Injury Picture Brightens

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Notebook

Offensive Line Starters Grubbs, Oher Able To Return To Practice

August 10, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

The trainer's room at Ravens training camp is getting a little less crowded.

Although linebacker Terrell Suggs (strained left heel) and wide receiver Mark Clayton (strained left hamstring) are sidelined, the team got some good news during Sunday's practice at McDaniel College in Westminster.

A pair of starters - left guard Ben Grubbs and right tackle Michael Oher - as well as offensive tackle Oniel Cousins and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo practiced to varying degrees. It was a positive sign to coach John Harbaugh.

"Guys came into camp - as we've said before - in really good shape and ready to go," Harbaugh said. "So that helps limit the little things you get. When guys start getting held out, it's usually an accumulation of things. So if you get the one major thing, the fluke thing, there's nothing you can do about it. But when things start adding up, like it's a hamstring and then it's a groin and then it's a calf strain, that's what holds guys out.

"But when you're in good shape, usually it's one thing that you can go and get treatment on and get it right, and you get back. Our guys have established that."

Grubbs took part in his first practice since Wednesday after experiencing what Harbaugh called "tightness" in his ankle. But Harbaugh wasn't ready to pronounce Grubbs, who was limited in his involvement, ready for full contact.

Oher did not appear to be restricted by the calf strain that bothered him Saturday. Cousins (sprained left ankle) and Ayanbadejo (sprained toe) were limited to a few individual drills. Also, free safety Ed Reed did not wear a red jersey for the first time since camp began, but Harbaugh said he had not talked to Reed or trainer Bill Tessendorf to determine whether Reed could get involved in full-contact exercises.

Cornerback Domonique Foxworth (hamstring) was pulled as a precaution toward the end of practice, and offensive tackle Stefan Rodgers was stepped on.

In addition to Suggs and Clayton, defensive tackles Justin Bannan (excused day off) and Lamar Divens (hip) and wide receivers Biren Ealy (groin) and Thomas White (hamstring) did not practice.

With Sunday's temperature topping out at about 95 degrees, the Ravens took pains to make sure the players did not wilt in the heat, dressing them in shells and shorts and stopping practice for a water break.

Even so, players were clearly tired and needed more than the usual few seconds to catch their breaths. Cornerback Fabian Washington wrote on Twitter that he had lost 6 pounds.

Harbaugh said the players withstood the heat well.

"Well, the good thing was we didn't have a lot of humidity," he said. "It was hot, and we needed that. I guess we're going to get a couple days in a row of heat. So it'll be a plus for us. Whatever comes, we like. If it's cool, it means we get more done. If it's hot, it means we get just as much done. It's hot and you get used to it. Our guys handle it pretty well."

Tribute to Johnson

Harbaugh, who attended a memorial service Friday for former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, said he was touched by the swell of people who paid tribute to Johnson.

"You go to something like that and there's 300, 400 people there, and you know every one of them - whether it was coaches who were with Jim in Indianapolis when my brother played there or Eagles players or people in the organization or friends of Jim's that we played golf with in the summer," Harbaugh said. "It's just amazing how that whole thing works. Every moment of the afternoon was hugging somebody who cared about Jim as much as we did."

End zone

During one full-team drill, the offense was ordered to drive the length of the field in an overtime period. In nine possessions, the offense crossed midfield just once, and seven series ended in punts. On the other two possessions, Reed recovered a low shotgun snap off the hands of quarterback Joe Flacco and returned it for a touchdown, and strong safety Dawan Landry intercepted a pass from Flacco that was tipped by cornerback Frank Walker. ... Marines coaching the Navy sprint football team attended practice and took kickoff coverage duty twice. Said Harbaugh: "We had them earn their meals. They had to run down on the kickoff team. Just an honor, what they're doing. We appreciate having them here." ... With rookie Graham Gano having the day off, kicker Steve Hauschka went 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts. ... Today's morning practice is closed to the public. The afternoon session is open to fans and scheduled to begin at 2:45.

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