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Ravens near full strength for road test against Chiefs

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Ravens near full strength for road test against Chiefs

Posted on 05 October 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Having 10 days between their fourth and fifth games of the season, the Ravens continue to find themselves very fortunate in the injury department as their entire 53-man roster practiced again on Friday.

Making final preparations for the Kansas City Chiefs, offensive lineman Jah Reid was the only player limited and was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game on the final injury report of the week.

The favorable report continues an excellent trend for the Ravens through the first five weeks of the regular season. Aside from Reid — who continues to work his way back from a calf injury originally suffered in the team’s mandatory minicamp in June — the only player to miss a game due to injury was linebacker Paul Kruger, who sat out Baltimore’s Week 2 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“What we have to focus on is the things that we can control and I think our guys do a good job of taking care of themselves,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We have a strong team, physically. Obviously, [head trainer Mark Smith] and [strength and conditioning coach Bob Rogucki] do a great job, but the focus [is] on how we play right now. That’s what we think about and that’s how we’re spending our time.”

The only other player listed on the Ravens’ injury report all week was wide receiver Torrey Smith, who is dealing with a mild ankle sprain suffered in the Week 4 win over Cleveland. However, the second-year wideout has been a full participant all week in practices and will play on Sunday.

Conversely, Kansas City dealt with a plethora of injuries all week and has already ruled out starting defensive end Glenn Dorsey, running back Peyton Hillis, and wide receiver Devon Wylie.

Two other defensive starters, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and free safety Derrick Lewis, are listed as questionable.

Here’s the final injury report for the week:

BALTIMORE
QUESTIONABLE: OL Jah Reid (calf)
PROBABLE: WR Torrey Smith (ankle)

KANSAS CITY
OUT: DE Glenn Dorsey (calf), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle), WR Devon Wylie (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL: CB Jalil Brown (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Derrick Johnson (groin), S Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), DE Ropati Pitoitua (elbow)
PROBABLE: WR Jon Baldwin (hamstring), CB Brandon Flowers (heel), G Ryan Lilja (back)

Offensive line keeping tabs on Hali

Looking to rebound from a rough performance against the Browns, the Baltimore offensive line is cognizant of Kansas City’s pass-rushing duo of outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.

While Houston is still developing in his second NFL season, Hali is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and has accumulated 54 1/2 sacks in his seven-year career. The Ravens will pay close attention to where he lines up before the snap as head coach Romeo Crennel likes to find various matchups in which Hali can thrive.

“Obviously, that guy’s a hell of a player,” guard Marshal Yanda said. “They want to get mismatches on him so they’re going to move him around a little bit. We’ve seen him inside, they’ll put him on the guards too, right tackle and left tackle. They’re going to move him around as much as they can because the guy is who he is.”

With cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Stanford Routt using press coverage, the Chiefs will rely on the two outside linebackers to force pressure on quarterback Joe Flacco as the Ravens wide receivers try to gain separation off the line of scrimmage.

“That front seven is outstanding,” offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. “Those defenses, historically, have fed off the crowd. I know they’ve gotten behind in a couple of their home games so far, but when the game is tight, that defense feeds off the crowd.”

Odds & ends

The Chiefs have not enjoyed a lead during a game all season. Their only win came in Week 3 when kicker Ryan Succop booted a game-winning field goal in overtime over the New Orleans Saints. … Chiefs feature back Jamaal Charles and Baltimore running back Ray Rice rank first and second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage through the season’s first four weeks. … Baltimore has a league-leading eight touchdown drives of 80-or-more yards this season, including two of 90-or-more yards. … The Chiefs have three players who formerly played in Baltimore, wide receiver Terrance Copper, linebacker Edgar Jones, and center Bryan Mattison. Ravens safety Bernard Pollard was selected by the Chiefs in the second round of the 2006 draft and spent three seasons in Kansas City. … Pete Morelli will be the official for Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium. … Sunday’s forecast in Kansas City calls for temperatures in the mid to upper 50s and clear skies.

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