Ravens shift practice to Baltimore

<p>Instead of conducting their normal routine, the Baltimore Ravens incorporated a few different wrinkles. Besides holding the morning practice session at M&T Bank Stadium on Wednesday instead of McDaniel College because of soggy field conditions, the Ravens also engaged in a series of shenanigans throughout the day.</p>

 After receiver Travis Taylor dropped a relatively easy pass at the stadium, cornerback Corey Fuller needled him, saying, "Brandon Stokley would have caught that." Between Fuller's teasing and offensive tackle Orlando Brown and defensive end Joe Salave'a's heavyweight battle that included Brown upending the 295-pound Salave'a, it was a colorful day. One that was punctuated following the afternoon practice in Westminster by several veterans taping rookies Musa Smith, Todd Devoe and Chisom Opara to a goalpost. 

Diminutive return specialist Hugh Smith was excused from the hazing because of his sore shoulder. "They didn't want to sing their school song," rookie outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "I sang 'Lean on Me' already for them, so I'm exempt. Still, I'd better get out of here before they change their mind and come after me." 

MEDICAL UPDATE: Brown emphasized that he'll play Saturday against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome after returning to practice despite a sore thigh muscle directly above his knee. As for whether Brown will make his return to actual game action since his three-year hiatus because of an eye injured by an errantly-tossed penalty flag, Ravens coach Brian Billick said he thinks Brown will likely play based on his work Wednesday. He offered the caveat that Brown has to continue to progress, though. Outside linebacker Peter Boulware (neck) and safety Anthony Mitchell (ankle) returned to practice after missing Tuesday's workouts. 

Meanwhile, Suggs, 20, sat out of practice because of sensations of pain in his upper spine. He underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam Wednesday and said he has no history of neck or back ailments. He hadn't heard the results as of early in the night. "It's just a little sharp pain," said Suggs, a first-round pick. "It should be all right." Offensive guard Bennie Anderson sprained his left ankle slightly, but returned, as did receiver Randy Hymes, who also turned his ankle on the new artificial turf. The remainder of the injured list who didn't practice: receiver Javin Hunter (ruptured Achilles' tendon, out for season), tight end Trent Smith (broken tibia, out for season), linebacker Bernardo Harris (broken fibula, out until November), running back Musa Smith (knee), center Mike Flynn (knee), receiver Frank Sanders (toes), Devoe (hamstring), punter Dave Zastudil (hamstring), outside linebacker Cornell Brown (hamstring), fullback Harold Morrow (knee), cornerback Tom Knight (hamstring) and safety Ray Perryman (shoulder). 

Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap practiced without incident for the second consecutive day after experiencing back spasms earlier in camp. Billick said he was uncertain if he would play Heap against the Falcons. "He is feeling pretty good," Billick said. "We will have to see. We don't want to put him at risk." Billick said the Ravens will bring most of the team to Atlanta unless an injury precludes them from traveling for treatment purposes. 

QUOTABLE: Billick on the decision to move practice to Baltimore, which was made late Tuesday night: "It's just like high school, get your pads off, sit on the bus, work, get back on stinky as all get out, get your pads off and come on back." 

QUICK HIT: On crutches, Hunter attended practice for the first time since suffering his injury last week.

Aaron Wilson writes for The Carroll County Times


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