Ravens Notebook

Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver Lee Evans was ruled out for Sunday night's game against the New York Jets due to a lingering let ankle injury that has affected him since the preseason.

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver Lee Evans was ruled out for Sunday night's game against the New York Jets due to a lingering let ankle injury that has affected him since the preseason.

A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed no fracture or ligament damage, and Evans is optimistic that he'll be able to return against the Houston Texans following the Ravens' bye week. Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith will start his second consecutive game after catching three touchdown passes in his first NFL start against the St. Louis Rams.

"Something in there is hurting him a little bit, so we'll just go with the young guys," coach John Harbaugh said. "I'm worried about it now because it's lasted longer than I thought it would. I'm sure we'll have another MRI and see where it's at. As a coach you start thinking, "What's the deal?' I'm planning on him being back for the Houston game, but we'll have to see." Evans didn't practice all week and has been dealing with pain and stiffness since the Ravens' third preseason game against the Washington Redskins.

"Nothing's certain in this world, but it has a much higher probability of happening now than it did before," Evans said. "I'm feeling good about what we've done so far, so I'm shooting for the Texans, no doubt. It took a little longer than we thought, but it's making good progress right now. So, this bye is coming at the right time.

"We'll use that, and then move through the rest of the season. I'm close. It feels a lot better now than it's felt at any point. It's hard to give a percentage, but somewhere around 80 or so, I would say, right now."

Evans was relieved that the latest MRI didn't reveal any new problems.

"Just basically confirmed what we've already thought," he said. "It's basically just some stress in the muscle. Luckily it wasn't a type of fracture or anything like that, it's just kind of stress. It's around the bone, but the biggest thing is no crack or fracture of the bone." Meanwhile, Harbaugh said left offensive guard Ben Grubbs will be a game-time decision due to a right toe injury. Grubbs has missed the past two games.

"He didn't do as much," Harbaugh said of Grubbs, who didn't practice at all Friday after practicing on a limited basis Thursday. "I think we're more concerned with the toe healing than we are with the reps. It's going to be a game-time decision. We'll put him out there and let him play if he can. It's been three weeks with the toe. He's got a pretty good chance." Five-time Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode will start again in Grubbs' place if he's sidelined again. Gurode stood out on the game tape of the Ravens' 37-7 rout of the Rams.

"He played really well," offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. "Actually, of our 12 plays that we showed, our Raven plays, I think he was the highlight of almost half of them. I can't express enough how fortunate we are to get him here."

INJURY UPDATES: The Ravens also ruled out safety Haruki Nakamura (sprained posterior cruciate ligament), wide receiver David Reed (left shoulder) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (high left ankle sprain). Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (left hamstring) is doubtful. Cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) is listed as questionable. He didn't practice Friday after participating fully the previous two days, so he may have had a setback. Center Matt Birk (left knee) and defensive end Cory Redding (toe) are probable. Meanwhile, the Jets ruled out wide receiver Logan Payne (wrist). Center Nick Mangold (high ankle sprain) is questionable. The following key players are probable: wide receiver Plaxico Burress (hamstring), cornerback Antonio Cromartie (ribs), wide receiver Santonio Holmes (shoulder), defensive lineman Mike DeVito (shoulder), linebacker David Harris (toe) and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder). NO RESPECT YET: Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie isn't worried about Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith. Not even after Smith exploded for three touchdown catches against the Rams. "He had one big game, that's it," Cromartie told New York reporters. "He has five catches for his whole career. He has a three-game career." Informed of Cromartie's comments, Smith wasn't offended. "What Cromartie said about me is the truth," he said. "He shouldn't be scared of me. He's been in the league a long time. I've only been in the league for three games, so it was nothing crazy about what he said." CONTAINING HOLMES: The Ravens have learned through painful experience to account for wide receiver Santonio Holmes above all other defensive priorities. Holmes has caught 35 career passes for 641 yards and eight touchdowns against the Ravens, scoring in seven consecutive games against them when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He caught a touchdown in the Ravens' AFC championship game loss to the Steelers. "He's been a Raven killer" defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said of Holmes, who was suspended for last year's 10-9 Ravens win over the Jets while serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy. "My nightmares, when I wake up in the middle of the night sweating, it's because I think of '08, the three losses [to Pittsburgh]. He had a hand in all of them. They were all extended plays, scramble plays where Ben [Roethlisberger] found him in the open and he created touchdowns." ACCOUNTING FOR KELLER: No Jets tight end has ever caught as many passes in his first three NFL seasons as Dustin Keller. Keller has 148 catches for 1,744 yards and 10 touchdowns since being drafted in the first round out of Purdue. He leads the Jets 16 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns, emerging as the favorite target for quarterback Mark Sanchez. Thirteen of his receptions have accounted for first downs. "I think he's one of the premier pass-catching tight ends in the National Football League," Harbaugh said. "You're talking about a handful of guys, and he's right there with them. He's only gotten better. He's a threat, especially on the crossing routes and downfield. He does it all, really. So, he's going to be a big factor." REVIS ISLAND: Squaring off with Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis creates a whole new set of challenges for an offense. Revis traditionally removes one side of the field as a true shutdown cornerback. In two seasons under Jets coach Rex Ryan, Revis has posted the lowest burn percentage of any cornerback and is tied with Asante Samuel for the highest percentage of passes defended to times targeted. "He can definitely take one man away," offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. "I don't know if it is one side of the field. They do a great job. They roll the coverage away from him, lock him up on the backside, very similar to what you're saying. The thing that impresses me about him is he's consistent. He is a technician. He is not just an athlete out there playing, shutting people down. He uses good technique, he knows how to play square, and he is a good tackler. "You look at his body type; he is a great-looking guy from a football perspective. He is not a slightly built corner. The good news is we like to think our receivers are physical. We'd like to think that it's going to be a heck of a ballgame from that perspective. He can have a major impact on the game obviously. He gives that defense a ton of flexibility and the ability, in a lot of people's minds, to take one guy out of the game." RYAN TAKES A SHOT: The Ravens won their first meeting a year ago against Ryan, their brash former defensive coordinator. And Ryan reminded everyone that he has been to two AFC championship games since leaving Baltimore and taking over the Jets "We have not beat them since I've been here, that's for sure," Ryan said. "You can throw in the preseason game, too, if you want. That's exactly right. Now I will say this: we all talk about it, but I was there 10 years, and I've got a ton of friends there and the utmost respect for them and all that. "But the fact of the matter is, we all said we were going to meet in the AFC championship game. Now, we haven't won the AFC championship game, but we've got there two years in a row. The Ravens haven't. So you can throw that one right back at them as well." The Ravens have been to three consecutive postseasons since Ryan left the organization, winning at least one playoff game each year. "Well, I've gone to the playoffs every year, and I've gone to the championship game every year since I've been here as well," Ryan said. "But who cares? This is what it is. They know I did a great job there for 10 years. Those players did a great job for me there. They're the reason why I've been put in this position and all that. And no matter what kind of ridiculous question it's going to be, the simple fact of the matter is, they're two pretty good football teams going at it." A year ago, middle linebacker Ray Lewis took umbrage at the Jets' swaggering ways that included Ryan boldly predicting a Super Bowl victory. "I never got into the overhype," Lewis said. "I'm just saying that you listen to all these different things that people are saying, and until you say all of that, you've got to really go do something first, and that is, you've got to win one before you say all of that. But that was last year. Hopefully, they don't say nothing this year, and we can just play a good clean game." As for Ryan pointing out the Jets making it to the AFC title game for the past two years, Lewis pointed out that New York was in the same position as Baltimore during the Super Bowl: left out. "Yeah, the only response I could ever have for that is he was sitting in the same place I was sitting: watching the Super Bowl," Lewis said. "He had to be because he wasn't in it. And that's the only thing you can ever talk about. I don't care how far you go. The ultimate goal is to feel that confetti drop. You can ask the Pittsburgh Steelers. They wouldn't be proud to go back to a Super Bowl. "The bottom line is, you have to win the Super Bowl when you get there. So going to the AFC championship, going to the playoffs, I've done all of that, and at the end of the day, the only thing that I remember the most is when I touched that confetti in 2000 and that's what I'm still in the game for. So whether it's them in the way or whoever's in the way, here we go again." SUGGS PACKAGE: Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said he's been practicing at fullback this week, preparing for a cameo appearance on offense. "That's something that's big in this plan," Cameron said. "We want to put as many good players out there that we can. It's his idea. He's not bashful. I guess he got tired of asking to be a tight end, so, hey, we'll stick him in there at fullback and see what he thinks. I guess that's the Suggs package, the new Suggs package." Suggs was a Parade Magazine All-American running back in high school in Chandler, Ariz., rushing for 2,274 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior. He established a single-game school record with 367 rushing yards and five touchdowns. "Like 'King James', you get the ball in my hands, good things happen, with the exception of the finals," Suggs said. "It's cool. We're working on something." Suggs is hoping for a collision with his friend: Jets inside linebacker Bart Scott. "They're giving me some snaps at the ‘full,' just so me and Bart can have our meeting in the hole," Suggs said. "We plan on seeing Bart. They've been feeding the beast a little bit, and I'm like, ‘Hey, throw me in there. I'll catch it in the flat and get you 15.'" Suggs has scored touchdowns in the past on defense on interceptions and fumble returns. "The same thing he's shown me when he's run back those interceptions and those fumbles," Cameron said when asked what he's seen from Suggs. "The guy's a great player, period." The Ravens sent All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata into the game at fullback in a red-zone play and quarterback Joe Flacco nearly threw him a pass before dumping it off to fullback Vonta Leach. "I think you want to get as many of your good players (out there) as you can," Cameron said. "Obviously, there's some risk involved there. We know that. We tried to get Haloti a touchdown the other day and it didn't quite work out. They double-covered him. Go figure. They double-covered Haloti and left Vonta Leach all alone in the flat." FIXING THE PROBLEM: Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff missed a pair of 51-yard field goal tries against the Rams, attributable to mechanical problems. "The second one, mechanically, we noticed some," special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. "The first one was just a miss. The second one, I think that he was just trying to make it instead of trying to kick it. It showed up in the way he took the swing at it. He was aiming more than swinging at the ball just like his normal swing. "It also fostered some good conversation. It was an interesting thing to happen to Billy. He's had so much success and he's done such a great job for us, it's something that's been interesting in practice because it's something now that we're working on. Now, there's something that we can focus on and can work on. It's actually been a good thing in that regard." AYANBADEJO APPEALS: Ravens Pro Bowl special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo is still waiting for an appeal of his $15,000 fine from the NFL for his horse-collar tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers kick returner Antonio Brown. "It's still pending," Ayanbadejo said. "They will probably fine me, though. As far as I'm concerned, it's money gone." MMA VISITORS: A group of mixed martial arts fighters visited practice today, including Ultimate Fighting Championship standout Urijah Faber. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones, Ravens defensive lineman Arthur Jones' brother, is also in the area for Sunday's game.




A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed no fracture or ligament damage, and Evans is optimistic that he'll be able to return against the Houston Texans following the Ravens' bye week. Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith will start his second consecutive game after catching three touchdown passes in his first NFL start against the St. Louis Rams.

"Something in there is hurting him a little bit, so we'll just go with the young guys," coach John Harbaugh said. "I'm worried about it now because it's lasted longer than I thought it would. I'm sure we'll have another MRI and see where it's at. As a coach you start thinking, "What's the deal?' I'm planning on him being back for the Houston game, but we'll have to see." Evans didn't practice all week and has been dealing with pain and stiffness since the Ravens' third preseason game against the Washington Redskins.

"Nothing's certain in this world, but it has a much higher probability of happening now than it did before," Evans said. "I'm feeling good about what we've done so far, so I'm shooting for the Texans, no doubt. It took a little longer than we thought, but it's making good progress right now. So, this bye is coming at the right time. "We'll use that, and then move through the rest of the season. I'm close. It feels a lot better now than it's felt at any point. It's hard to give a percentage, but somewhere around 80 or so, I would say, right now." Evans was relieved that the latest MRI didn't reveal any new problems.

"Just basically confirmed what we've already thought," he said. "It's basically just some stress in the muscle. Luckily it wasn't a type of fracture or anything like that, it's just kind of stress. It's around the bone, but the biggest thing is no crack or fracture of the bone." Meanwhile, Harbaugh said left offensive guard Ben Grubbs will be a game-time decision due to a right toe injury. Grubbs has missed the past two games. Andre Gurode would start again in his place if he's out again.

"He didn't do as much," Harbaugh said of Grubbs, who didn't practice at all Friday after practicing on a limited basis Thursday. "I think we're more concerned with the toe healing than we are with the reps. It's going to be a game-time decision. We'll put him out there and let him play if he can. It's been three weeks with the toe. He's got a pretty good chance."

INJURY UPDATES: The Ravens also ruled out safety Haruki Nakamura (sprained posterior cruciate ligament), wide receiver David Reed (left shoulder) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (high left ankle sprain). Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (left hamstring) is doubtful.

Cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) is listed as questionable. He didn't practice Friday after participating fully the previous two days. Carr has suffered a setback in his left leg and is now a major question mark for this game after injuring the hamstring again. The hamstring injury has bothered him since early in training camp.

Center Matt Birk (left knee) and defensive end Cory Redding (toe) are probable. Meanwhile, the Jets ruled out wide receiver Logan Payne (wrist). Center Nick Mangold (high ankle sprain) is questionable.

The following key players are probable: wide receiver Plaxico Burress (hamstring), cornerback Antonio Cromartie (ribs), wide receiver Santonio Holmes (shoulder), defensive lineman Mike DeVito (shoulder), linebacker David Harris (toe) and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder).

NO RESPECT YET: Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie isn't worried about Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith. Not even after Smith exploded for three touchdown catches against the Rams.

"He had one big game, that's it," Cromartie told New York reporters. "He has five catches for his whole career. He has a three-game career." Informed of Cromartie's comments, Smith wasn't offended.

"What Cromartie said about me is the truth," he said. "He shouldn't be scared of me. He's been in the league a long time. I've only been in the league for three games, so it was nothing crazy about what he said."

ACCOUNTING FOR KELLER: No Jets tight end has ever caught as many passes in his first three NFL seasons as Dustin Keller. Keller has 148 catches for 1,744 yards and 10 touchdowns since being drafted in the first round out of Purdue.

He leads the Jets 16 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns, emerging as the favorite target for quarterback Mark Sanchez. Thirteen of his receptions have accounted for first downs.

"I think he's one of the premier pass-catching tight ends in the National Football League," Harbaugh said. "You're talking about a handful of guys, and he's right there with them. He's only gotten better. He's a threat, especially on the crossing routes and downfield. He does it all, really. So, he's going to be a big factor."

AYANBADEJO APPEALS: Ravens Pro Bowl special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo is still waiting for an appeal of his $15,000 fine from the NFL for his horse-collar tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers kick returner Antonio Brown. "It's still pending," Ayanbadejo said. "They will probably fine me, though. As far as I'm concerned, it's money gone."

MMA VISITORS: A group of mixed martial arts fighters visited practice today, including Ultimate Fighting Championship standout Urijah Faber. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones, Ravens defensive lineman Arthur Jones' brother, is also in the area for Sunday's game.

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