Flacco doesn't practice due to sprained ankle

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's sprained right ankle can be filed under the category of not serious. Although Flacco didn't practice over the past few days during the bye week, he anticipates practicing Monday when the team returns to work heading into its upcoming game against the undefeated Denver Broncos.

"It feels good, I could easily play if we had to," Flacco said. "It's no big deal."

Flacco wasn't limping Wednesday, but does have some swelling in his ankle after getting his left foot stomped on by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen during the first quarter of a 33-31 loss.

Trying to retreat away from Allen, Flacco turned his ankle.

"It kind of irritated it," Flacco said.

He remained in the game and piled up a career-high 385 passing yards as he nearly engineered an epic comeback.

With Flacco passing for two touchdowns and 196 yards in the fourth quarter, the Ravens nearly overcame a 27-10 deficit.

"I think he's about four shoe sizes bigger right now than it was before, so it's really swollen," said Ravens coach John Harbaugh in a joking manner. "He should be back practicing Monday."

On Wednesday, Flacco was able to drop back from center a few times on the side while Troy Smith and John Beck took the snaps.

Flacco has never missed a start in 25 career games, including the postseason. He's expected to make a full recovery.

"I think I was a little bit limited if I tried to do a straight-ahead sprint," Flacco said. "Other than that, it feels pretty good. I'm going to give it some rest the next couple of days and come back ready to go."

The Audubon, N.J., native planned to attend the Philadelphia Phillies' playoff game with his family Wednesday night, rooting them on against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I don't know if I've always been a big Phillies fan, but I'm admitting I'm a little bit of a frontrunner," Flacco said. "I like a lot of the guys on their team. I'll go to the game with the family and root for those guys. I've always enjoyed watching baseball games."

GREGG, JOHNSON RESTRUCTURE CONTRACTS: The Ravens have restructured the contracts of nose guard Kelly Gregg and outside linebacker Jarret Johnson, according to NFL Players Association records.

Gregg's scheduled base salary for this year has been reduced from $3 million to $1.933 million. And Johnson's contract was reduced from $4 million to $1.983 million.

The Ravens created respective salary cap savings of $517,000 for Gregg and $870,000 for Johnson against this year's salary cap.

And Gregg and Johnson received $690,000 and $1.305 million in signing bonuses to be prorated over the remainder of their contracts.

The Ravens now have some more salary-cap room to work with.

One priority for the Ravens going forward is eventually locking up talented defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to a long-term contract extension.

No current talks are being held, but it's something that the organization would like to get accomplished at some point.

OHER-ALLEN REDUX: Following the verbal barbs exchanged between Ravens rookie offensive tackle Michael Oher and Allen, Harbaugh sought to clarify Oher's stance.

"I just wanted to comment on behalf of Michael Oher with the little firestorm that happened," Harbaugh said without being asked about the flap. "Michael Oher is a great kid. He's got tremendous respect for Jared Allen and all the guys he's played against. I think he looks at those guys and he's always kind of idolized NFL players. He wants to hold his own.

"He's got a lot of pride and it means a lot to him when he can go out there and, I'd say to a good degree, hold his own. Obviously, Jared Allen's a great player, put a lo t of pressure on us in that game. Michael knows that and respects that. We want Jared to know that and everybody out there to know that's the kind of guy Michael is."

Oher told the Carroll County Times on Tuesday that he respects Allen and considers it to be a closed matter despite Allen calling him an "idiot" who was "beaten like a red-headed stepchild."

"It's just a big misunderstanding," Oher said. "That guy's a great player. I have nothing but respect for that guy.

"He's doing a great job. He was definitely a challenge and I've got nothing but respect. We got into it during the game and it got kind of emotional, but it's over now."

QUICK HITS: Harbaugh expressed no surprise that the Ravens decided not to execute any trades heading into the NFL deadline. "We're always looking for better players, but we like the guys we have," Harbaugh said. … The Ravens aren't planning to spend their bye week exploring the mathematical scenarios they need to make the playoffs. "Oh, no, I would never do that," Harbaugh said. "Playoff calculations, that's taboo. You know how you make the playoffs? You win games, and that's what we need to do." … Harbaugh said he plans to attend his daughter's soccer games and school play and pose for a family picture. "I'm going to be busy," he said. "Thanks for asking."


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