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 involve rookie defensive end Michael McAdoo.

According to Harbaugh, McAdoo’s agent had reached an agreement with GM Ozzie Newsome that McAdoo would be a part of the Ravens’ active roster for the first week of the season. Now that Week 1 is behind us, the Ravens will likely try and pass McAdoo through waivers and sign him to their practice squad.

We already know that cornerback Jimmy Smith will miss the next couple weeks with a high left ankle sprain. Now we’ll have to see if fellow corner Chris Carr needs to miss any time with his lingering hamstring issue.

Carr had to leave yesterday’s game against the Steelers in the first half because the hamstring flared back up, leaving the Ravens with just three healthy cornerbacks. That number was cut to two at one point, when starting corner Cary Williams needed a few plays off because of cramps.

Harbaugh was asked today if the Ravens have thought about shutting Carr down for any period of time, just to try and get the hamstring back to full strength.

“How much more can you shut him down than four weeks?” Harbaugh responded. “That’s what we did. It wasn’t a tear, and still, the good news is it’s not a tear. So, it’s grabbing on him at times. One of these times he’s going to get through and it’s not going to grab on him, but the thing that we do want to avoid, is we don’t want it to tear.

“We don’t want a hamstring tear in there and that’s why we’ve shut him down pretty quick whenever he starts to have an issue with it.”

Suddenly, the Ravens’ depth at cornerback - which was a major strength in camp - is now in question. If Carr is unable to suit up on Sunday or any game over the next couple weeks, Baltimore would need to rely on Williams, Lardarius Webb, Domonique Foxworth (who is coming back from a torn ACL) and fifth-round rookie Chykie Brown.

Luckily, Harbaugh said, the Ravens can rely on safety Haurki Nakamura to play nickel back in a pinch, which he did on Sunday.

“We had to run Haruki in and he jumped into the nickel and the other two guys played outside,” Harbaugh said. “Having that kind of versatility (is big). I think it’s really a credit to our players and our coaches. Most of those guys on the back end can play every position.

“The younger guys are still learning to do that, but when you’ve got guys that can play inside and outside, high or low as safeties, that kind of versatility is huge in a game like that when you start losing guys. It seems like you lose guys at the same position at times in games, and for those guys to step up and do what they did was pretty important.”

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