Week 14, but the additions of Reuland and Gordon suggest the status of each incumbent being questionable at best.

Reuland has spent much of the season on Baltimore’s practice squad after being with the team during the preseason. The 28-year-old Stanford product collected 12 receptions for 90 yards in two seasons with the New York Jets and has also spent time with the San Francisco and Indianapolis organizations in his career.

“He has been practicing with us pretty much all year,” said Harbaugh about Reuland on Monday. “He knows what we are doing, and he can play the position”

Gordon, 28, has four career receptions and one touchdown in his NFL career that’s been spent with Oakland, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Kansas City, and Denver. The 2011 sixth-round pick out of the University of Miami is regarded as more of a blocking tight end and was recently cut by the Broncos.

The Ravens also added tight end Harold Spears to their practice squad on Tuesday. He was recently with the Seattle Seahawks, who will visit M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

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Ravens planning for banged-up Schaub to play against Seattle

Posted on 07 December 2015 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens head coach John Harbaugh says Matt Schaub remains his starting quarterback, but the veteran’s status will be monitored ahead of the Week 14 meeting with Seattle.

In addition to being tested for a concussion after slamming his head on the ground in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to Miami, Schaub came out of the game nursing knee and shoulder ailments that could limit his practice time this week. Backup Jimmy Clausen will likely see an increased number of practice reps, but Harbaugh is expecting Schaub to make his third straight start and first at home against the Seahawks.

“He was bounced around pretty good in the game — too much,” said Harbaugh, alluding to Miami registering three sacks and 10 quarterback hits. “We’ll see how he makes it through the week, but I think he’s going to be OK. He’s a tough guy. We’re planning on Matt being the quarterback.”

With Schaub having thrown two interceptions returned for touchdowns in as many weeks, some fans have already begun clamoring for the younger Clausen to receive an opportunity. Signed only two weeks ago, the 2010 second-round pick of the Carolina Panthers is still learning the Ravens playbook, but his familiarity with offensive coordinator Marc Trestman from their days in Chicago last year has accelerated the learning curve.

Expectations should be tempered for either quarterback given the shortage of weapons around them, but the Ravens would certainly like to determine if Schaub — or Clausen — can play at a level worthy of being retained as the backup quarterback next season. For now, the Ravens are sticking with the 34-year-old veteran, but that won’t necessarily remain the case for the rest of the season.

“There are always thoughts on everything, so we’ll consider everything,” Harbaugh said. “Matt is the quarterback; Jimmy is the backup quarterback.”

Monroe’s status remains unclear

Left tackle Eugene Monroe missed his sixth game of the season on Sunday, and it remains uncertain whether he will return this season, according to Harbaugh.

Re-injuring his shoulder against St. Louis on Nov. 22, Monroe has missed the last two games and has started and finished just three games all season. The Ravens have been forced to turn to second-year tackle James Hurst, who has struggled mightily trying to protect the blindside.

“It’s just unfortunate for Eugene. He has had the shoulder issues that have been nagging him,” Harbaugh said. “I think he’s up for another [magnetic resonance imaging exam] on Wednesday. Between him, his doctor and his agent, he’ll have to make a decision about whether he wants to play with it for the rest of the year.”

Flacco to undergo surgery on Tuesday

Injured quarterback Joe Flacco is set to undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Tuesday.

Flacco was injured on Nov. 22, but the swelling in his knee needed to subside before he could undergo the procedure. Renowned sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews was scheduled to perform the surgery in Alabama at 10 a.m. on Tuesday after Flacco underwent a pre-surgical examination on Monday.

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Ravens-Seahawks game flexed out of Sunday night spot

Posted on 29 November 2015 by Luke Jones

In the midst of one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, the Ravens officially learned Sunday night that they will miss out on hosting a prime-time game next month.

The NFL announced that Baltimore’s Dec. 13 game against Seattle that was originally scheduled for NBC’s Sunday Night Football has been flexed to that afternoon. Instead, a game between Houston and New England will now kick off at 8:30 p.m on that night.

The league announced the Ravens-Seahawks game will now begin at M&T Bank Stadium at 1 p.m. and will be televised on FOX.

Though Seattle currently holds the No. 6 seed in the NFC and collected a big home victory against Pittsburgh on Sunday to improve to 6-5, the 3-7 Ravens saw their already-faint playoff hopes crushed with the season-ending knee injury suffered by quarterback Joe Flacco last Sunday. Most had predicted for weeks that the Week 14 tilt would be moved out of the coveted Sunday night time slot.

It remains unclear whether the NFL will also move the Ravens’ Dec. 27 home game against Pittsburgh out of the Sunday night slot.

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