Ravens Update

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens veteran outside linebacker Jarret Johnson is one of the toughest, most durable players on a strong defense, eluding all recognition until now.

Ravens sign CB Bryan McCann, cut LB Prescott Burgess

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens have signed former Dallas Cowboys cornerback and kick returner Bryan McCann to a two-year contract, a move prompted by injuries to cornerbacks Chris Carr and Jimmy Smith. The Ravens cut reserve linebacker and special-teams contributor Prescott Burgess to create a roster spot for McCann. McCann's contract included a small undisclosed bonus.

"It's a great situation," John Biggins, McCann's agent, told the Times. "They want him to return punts and kickoffs and provide depth in the secondary. Bryan is excited about being back with the Ravens. They have been keeping track of his progress and like him as a player. Bryan is thrilled to be on a Super Bowl caliber team." McCann was with the Ravens last season for one game and was inactive before being cut. He was claimed off wiavers from the Cowboys. A former undrafted free agent from Southern Methodist, McCann returned an Eli Manning interception 101 yards for a touchdown last season against the New York Giants after being re-signed by Dallas and elevated from the practice squad.

He also returned a punt 97 yards for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions and was named NFL Rookie of the Week.

McCann finished the season with 15 tackles. He returned 23 kickoffs for a 22.0 average and eight punts for a 20.6 average, playing in nine games.

Cut by the Cowboys on Sept. 20, McCann had a tryout with the St. Louis Rams and wasn't signed. Carr has been dealing with a left hamstring injury since early in training camp shortly after signing a four-year, $14 million contract. Drafted in the first round, Smith has been sidelined with a high left ankle sprain since getting hurt in the Ravens' season-opening win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NOTE: Strong safety Tom Zbikowski's concussion symptoms are subsiding and he's expected to return for the Ravens' home game against the Houston Texans following the bye.



Jarret Johnson named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens veteran outside linebacker Jarret Johnson is one of the toughest, most durable players on a strong defense, eluding all recognition until now. Johnson has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

He's the third Ravens linebacker in the first four weeks of the regular season to win the award, following Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis. The ninth-year pro from Alabama returned a fumble 26 yards for a touchdown and recorded three tackles, one for a loss, and had two quarterback hits in the Ravens' 34-17 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium. Johnson has played in 117 consecutive games, often playing through painful shoulder or back injuries.

He sprinted into the end zone after All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata drilled quarterback Mark Sanchez in the back to force the fumble. "I just saw the ball bounce in front of me," Johnson said. "I just grabbed it and took off running. Haloti [Ngata] made a huge play, and, you know, I got to reap the rewards of what Haloti did."

Johnson didn't have a touchdown celebration. "I'm not going to dance, regardless," Johnson said. "I have no moves." Prior to the Ravens' game, former Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan praised his former protege.

"I'll tell you a guy that's underrated is Jarret Johnson," Ryan said. "I mean he's had that label forever. We used to laugh about it. He's always a ‘hard-working, blue-collar guy.' Well, that's what he is. He's tougher than heck, and he's a lot more talented than people give him credit for. He's playing great."

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