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Carr, Grubbs questionable for Sunday

After practicing in full and not even being listed on the injury report for Wednesday and Thursday's practices, cornerback Chris Carr did not practice at all today and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Jets. Carr has been battling a hamstring injury since the beginning of training camp. After sitting out the Ravens' Week 2 game against the Titans because of the

Lee Evans out for Sunday vs. Jets; hopes to return following bye

Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans will miss Sunday's game against the Jets because of an ankle injury, marking his second straight game on the sidelines. The Ravens are hoping that will be the extent of Evans' absence. Head coach John Harbaugh said today that Evans will not play Sunday, and expressed some concern that the receiver's ankle injury has still not fully healed. "I'm worried

Ravens or Jets - Who you got?

Teams usually don't like having their bye week too early in the season. They'd rather have the week off deeper into the year, allowing players time to rest and let their bumps and bruises heal prior to the final playoff push. I think the Jets might actually be a little envious that the Ravens will have their bye next week, however. Both of these two

Thursday's Ravens-Jets injury report

Three Ravens returned to practice today after sitting out yesterday's session. Five Ravens did not return to practice today after sitting out yesterday's session. I'll start with those who hit the field this afternoon. Center Matt Birk (knee) and defensive end Cory Redding (toe) both had a full practice today, while left guard Ben Grubbs (toe) was limited. Meanwhile, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring), wide receiver

Jets' Cromartie not so impressed with Torrey Smith

Despite dealing with bruised ribs and a bruised lung, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromatie expects to play Sunday night against the Ravens. Assuming he does suit up, Cromartie will likely square off against Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith, who is coming off an incredibly impressive performance last weekend against the Rams, when he recorded five catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns. I say "incredibly

Ben Grubbs returns to practice; Jimmy Smith making progress

The Ravens welcomed Ben Grubbs back to the practice field today after their starting left guard had missed the last two weeks with a toe injury. Grubbs was participating in individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media, and was getting down in his normal stance. It remains to be seen how effective the five-year veteran can be at this point, but

The new "Suggs Package" features Suggs at fullback

Remember three years ago when the Ravens started utilizing both Joe Flacco and backup quarterback Troy Smith on the field at the same time? At times, they'd split Flacco out wide with Smith under center, and other times, the roles would be reversed. The cluster of plays was fairly successful - with Smith even hitting Flacco for a 43-yard gain in an October game against

Bye week could adjust Ravens' plans for Evans

Yesterday, wide receiver Lee Evans was asked by a reporter if he would bet on himself playing Sunday against the Jets. "I'm not a betting man," Evans said with a smile, happily skirting the question. And what if the reporter was a betting man? "If you're a betting man, then bet," Evans responded, as he started to laugh. "I don't know, I don't know." It's

Jets lacking both "ground" and "pound" thus far

In two seasons under Rex Ryan, the Jets' motto has been "Ground and Pound". So far this season, they haven't done much of either. Examine the Jets' statistics through the first three games of the season, and you'll see that a team which traditionally focuses on running the ball effectively and shutting down the opposing team's run game has had trouble in both areas. The

Eight Ravens miss Wednesday's practice

The Ravens were missing a host of players during today's practice, including four starters. Center Matt Birk (knee), wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle), left guard Ben Grubbs (toe) and defensive end Cory Redding (toe) were the starters to miss today's practice, while linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), safety Haruki Nakamura (knee), wide receiver David Reed (shoulder) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (ankle) also did not participate. Among

Nakamura targeting Week 6 return, says he was victim of cheap shot

For the second straight week, a Ravens player has gotten hurt on a special teams play on what he felt like was a cheap-shot. During the Ravens' game against the Rams two weeks ago, wide receiver David Reed said he was hit late by a Titans player, causing him to injure his left shoulder. On Sunday, safety Haruki Nakamura had to be helped off the

Like his former teammate, Terrell Suggs "Can't wait"

Jets linebacker Bart Scott took the sports world - and the internet - by storm last postseason when he ended a fiery interview with ESPN's Sal Palentonio by shouting, "Can't wait!" Today, Scott's trademarked phrase (yes, he got it trademarked) graced the front of a t-shirt worn by his good friend and former teammate Terrell Suggs. Suggs came to the podium for his session with

Ravens explain the decision to IR Foxworth

In the Ravens' minds, they were willing to keep cornerback Domonique Foxworth on the active roster as he recovered from his torn ACL as long as he was continuing to make progress in his rehab. Foxworth still had pain in his surgically repaired right knee and was unable to play at a high level, but if he could make strides and get back to playing

Rex Ryan gets the talk started (updated)

We knew it was only a matter of time until the Ravens and Jets started firing verbal shots at each other. Not surprisingly, Jets coach Rex Ryan kicked it all off. On a conference call with Baltimore reporters today, Ryan was asked about the fact that since he left the Ravens to take the head coaching job in New York, he has yet to beat

Foxworth placed on IR, Burgess re-signed

For the second straight year, Domonique Foxworth is heading to injured reserve. With Foxworth unable to come back from a torn right ACL in time to be a factor this season, the Ravens have placed the veteran cornerback on IR, ending his season. Foxworth tore the ACL last July, and it normally takes a little over a year for a player to fully recover from

No shortage of storylines as we enter Jets Week

It's OK to admit it now: Last week was a little bland. You can nod your head in agreement; I won't judge you. As the NFL goes, the circumstances surrounding last Sunday's Ravens-Rams game were about as unexciting as it gets. The Ravens were playing a winless team from the NFC West with which they have no substantial history. The Rams essentially played without their

Ravens should ignore Flacco's pass-happy suggestions

In Sunday's win over St. Louis, the Ravens took what their opponent gave them. The Rams' defense made an effort to stop the run and played tight press coverage on Baltimore's outside receivers, so the Ravens threw the ball, threw it deep and threw it often. The result was a dominant passing performance, with quarterback Joe Flacco dropping back to pass over 50 times and

Harbaugh: Kindle isn't playing because he's "not good enough yet"

Despite the enormous setback that linebacker Sergio Kindle suffered last year when he fractured his skull, causing him to miss his entire rookie season, a number of fans are wondering why the Ravens' outside linebacker has yet to see the field through three games this season. It's far from an unfair question, especially when you're talking about a guy that was the Ravens' top draft

Harbaugh sticks by decision to play Flacco in blowout

There aren't many aspects of yesterday's 37-7 win that Ravens fans can find complaint with. John Harbaugh's decision to leave quarterback Joe Flacco in the game late in the fourth quarter with the Ravens up by 30 points is one exception. Sports talk radio shows and internet message boards have been abuzz today, with fans wondering why Harbaugh would keep Flacco in and risk injury

Nakamura could miss a month; Ravens might search for safety help

The Ravens have yet to get the results from an MRI on Haruki Nakamura's injured right knee, but they're hopeful that the four-year veteran safety will be able to return this season, possibly as soon as a month from now. Things didn't look promising for Nakamura when he went down clutching his knee on a first quarter punt return during the Ravens' 37-7 win over

Rams' no-huddle powerless against Baltimore's D

One of the major topics of discussion posed by reporters around Ravens headquarters last week was how Baltimore's defense would be able to deal with the Rams fast-paced no-huddle offense, a look which had given both of St. Louis' previous two opponents issues this season. To copy a line I used prior to the game yesterday in my "Three Keys": No-huddle, no problem. The Ravens

Ravens' response to Week 2 loss speaks volumes

As you check the NFL standings this morning, you'll find that only one AFC team is undefeated through the first three weeks of the season. That team, as we all expected, is the Buffalo Bills. Wait, what? Yes, the Bills are the lone 3-0 squad in the AFC after their shocking comeback win over the Patriots yesterday, a victory that now puts them alone atop

Ravens let Flacco fling it in 37-7 win

So much for leaning on the running game and attacking the Rams on the ground, huh? The Ravens talked all week about wanting to jump-start their downhill ground game and put themselves in third-and-manageable situations by running the ball effectively on first and second down. They were going up against the NFL's worst rushing defense, a Rams group which had allowed over 177 yards per

A stomping in St. Louis

This felt like Week 1 all over again. The early touchdowns, the huge plays in the passing game, the Ravens' defense ratcheting up the pressure and forcing turnovers ... heck, even the final score almost perfectly mirrored the rout Baltimore put on the Steelers two weeks ago. All the familiar pieces were present in today's 37-7 win over the Rams. Two weeks after overwhelming the

Halftime notes as Ravens lead Rams 27-0

The Ravens have played six exceptional quarters of football this season. They've also played four poor quarters of football, but through two and a half games, it's clear that when this team is clicking, it has the ability to dominate. Through 30 minutes of play this afternoon, Baltimore has a 27-0 lead on the road over the Rams. Here are some quick-hit notes on the

Torrey Smith's coming out party

What's one way to silence your critics? A 74-yard touchdown on your first NFL reception might do it. A 41-yard touchdown on your second NFL reception definitely will. An 18-yard touchdown on your third NFL reception? Now Torrey Smith is just rubbing it in. Smith, the rookie second-round wide receiver, didn't have a catch in the first 120 minutes of his NFL career. He had

Foxworth, Grubbs inactive for Ravens; Jackson to play for St. Louis

Unable to perform at the level the Ravens need of him, cornerback Domonique Foxworth is inactive for today's game against the Rams. Foxworth still isn't right after tearing his ACL last July, and has admitted that he's not playing near his pre-injury level. As a result, Foxworth has been benched today, allowing him some time to let the knee rest up and get back closer

Ravens-Rams: The three keys

The Rams are winless through the first two weeks of the season, and they could be without their three-time Pro Bowl running back and top wide receiver today because of injuries, but don't go thinking this afternoon's game will be a walk in the park for the Ravens. St. Louis has a talented young quarterback, a very aggressive defense with under-the-radar playmakers at all three

Look for a lot of Dickson and Pitta

Looks like the football gene was carried down from Ray Lewis to Ray Lewis III. The son of the Ravens' linebacker, who is now a junior at Lake Mary Prep in Florida, posted a ridiculous stat line last Friday, recording a whopping 384 rushing yards and five touchdowns on just 27 carries in a game against Foundation Academy. Here's a link to the Orlando Sentinel

Ravens reflect on Zeus' life, career

Earlier, I passed along thoughts from a few members of the Ravens' organization on the passing of former offensive tackle Orlando Brown. Here are some more. Affectionately referred to as "Zeus", Brown made quite a mark during his six years as a Raven, and was loved and respected by those around the organization. "There was no better friend, no one more loyal than Zeus was

Evans to sit out Sunday's game vs. Rams

So much for holding out hope for Sunday. The Ravens just released their final injury report for the week, and they've ruled wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle) out for this weekend's game against the Rams. Evans told reporters that he still considered himself a gametime decision for Sunday, despite not practicing all week. Turns out, the decision has already been made. Evans will sit, allowing

Evans, Grubbs still holding out hope for Sunday

Neither wide receiver Lee Evans nor left guard Ben Grubbs practiced at all this week due to injuries, but that's not stopping either guy from believing he has a shot to play Sunday against the Rams. Evans has been battling a lingering left ankle injury, and while he's played in the Ravens' two games thus far this season, his production and effectiveness have been severely

Orlando "Zeus" Brown passes away

A rainy Friday has gotten even darker out here at Ravens headquarters, as the team has announced that former Ravens offensive tackle Orlando "Zeus" Brown has passed away. Few details of Brown's passing are available at this time. The massive former lineman was 40 years old. He is divorced and survived by three sons. A Ravens official informed the team of Brown's passing immediately after

Game plan in St. Louis should lean heavily on run game

You can blame the Ravens' lack of a running attack last week against the Titans on any number of factors. Baltimore fell behind in the first half and needed to throw the ball to try and play catch-up; the offensive line was banged up with starting left guard Ben Grubbs out; Tennessee's tough 4-3 scheme and emphasis on slowing Ray Rice made it difficult to

Ravens or Rams - Who you got?

Back at the .500 mark after a disappointing loss to the Titans last weekend, the Ravens head to St. Louis this weekend to take on a Rams team still in search of its first win of the season. These two teams haven't met since 2007, when a Kyle Boller-led Ravens squad beat St. Louis 22-3 at M&T Bank Stadium. Overall, these squads have split their

Birk, Cody, Redding return to practice

After sitting out yesterday's session, center Matt Birk (knee), defensive end Cory Redding (toe) and nose tackle Terrence Cody (concussion) all returned to the practice field today. Birk had a full practice after getting a day off to rest his injured left knee, while Redding and Cody were both limited. Cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) was limited for a second straight day. Four Ravens did not

Ravens prepping for Rams' no-huddle ... without the flopping

We've all seen it by now: two Giants defenders flopping onto the ground during Monday night's game against the Rams in an attempt to get trainers onto the field and slow down St. Louis' no-huddle offense. It looked more like bad soccer than football. St. Louis' hurry-up offense and the Giants' reaction to it has been a hot topic at Ravens headquarters this week. While

Foxworth on injured knee: "It hurts, it sucks"

Another injury blog. I swear I'll have some information that isn't injury related coming up here in a bit. The Ravens are just pretty banged up right now, so there are plenty of injury notes to pass along. You know that's the case when cornerback Jimmy Smith walks by you with his injured left ankle in a walking boot one second, and wide receiver David

Carr, Cody expect to play Sunday

Cornerback Chris Carr missed last week's game against the Titans because of a hamstring injury. Defensive tackle Terrence Cody left the Tennessee game because of a concussion, and did not return. Today, both defensive players said they expect to suit up and play this Sunday against the Rams. With Carr, last Sunday's game was the first time in the seven-year veteran's career that he had

Who's next in line for a new deal?

Now that Haloti Ngata's new contract has been wrapped up and we know he'll be hanging around Owings Mills for at least the next five years, it's time to turn our attention to the rest of the Ravens' roster. Who will be next to score a long-term deal and a nice big check from Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti? The two clear prime targets are running

Contract talk behind him, Ngata relieved he can fully focus on football

How did Haloti Ngata's teammates greet the athletic defense tackle this morning after hearing of the five-year, $61 million contract he struck with the Ravens yesterday? How else? They hit him up for a few bucks. "Nobody asked me for a loan; they just asked me to give them money," Ngata said today, with a laugh. Ngata has plenty of cash to pass around, now

Evans hopes to keep playing on bum ankle

During his Monday afternoon press conference, head coach John Harbaugh suggested that wide receiver Lee Evans' injured left ankle is affecting his play. Today, Evans essentially said he agrees with Harbaugh's assessment. "It is limiting (me)," Evans admitted. "I'm not 100 percent, so it does limit some of the things I can do. But in the same breath, I'm able to do certain things effectively,

Grubbs hopes injury won't keep him out long-term

Ben Grubbs missed his first career game on Sunday after appearing in the previous 65. He now hopes he won't have to sit out a second straight contest this weekend. Grubbs, the Ravens' starting left guard, has been battling a toe injury the last two weeks, and says he considers himself a gametime decision for Sunday's game against the Rams. "With each day, I'm getting

Host of Ravens missing from Wednesday's practice

The Ravens were without a number of key contributors during today's afternoon practice. Most of the absences were expected, including: left guard Ben Grubbs (toe), wide receiver Lee Evans (left ankle), cornerback Jimmy Smith (high left ankle sprain), wide receiver/kickoff returner David Reed (shoulder) and defensive tackle Terrence Cody (concussion). I saw Smith limping around prior to practice; he has ditched the crutches that he

Time for a rookie wide receiver to step up

Through the first two weeks of the regular season, the Ravens' wide receivers have caught a total of nine passes. All nine of those receptions have been recorded by just two guys - seven by Anquan Boldin, and the other two by Lee Evans, who is battling an ankle injury and might need to be sat down if he continues to lack the burst necessary

Reactions from both sides after Ngata's extension is reached

About 24 hours ago, the odds of the Ravens and Haloti Ngata agreeing on a contract extension before today's 4 p.m. deadline appeared pretty slim. Both sides kept at it, however, and they were able to find some common ground and agree on a five-year, $61 million contract with $40 million in guaranteed money to be paid in the first two years of the deal.

Ravens, Ngata agree to five-year contract (updated)

It took a while, but the Ravens and Haloti Ngata have finally reached an agreement on a much-deserved contract extension. The Ravens have officially announced that they've signed the two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle to a five-year deal. Ngata's agent, Mike McCartney, initially broke that a deal had been reached via his Twitter account. The contract is technically a four-year extension, with the Ravens essentially

A Ngata update, plus Harbaugh says Oher's false starts have "got to stop"

The clock is ticking. The Ravens now have less than an hour and a half to finalize a long-term deal with Haloti Ngata, or else their Pro Bowl defensive tackle will be forced to play out the 2011 season under the franchise tag. If a deal cannot be reached, Ngata would earn nearly $12.5 million this season, but he and the Ravens would not be

Time to put on our second-guessing caps

Mid-way through the fourth quarter of Sunday's game, with the Ravens trailing the Titans 23-10, John Harbaugh faced a tough call: kick a field goal, or go for the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 11. Harbaugh opted to send kicker Billy Cundiff onto the field, and Cundiff's 29-yard field goal cut Tennessee's lead to 23-13. It was a questionable decision, seeing as how the

Ravens take ownership of Week 2 loss, just as they did for Week 1 win

Through two weeks, we've seen two drastically different Ravens teams. Week 1 against Pittsburgh (a team that made the Super Bowl last year), the Ravens put up 35 points, moved the ball effectively and in big chunks, put tons of pressure on the opposing quarterback, covered well on the back end and forced seven turnovers. Week 2 against the Titans (a rebuilding team which won

Ailing Evans, Foxworth could be given some time off

It's clear that wide receiver Lee Evans is not 100 percent right now. The eight-year veteran's game is based on speed, and he's shown very little of that in the month since first suffering a left ankle injury. Evans has recorded just two catches for 45 yards through two games, and his burst is lacking. The differences between today's Evans and the guy we saw

Harbaugh: David Reed out around three weeks

We can now officially add another name to the Ravens' weekly injury report. Head coach John Harbaugh announced today that wide receiver/kickoff returner David Reed will miss around three weeks with an injury to the AC joint in his left shoulder. "Probably three weeks, I would say," Harbaugh said. "I don't know. I'm not a doctor, but I play one in press conferences. That's what

Injury bug biting Ravens early on this season

Look around the league through just two weeks, and you'll see a lengthy list of star players who have already suffered season-ending injuries. Heck, the Chiefs have already lost arguably their three top players for the year in Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry and now Jamaal Charles. Fantasy owners everywhere are cringing. Maybe even crying. Luckily, the Ravens have not suffered any disastrous long-term injuries to

Flacco, offense flop in Tennessee

In a week's time, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice went from the cover of Sports Illustrated to searching for answers. It was a rough day at the office for the Ravens' top two offensive stars yesterday, as Flacco - who looked as smooth and comfortable as could be last week - struggled to find any sort of rhythm with the passing game, and Rice -

Pagano's pass rush nearly nonexistent

Prior to today's game, I was of the belief that the only way the Titans would topple the Ravens would be if electrifying running back Chris Johnson had one of his typical ... well ... electrifying days. That didn't happen. The Ravens shut Johnson down, holding him to just 53 yards on 24 carries (2.2 yards per rush), and the lightening-quick back's longest run of

What happened to the Ravens team from last week?

Well, that didn't go as planned. Coming off a dominating, convincing win over the reigning AFC Champion Steelers last week, the Ravens stunk up the joint in Tennessee, falling to a rebuilding Titans team 26-13. When you break it down, today's game was just about a complete reversal of last week's effort by the Ravens. Offensively, a group that put up 35 points a week

Halftime notes as Ravens, Titans tied 10-10

This one hasn't been quite as smooth as last week, now has it? The Ravens are tied with the Titans 10-10 entering halftime, but they haven't looked all that sharp - especially on offense - this afternoon. This comes after an incredibly impressive offensive performance last Sunday against Pittsburgh. Still, they're tied up on the road at halftime, which is never a bad thing, and

Grubbs won't play vs. Tennessee

The Ravens will be without starting left guard Ben Grubbs when they take on the Titans this afternoon. Grubbs has been declared one of the Ravens' seven gameday inactives and will not play today because of a toe injury. The five-year pro was listed as doubtful coming into today. With Grubbs out, Andre Gurode is expected to start at left guard for Baltimore. Gurode has

Ravens-Titans: The three keys

The Ravens roll into Tennessee and LP Field today coming off possibly one of the most emotional regular season games in franchise history. How will they bounce back? The Titans are eager to find out. Here are three keys to today's game from the Ravens' perspective: 1. Contain CJ Anytime you face one of the most explosive players in the league, slowing him down is

Cary Williams back in Tennessee, this time as a starter

Back in 2008, the Tennessee Titans gave Cary Williams his first chance at an NFL job, selecting the little-known Washburn University cornerback in the seventh round of the '08 NFL Draft. Williams spent the majority of his rookie season on the Titans' practice squad, and got little chance to make an impact in Tennessee before the Ravens signed the 6-foot-1, 182-lb. corner late in the

Ravens waive LB Phillips, sign CB Gorrer off practice squad

With cornerbacks Chris Carr and Jimmy Smith ruled out for tomorrow's game against the Titans, the Ravens have turned to their practice squad to improve their depth at corner. The team signed Danny Gorrer off the practice squad today, and waived linebacker Jason Phillips to create room for Gorrer on the 53-man roster. A second-year player out of Texas A&M, Gorrer signed with the Ravens

Ravens say controversial blocking scheme is legit

The Ravens sure have been the targets of a lot of criticism from opposing teams this week. First, Titans running back Chris Johnson accused the Ravens of trying to injure him three years ago in the divisional round matchup between the two teams. Then, numerous Steelers led by defensive tackle Casey Hampton, criticized the blocking style of those along the Ravens' offensive line, claiming the

Carr, Smith ruled out for Sunday; Grubbs doubtful

The Ravens will be without two cornerbacks Sunday against Tennessee. Rookie Jimmy Smith has been ruled out because of his high left ankle sprain, as has Chris Carr, who is battling a hamstring injury. That will leave Baltimore with a cornerback rotation featuring Cary Williams, Lardarius Webb and Domonique Foxworth. Rookie fifth-round pick Chykie Brown will likely be active to provide depth, and safety Haruki

Grubbs hopes to suit up vs. Titans

While he missed practice this whole week because of a sore toe, Ravens left guard Ben Grubbs says he still hopes to play this Sunday against the Titans. "Yeah, it's getting better," Grubbs said today. "I don't know right now. I try to take it one day at a time. Today's rehab and treatment were really big. I made some pretty big steps. Hopefully, tomorrow

Harbaugh: Lee Evans "is going to play"

Rest easy, Ravens fans. While Lee Evans might be a little dinged up, head coach John Harbaugh says the speedy wide receiver is going to play this Sunday against the Titans. Evans appeared at Wednesday's practice with his left foot/ankle in the same protective boot that he wore back in the fourth week of preseason, but he had a full practice yesterday, participated again in

Priority No. 1: Keep Johnson in check

If you ask Chris Carr about Titans running back Chris Johnson, the veteran cornerback will tell you a story about how Johnson once claimed to have run a 4.3 40-yard dash ... with a weighted vest on. Carr believed him. That's how fast Johnson is. Whether you think Johnson is the fastest guy in the league, as Carr does, or just somewhere in the top-five,

Ravens or Titans - Who you got?

Believe it or not, the Ravens will actually have to play 15 more games this season. They haven't yet won the Super Bowl, despite how great last Sunday's win over the Steelers might have felt to those in the Ravens' locker room and the supporters of the purple and black. Baltimore's opponent this weekend will be the Tennessee Titans, a team which has now lost

Thursday's Ravens-Titans injury report

While wide receiver Lee Evans had a full practice today after sitting out yesterday's session because of an ankle injury, three Ravens sat out a second straight practice. Cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring), left guard Ben Grubbs (toe) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (high left ankle sprain) all did not participate today. If Grubbs is not able to suit up Sunday against the Titans, Andre Gurode -

Kickoff coverage an emphasis entering Sunday

In the Ravens' regular season opener against the Steelers, they allowed 103 yards on three kickoff returns, good for an average of 34.3 yards per run-back. That number isn't acceptable to special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg. "Obviously, we didn't cover to our standards in the first game," Rosburg said today. So, what was the issue? Part of the Steelers' high return numbers can be attributed

Lee Evans: "I plan on playing on Sunday" (updated with practice note)

Lee Evans has been battling a nagging left ankle injury for a couple weeks now, and the Ravens' wide receiver was back in a protective boot yesterday as he watched practice from the sidelines. But while the ankle is still bugging him, Evans says he intends to play against the Titans this Sunday. "Absolutely, I plan on playing on Sunday," Evans said. "But we'll have

Ravens react to claims they were "trying to hurt" Chris Johnson

Back in the Ravens' 2008 Divisional Round game against the Titans, running back Chris Johnson racked up 100 yards from scrimmage (72 yards rushing and 28 yards receiving) before leaving the game with an ankle injury. Yesterday, Johnson claimed that the Ravens intended to injury him, while also making sure to point out his ankle injury came on a clean play. "They were trying to

Time running out for Ngata extension

Five days and counting. That's how much time the Ravens have left to negotiate with two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata - or, more accurately, Ngata's agent - before the Sept. 20 deadline for teams to reach a new contract with their franchise players. For now, Ngata is set to play this season under the franchise tag, which for a defensive tackle is a

Letdown? No chance, Ravens say

If you're the type that gets into the weekly power rankings that are put together by various national media outlets, you might feel a little snubbed this week. While the Ravens dismantled the Steelers (a Super Bowl team from last year, mind you) 35-7 on Sunday, Baltimore ranked among the top-three NFL teams in just one of the four power rankings that I looked at.

Evans, Grubbs, Carr all miss practice

Four key Ravens missed practice today with various injuries. You already know that wide receiver Lee Evans watched today's afternoon session with his injured left ankle in a boot. Joining him on the sidelines today were cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring), left guard Ben Grubbs (toe) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (high left ankle sprain). Grubbs missed last Friday's practice because of a thigh injury. Today, it

McAdoo won't need surgery on knee

Placed on injured reserve yesterday, rookie defensive end Michael McAdoo says that he won't need surgery to repair any damage suffered to his injured knee. "Just rehab," McAdoo said today in the Ravens' locker room. Signed by the Ravens mid-way through the preseason after he went unselected in the supplemental draft, McAdoo made the team's 53-man roster out of camp. He was declared a gameday

Back from suspension, David Reed ready to contribute

David Reed readily admits it was tough not being able to participate in Sunday's game against the Steelers due to his one-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The second-year wide receiver was not allowed to participate in practices all last week and he had to sit out the Pittsburgh game because of the suspension, which came down as a result of an

Lee Evans' foot back in a protective boot

Wide receiver Lee Evans missed an entire week of practice leading up to the Ravens' final preseason game, and he had his left foot in a protective boot during that time. Still, Evans insisted he was fine going into the Ravens' regular season opener against Pittsburgh. He practiced in full last week, and did indeed participate on Sunday. Today, however, the speedy wide receiver was

Carr sees specialist for second take on injured hamstring

In an effort to find a solution to his lingering hamstring issues, cornerback Chris Carr flew to Texas in the days since Sunday's game to see a specialist and get a second take on his injury. "I went to Texas and saw somebody and got another way of looking at the injury," Carr said today. "I think combined with the stuff I've already been doing

Fresh off sack title, Suggs named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

The honors keep rolling in for Terrell Suggs. Three days after becoming the Ravens' all-time franchise leader in sacks, the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against the Steelers on Sunday. Suggs certainly was deserving of the honor; the nine-year veteran tied a career-high with three sacks in a game, he forced two fumbles, had

Ravens nail SI cover; McAdoo to injured reserve

The Ravens continue to earn plenty of national pub following Sunday's 35-7 win over the Steelers. The latest comes in the form of the Sports Illustrated cover. Quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice grace one of three covers put out by SI. The Jets are shown on the national cover, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is pictured on one regional cover, while Flacco

Harbaugh: Ravens will be more aggressive on fourth down this year

Not a bad opening weekend for the Harbaughs. While John's Ravens were busy crushing the Steelers 35-7, his brother Jim was out in San Francisco, coaching his 49ers to a 33-17 win over their division rival, the Seahawks. The win marked Jim's first as an NFL head coach, and it had his proud older brother (who said he was able to catch a bit of

Under Pagano, aggression and swagger appear restored to Ravens' defense

If Sunday's game was any indication at all of the style of defense we're going to see under Chuck Pagano, the Ravens and their fans might be in for a fun 2011 season. Pagano, who took over as Baltimore's defensive coordinator in January after a three-year stint as defensive backs coach, unleashed his hounds on the Steelers two days ago. Pagano sent pressure from all

David Reed returns; Ravens' cornerback depth being tested

Everybody, give a warm welcome back to David Reed. The second-year wide receiver is back and able to practice with the team today after being suspended last week for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The Ravens will now need to make a roster move in order to activate Reed off the reserve/suspended list, and head coach John Harbaugh said that move is likely to

Jimmy Smith has high ankle sprain

An MRI on Jimmy Smith's left ankle came back with some bad news - the Ravens' rookie cornerback has a high ankle sprain. Head coach John Harbaugh said that Smith is in a boot and on crutches, and will now be out the next few games. "He does have a high ankle sprain, so that's going to be a few weeks," Harbaugh said. "We just

Ravens await word on Jimmy Smith, marvel at Ed Reed

The offense was sharp, the defense was dominant, the coaching was on-point. Yesterday's 35-7 Ravens win was pretty doggone close to a perfect outcome. Close, but not quite. Rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith, the Ravens' first-round pick in April's draft, had to leave his NFL debut after just one play when he injured his ankle covering a kickoff. The Ravens are calling the injury just a

It's just one win ... or is it?

Following yesterday's beatdown of the Steelers, head coach John Harbaugh and a handful of his players repeated a common NFL expression. The Ravens' 35-7 win was just one game, they said. There are 15 more to go. Let's not get too excited about one win, especially when that win comes in mid-September. Excuse me, Mr. Harbaugh, sir, but we'll just have to agree to disagree

Ravens stomp Steelers thanks to dominant second half

If you look at the drive chart from the second half of today's 35-7 Ravens win over the Steelers, this is what you see next to Pittsburgh's name: Fumble Interception Interception Punt Interception Fumble Fumble Downs Eight drives, six turnovers (seven, if you feel like piling on and counting the turnover on downs to end the game), zero points. Unreal. "I ain't seen nothing like

Steelers acknowledge they "got whipped"

You know what's a fun thing to do after beating up on your arch rival? Listen to them admit that they got beat up. The Steelers got crushed this afternoon, falling to the Ravens 35-7. When a team loses that badly, and gets outplayed on offense, defense and special teams, they can't find much of a silver lining or pull many positives out of the

Now that was a beatdown

That was an absolute spanking. Joe Flacco threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns, the Ravens' defense set a franchise record with seven takeaways, and Baltimore opened the season with a dominating 35-7 win over the Steelers in front of 71,434 at M&T Bank Stadium. Playing their arch-rivals eight months after blowing a 14-point halftime lead and losing to Pittsburgh in the divisional round of

Halftime notes as Ravens lead Steelers 21-7

So much for the days of 9-6 Steelers-Ravens games, huh? Baltimore leads Pittsburgh 21-7 going into halftime as Joe Flacco and Ray Rice have staked the Ravens to a lead after 30 minutes of play Here are a few quick-hit notes on the first half of action: * The Ravens' new-look offensive line has been incredibly impressive despite not getting a single preseason snap together

How's that for a quick start? (Jimmy Smith suffers ankle sprain)

Three plays, 1:32, seven points. It was that easy. The Ravens jumped on top of the Steelers 7-0 in the blink of an eye, opening the season in fine fashion with a dominating drive that made Pittsburgh's vaunted defense look amateurish. Baltimore's offense motored down the field, picking up yards in chunks in the form of Lardarius Webb's 34-yard kickoff return, Ray Rice's 36-yard run

Doss, Kindle scratched for Ravens

Rookie wide receiver Tandon Doss and first-year outside linebacker Sergio Kindle will not be making their NFL debuts today. Doss and Kindle are among the Ravens' inactives, meaning they won't suit up for this afternoon's game against the Steelers. The Ravens will go with five receivers active today, and undrafted rookie LaQuan Williams gets the call over Doss, a fourth-round pick. Williams might be called

Ravens-Steelers: The three keys

Happy gameday, everyone. In a matter of hours, the Ravens will take on the Steelers, which is still hard for me to believe. It feels like summer is still in full swing and the lockout just ended yesterday, but here we are. It's mid-September and NFL football is upon us. We all know the stakes of this afternoon's game despite the fact it's Week 1

Steelers' speed out wide a concern entering Sunday

Ben Roethlisberger was tough enough to defend three years ago. Now, given the makeup of the Steelers' wide receiving corps, Pittsburgh's quarterback has the ability to terrorize NFL secondaries. Over the last three drafts, the Steelers have added three receivers with blazing speed, giving their passing game a big-play potential that might be unparalleled across the rest of the league. Third-year wideout Mike Wallace runs

Birk geared up for his return to action

Five weeks removed from surgery on his left knee, Ravens center Matt Birk will square off against five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Casey Hampton and the vaunted Steelers defense tomorrow afternoon. Birk has had two full weeks of practice since coming back from the surgery, and while the 14-year veteran declined to assign a percentage to his health, he feels he's progressed well since returning

McKinnie continues to drop weight

When Bryant McKinnie reported to Vikings camp in late July, he weighed 387 lbs. When McKinnie showed up to Ravens headquarters after signing a two-year deal with the team two weeks ago, he said he weighed around 370 lbs. Now, the burly left tackle says he's down in the 360s. "I've lost 10 (lbs.) since I got here, so that's definitely helping out a lot,

Phillips listed as questionable, Grubbs probable

The Ravens will likely have their full roster available Sunday when they take on the Steelers. Starting left guard Ben Grubbs missed practice today with a thigh injury, but he's listed as probable on the Ravens' injury report. The only other player on the injury report, linebacker Jason Phillips, returned to practice today and had a full session after missing yesterday's practice with a concussion.

Offensive line coach Moeller suspended for two games

The NFL has the power to suspend its players when they violate either the league's substance abuse policy or its personal conduct policy. Apparently, coaches can be subject to suspensions for similar violations, as well. Ravens offensive line coach Andy Moeller has been suspended two games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy after being found guilty of a September DWI. The Ravens will have

Ravens or Steelers - Who you got?

What a way to start the regular season. So much for easing into things, so much for saving the big matchups for the final few weeks of the year. Right off the bat, we've got Ravens-Steelers, a game which could determine the playoff outlook in the AFC North, despite the fact that we're only in Week 1. It doesn't feel like the NFL's greatest rivalry

Phillips suffers concussion

The Ravens were without one of their better special teams players today, as reserve linebacker Jason Phillips did not practice this afternoon due to a concussion. Phillips was the lone player not to take part in a full practice today; the rest of the Ravens' injury report is clean. For the Steelers, wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) was downgraded to no participation today, after taking

Facing Steelers, Flacco doesn't feel he has anything to prove

According to a report from ESPN's Chris Mortenson, Colts quarterbacks Peyton Manning had neck surgery this morning, and is facing at least a 2-3 month recovery. Might this knock one of the conference's top teams out of contention before a down has even been played this year? I'm sure inclined to think so. The Ravens are scheduled to take on the Colts on Dec. 11,

Cary Williams to Steelers receivers: "You can keep talking"

Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace took a bit of a shot at the Ravens' young cornerbacks this week, telling Pittsburgh reporters that he's not concerned about facing talented rookie Jimmy Smith, and that Smith needs to prepare himself for the speed and big-play potential of the Steelers wideouts. "I'm not worried about him," Wallace said. "He needs to worry about us. ... He just needs

It's official: Zbikowski will get starting nod

Yesterday, I posted an entry which had the headline: "Zbikowski to start at strong safety?" We can now take away the question mark. After being informed that Bernard Pollard had announced he'll be coming off the bench this Sunday against the Steelers (comments which can be found in my story from yesterday), Tom Zbikowski confirmed today that he'll get the starting nod in the regular

Suggs hoping to score payback for "sickening" losses to Steelers

Back in 2008, the Ravens fought their way to the AFC Championship Game before falling to the Steelers in heartbreaking fashion, with Troy Polamalu's fourth quarter interception return for a touchdown serving as the decisive blow. You probably remember that one. Last year, Pittsburgh again knocked the Ravens out of the postseason, this time when Baltimore saw a 21-7 halftime lead quickly turn into a

Ravens open season with clean injury report (plus Gurode comments)

The very first injury report of the season has arrived, and just four days before the Ravens' regular season opener, the team isn't listing any injuries. Every player on the 53-man roster took part in a full practice today, so the Ravens' half of the injury report is spotless. This bodes well for center Matt Birk, who has said he hopes to play on Sunday

Zbikowski to start at strong safety?

The Ravens had their full 53-man roster out at practice today, and there are no new injuries to report as the team enters Week 1 of the regular season. Center Matt Birk (knee), wide receiver Lee Evans (left ankle/foot), cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor (shoulder) all were in uniform and participating during the open media portion of practice. For those who

Harbaugh unaware of any interest in Garrard

The Ravens didn't sign a veteran quarterback to back up Joe Flacco this offseason. They didn't sign a veteran quarterback during training camp. They haven't signed a veteran quarterback since teams made their final roster cuts last weekend. And, as of now, head coach John Harbaugh says that the Ravens are planning on going into the regular season with rookie Tyrod Taylor as their backup

Ravens' roster changes present challenge for Pittsburgh

You know what's insane? Turning on the TV at close to 11:30 p.m. and watching the first inning of a baseball game. A baseball game being played on the East Coast. A baseball game being aired live. I cannot believe that the Orioles and Yankees were forced to take the field after a four hour, three minute rain delay last night, and then made to

Birk still aiming for opener, cool with Gurode signing

As reporters approached a shirtless Matt Birk in the Ravens' locker room following yesterday's practice, the 6-foot-4, 310-lb. center turned, and with his trademark dry sense of humor, delivered a gem. "Let me start with a question," Birk said. "Have you ever seen a guy as sexy as me?" No comment, Matt. As you might be able to tell from that small portion of Birk's

Why Steelers' Hampton says Ravens need to talk trash

There's a lot of chatter that comes with the Ravens-Steelers rivalry. The trash talk is part of what makes the matchups between the teams so great, along with the bone-jarring hits and consistently close games. Steelers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Casey Hampton says that the bulk of the chatter leading up to and during the games between the division rivals comes from the Ravens' side.

Ravens set to debut new starting cornerback duo

In previous matchups with the Steelers, the Ravens have had trouble containing Pittsburgh's speed and big-play potential at the wide receiver position. On Sunday, defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano will debut a new cornerback rotation, hoping some fresh faces can hold the Steelers' explosive passing game in check. After a strong training camp and preseason, third-year cornerback Cary Williams is set to start at corner against

Harbaugh on McAdoo: "He's here for a week and then we'll go from there"

One of the biggest surprises - scratch that, the biggest surprise - among the 53 players kept by the Ravens after their final roster cuts this weekend was rookie defensive end Michael McAdoo. Turns out, McAdoo might not be on the 53-man roster all that long. Head coach John Harbaugh said that for now, the team might only carry McAdoo on their active roster for

Lee Evans returns to practice

After missing practices all of last week because of an injury that had his left foot in a boot, wide receiver Lee Evans returned to the practice field today, six days before the Ravens' regular season opener against the Steelers. The team's practice today was not open to the media, but Evans said that he was able to move around and test things out this

Don't assume Gurode signing means Birk is out

The Ravens' projected offensive line entering training camp had Michael Oher at left tackle, Ben Grubbs at left guard, Matt Birk at center, Marshal Yanda at right guard and Oniel Cousins or Jah Reid at right tackle. When Baltimore opens the regular season on Sunday, their starting offensive line could very easily look like this: Bryant McKinnie at left tackle, Grubbs at left guard, Andre

Ravens agree to terms with center Andre Gurode (updated)

Needing to improve depth to the interior of their offensive line, the Ravens went out and got themselves a five-time Pro Bowler. The team announced it has agreed to terms with former Cowboys center Andre Gurode on a one-year deal, pending a physical. The deal could be worth up to $3 million, according to ESPN. "We just got better as a team," general manager Ozzie

Ravens set practice squad

The Ravens have filled their eight-man practice squad, and all eight guys were with the team in training camp. Here's how the practice squad looks, for now: RB Damien Berry (Rookie, Miami) G/C Justin Boren (Rookie, Ohio State) QB Hunter Cantwell (1st Year, Louisville) DB Danny Gorrer (2nd Year, Texas A&M) DT Bryan Hall (Rookie, Arkansas State) FB Ryan Mahaffey (Rookie, Northern Iowa) S Mana

So, what now?

I mentioned yesterday that none of the Ravens' bubble players probably got a comfortable sleep Friday night, as they anxiously awaited roster cuts and word on whether or not they had earned a job. Last night couldn't have been much different for guys like Michael McAdoo, Chykie Brown and Albert McClellan. The Ravens may have set their 53-man roster yesterday, but they are almost certainly

Here's the Ravens' 53-man roster (for now)

I gave you the list of players the Ravens cut today in order to get down to the 53-man roster limit. If you would prefer to look at a list of players that will be hanging around, I've arranged that, as well. Don't say I've never done anything nice for you. Here's the list of the final 53, at least what it looks like for

Ravens announce roster cuts

Here are the players cut today by the Ravens: C Tim Barnes RB Damien Berry G Justin Boren LB Prescott Burgess LB Josh Bynes QB Hunter Cantwell DT Lamar Divens TE Davon Drew LB Tavares Gooden CB Danny Gorrer WR James Hard DT Bryan Hall CB Talmadge Jackson FB Ryan Mahaffey WR Brandon Jones TE Johdrick Morris G Jason Murphy RB Jalen Parmele T Andre

All of Ravens' 2011 draft picks make 53-man roster

How many NFL teams, especially those with recent playoff success, will be able to say that all of their 2011 draft picks have earned spots on the 53-man roster? OK, that was a hypothetical question; I don't actually have an answer. But I do know one team which can make that claim - the Ravens. With cornerback Chykie Brown, a fifth-round pick, securing a spot

Linebackers Gooden, Burgess let go (Marcus Smith, too)

The Ravens' linebacking corps and special teams units will have a bit of a new look this season. Linebackers Tavares Gooden and Prescott Burgess, key special teams contributors the last few seasons, have been released today, according to Scout.com. Gooden, who got the nickname "Baby Ray" at the University of Miami, was once thought of as the heir to Ray Lewis. Injuries played a key

Ravens cut RB Parmele, TE Drew (LaQuan Williams hanging around)

The deadline for today's roster cuts isn't until 6 p.m., but a lot of movement has already taken place. The Ravens have released veteran running back Jalen Parmele and tight end Davon Drew, and have also cut undrafted rookie center Tim Barnes. Parmele posted the news of his release on Twitter, while the agents for Drew and Barnes announced their clients have been cut. With

Bubble players crossing their fingers

As the Ravens walked off the practice field yesterday, something felt a little different. The normally boisterous post-practice atmosphere had definitely turned more solemn. The fun part of the game of football will disappear for about the next 24 hours, as hundreds of players around the league will find out today that they've lost jobs. For many of those players, the news that they've been

David Reed suspended for regular season opener

The Ravens will have a shorthanded wide receiver corps and kick return unit when they take on the Steelers in the regular season opener next Sunday. Second-year wideout/kickoff returner David Reed has been suspended for the Ravens' Week 1 game against Pittsburgh and fined one game check for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. The suspension stems from an incident last year where police found

Tyrod Taylor on season opener: "I think I'll be ready"

A day after suffering a left shoulder contusion in the Ravens' preseason finale against the Falcons, rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor sounded confident that he'll be healthy and able to suit up for the regular season opener next Sunday against Pittsburgh. "I think I'll be ready, especially with a couple of days off to get treatment," Taylor said. "I'll get healthy and start the week up."

One man's projection of the Ravens' 53-man roster

After much thought and a couple failed rough drafts, here's my final projection of the Ravens' 53-man roster. I went back and forth on the final three spots, but feel pretty confident (scratch that; somewhat confident) with the group listed below. Feel free to share your thoughts, and don't be afraid to disagree with what you see here. Debate is welcomed. Quarterbacks: (3) Joe Flacco,

Three up, three down in Ravens' win over Falcons

Mercifully, last night's game - and the preseason overall - are behind us. The Ravens capped off a successful preseason with an ugly 21-7 win over the Falcons last night, and now they can get on to the task of cutting their roster from 80 to the regular season limit of 53. GM Ozzie Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh and all those involved in the

What to do with the backup quarterback job?

Coming into tonight's preseason finale, the Ravens' had a difficult decision to make regarding their backup quarterback job. Coming out of tonight's preseason finale, reaching that decision might be even an even more complicated process. Rookie Tyrod Taylor, who had impressed this camp and was making a serious bid for the No. 2 quarterback gig behind Joe Flacco, had to leave tonight's game late in

Ravens close preseason with sloppy 21-7 win over Atlanta

Ugh. Can we start the regular season yet? The fourth preseason game is never all that smooth, as rookies and reserves get the vast majority of the playing time while the veterans watch in t-shirts and sweatpants from the bench. But tonight's game between the Ravens and Falcons was ugly, even as preseason finales go. The Ravens had just 101 passing yards, recorded a mere

Tyrod Taylor leaves with left shoulder contusion

Initially, tonight seemed like a prime opportunity for rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor to prove he was worthy of the Ravens' backup quarterback job. Starting QB Joe Flacco didn't suit up at all, and Taylor was set to play the vast majority of tonight's preseason finale against the Falcons, giving himself plenty of time to impress the coaching staff. Instead, Taylor played just two series, and

Ravens to sit nearly entire starting offense vs. Falcons

Head coach John Harbaugh said this week that he hoped to get the Ravens' new-look offensive line some playing time in tonight's preseason finale, but that the risk of injury to that group might cause him to rest those starters, instead. Apparently, it was the injury risk that proved to be the deciding factor. According to the team, Harbaugh and the Ravens' coaches have decided

Last chance for Williams, others to make a positive impression

Yesterday, I shared the thoughts of Marcus Smith as the four-year veteran tries to secure what will likely be the final wide receiver spot on the Ravens' 53-man roster. Today, I'll share the thoughts of his primary competition, undrafted rookie wide receiver LaQuan Williams. While Smith is hoping his experience will be a deciding factor in his favor as the coaches trim the roster from

Five Ravens to watch tonight vs. Falcons

The final game of the preseason might be boring to an average NFL fan. Heck, it might be boring to a big-time NFL fan. But to hundreds of players around the league, this week is absolutely crucial, as guys make their final push to try and earn spots on teams' 53-man rosters. Heck, even those eight practice squad slots (which pay over $100,000 for the

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