OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Torrey Smith reached his arms up and snagged a high pass down for a completion on a slant route. The crowd gathered at Stevenson University applauded the effort as Smith continued to scurry down the field.
Smith has been battling a minor ankle injury, suffered in Baltimore's first preseason game against Atlanta almost two weeks ago. The injury kept Smith out of Baltimore's second preseason game against Detroit.
Smith said the ankle's a lingering injury, though he expects to play this Thursday against Jacksonville. With it being the third preseason game, Baltimore's starters will get a lot of playing time, which will help with the team's chemistry as the regular season approaches.
"Coach was being cautious so I could get it out of the way so it's not lingering on," Smith said. "I feel real better today and still have to practice to get better. But I'm fine."
Smith wasn't scratched by the team initially on Friday but ultimately didn't dress for the game. He said he could've played but that the coaches played it safe.
Watching the game from the sideline bothered Smith some, and it didn't help that wide receivers coach Jim Hostler joked with him about his toughness since he sat out.
"It's frustrating, mainly with (Hostler)," Smith said. "He tries to get in my head, like, 'Oh, you're soft. You're baiting them.' I don't like missing anything, and he knows that."
The coaches know it's tough to legitimately question Smith's toughness. He played the 2011 season with a sports hernia injury that caused him a great deal of pain when cutting and running in and out of his breaks. He had surgery on it this offseason which has helped alleviate the pain he felt in 2011.
Smith's refined his game this offseason, working on his timing and chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco. Baltimore looks to run more of a no-huddle attack on offense this year, which is exciting the second-year wideout out of Maryland.
"I like the pace we're playing at," Smith said. "Joe's taking control. It looked good. I can't wait to get out there."
Smith didn't look hobbled during Sunday's practice. He looked agile and got some good reps. Whether the coaches play it safe or not on Thursday remains to be seen. But Smith is hoping he gets in the game. He doesn't want to spend much more sideline time in street clothes.
"It was agonizing sitting on the sideline watching," Smith said.
Torrey Smith expects to play against Jags
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