Injured list shrinking as Ravens take on Redskins

<p>OWINGS MILLS - Rookie running back Musa Smith will not make his debut with the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night at FedEx Field against the Washington Redskins. Ever since the third-round draft pick from Georgia sprained a capsule in his knee as training camp opened, he has been limited in practice drills and inactive for games.&nbsp;</p>

Ravens coach Brian Billick ruled Smith out on Friday. Smith said he still has some swelling in his knee although anti-inflammatory medicine has been beneficial. Billick said center Mike Flynn, who is practicing after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery the first week of camp, probably won't play along with tight end John Jones. Jones suffered a concussion and sprained his neck in a 13-10 win over the Atlanta Falcons last week. Offensive tackle Orlando Brown, a Washington native who has a nagging knee injury, is likely to play his first game since returning from a three-year hiatus caused by an errantly-tossed penalty flag, Billick said. 

Rookie defensive end Jarret Johnson is questionable because of a sprained shoulder. Return specialist Lamont Brightful said his knee feels much better and he expects to return punts with running back Chester Taylor handling kickoff returns. Cornerback Alvin Porter (strained groin) said he hasn't been cleared for action. "It's coming along a lot better than I thought, but I'm definitely not playing," he said. 

Receiver Frank Sanders (toes), safety Ray Perryman (shoulder), cornerback Tom Knight (hamstring), linebacker Bernardo Harris (broken leg) and return specialist Hugh Smith (shoulder) won't play. Tight end Trent Smith (broken leg) and receiver Javin Hunter (ruptured Achilles' tendon) are out for the season. 

KICKING OFF: The duel between J.R. Jenkins and newcomer Wade Richey for the kickoff specialist job commences tonight in Landover. Richey has been in the league for six years and spent last season with the San Diego Chargers before being released last December with a knee injury. He ranked second in the NFL in touchbacks at the time. Jenkins booted his three attempts inside the 10-yard line against the Falcons, including one touchback. Billick said Jenkins will also handle field goals. Kicker Matt Stover said he will be available since his sore leg has improved the last few days after kicking too much at the Georgia Dome a week ago. "I didn't want to set myself back for the Pittsburgh game, so I took a few days off," Stover said. "It's fine now." 

NOT THE SAME: Left offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden grew up in Washington as a huge Redskins fan. His allegiances have obviously changed. Because of the league's constant flux in personnel, so has his familiarity. "It's still the Redskins in name, but to me it's not the Redskins I grew up loving," Ogden said. "I grew up watching the Hogs, Joe Theismann, John Riggins, RFK stadium, Jack Kent Cooke. That's what I remember about the Redskins, and to me, it's now what it used to be, so it doesn't mean as much to me. "Bruce Smith is a Buffalo Bill to me, even though he's a Redskin. It has nothing familiar to me, but I'm going to hear Hail to the Redskins going into the stadium and that will bring back some memories." 

FAMILIAR FACES: Ravens receiver Travis Taylor and linebacker Johnny Rutledge played for Redskins coach Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida. Redskins defensive tackle Martin Chase, a fifth-round pick of the Ravens in 1998 out of Oklahoma, was acquired in a trade this week from New Orleans. Chase played in college with Ravens nose guard Kelly Gregg. Former Ravens receiver Patrick Johnson is listed as third on the Redskins' depth chart and has two receptions for 33 yards.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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