Rookie defensive end Paul Kruger would like to end the speculation. Yes, he is eager to play special teams for the Ravens. No, he hasn't refused to do it.
"I've been practicing with special teams since Day One," Kruger said Wednesday. "The biggest thing I want people to understand is, I'm 100 percent willing and excited to be on any special teams, at any position on the field that I can.
"The notion that I have refused to play is just ridiculous. The coaches wouldn't allow that in the first place."
Kruger, a second-round draft pick this year, has been inactive each of the Ravens' first three games. The Ravens say the decision is based on which backup players give the team the best chance to win each week.
Even with Jarret Johnson nursing an injured shoulder, Kruger was inactive for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. Dwan Edwards became the player who spelled Johnson.
Other players who have been active ahead of Kruger include Jameel McClain, Antwan Barnes and Edgar Jones.
Kruger is so eager to play that last week he volunteered to play as an extra tight end. During his college career at Utah, he once spent a few weeks learning the position when coaches considered using him in dual roles.
"Nothing came of it," Kruger said of his suggestion to play tight end. "I would need to learn [plays], but as far as the physical aspect, I could definitely play tight end."
The Ravens say Kruger has done nothing wrong and say he will get his chance eventually, most likely when there is an injury in the defensive front. "At some point in time, he's going to be really important to us," coach John Harbaugh said Monday.
In special team drills Wednesday, Kruger ran down under kicks several times.
It's not the first time a second-round pick spent a fair amount of time on the inactive list. In 2004, Edwards was active for only four games.