Ray Rice Sits Out Practice
Running back Ray Rice sat out practice Wednesday as he recovers from a hip flexor strain that knocked him out of Sunday's game against Cleveland.
The injury is not considered long term, but the Ravens plan on giving Rice plenty of rest this week to try to get him ready for Sunday's matchup with the Houston Texans. As a sixth-year veteran, practice time is not as important for the perennial Pro Bowler.
"I'm probably going to be the guy that says that he doesn't need to practice," Head Coach John Harbaugh told the Houston media on a conference call. "It would probably be the prerogative of the head coach and we'll just see how he feels going into the game."
If Rice is unable to go, then second-year running back Bernard Pierce would take the bulk of the carries in the backfield. The Ravens also have recently-signed running back Shaun Draughn.
Rice has been a key piece of the offense for the last five years, and having him miss Sunday's game could significantly impact what the Ravens are able to do.
"That remains to be seen," Harbaugh said about how the offense would change without Rice. "I think that's something that we'll have to watch for on Sunday."
WR Thompson Returns, Jones Ruled Out
Wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot) returned to the practice field for the first time in nearly six weeks.
The second-year receiver was a limited participant in practice, and he indicated last week that he's close to returning to game action.
"We're definitely getting closer," Thompson said. "I'm feeling better every day, working and trying to get out there."
Thompson joined Torrey Smith, Brandon Stokley, Marlon Brown and Tandon Doss to give the Ravens five healthy receivers.
Veteran Jacoby Jones (knee) is still sidelined by a sprained knee that he suffered in the season opener, and he was officially ruled out for the game.
No Long-Term Injuries For Canty, A. Brown, C. Brown
In addition to Rice getting hurt Sunday, Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty (groin), linebacker Arthur Brown (pectoral) and cornerback Chykie Brown (knee) all left the game early.
All three of them underwent MRI's to determine the severity of the injuries, and the good news was that none of them suffered any serious damage.
"There was nothing on a long-term nature," Head Coach John Harbaugh confirmed Wednesday.
The Ravens still played it safe with them and all three sat out Wednesday's practice. The only other Raven who sat out practice was rookie offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot).
Rookie Williams Making Progress, Returns To Practice
Rookie third-round pick Brandon Williams (toe) was back on the practice field as a limited participant, as he's continuing to work his way back from an injury suffered at the end of the preseason.
He is no longer sporting a walking boot and is moving around withouta noticeable limp.
"It's definitely good to be out of the boot," Williams said. "I've made pretty good progress, just walking around getting a feel for it. I'm feeling good."
Wednesday was Williams' first practice during the regular season, and he said that he hopes to return to game action at "some point soon."
"I'm just working, trying to get back on the field," Williams said. "[My mentality] is positive. I'm just being positive every day, that's about it. Just trying not to let it get you down and just keep working to get back on the field."
Reed Limited, LT Brown Sits Out Practice
Ed Reed is making his return to Baltimore this week, and the Ravens fully expect him to make his Texans debut after missing the first two games with a hip injury.
Reed was officially listed as a limited participant Wednesday, but Head Coach Gary Kubiak said he's taken on a bigger workload in practice.
"I think he's as close to playing as he has been," Kubiak said. "His progress has been really good. It was a tough decision on Sunday. I think he was very, very close, but we decided to go in the other direction. We'll see where we're at. It's a day-to-day deal."
In addition to Reed's uncertainly, the Texans may be without their starting left tackle for this week's matchup.
Duane Brown (toe) sat out Wednesday's practice and Kubiak plans to rest him throughout the week in hopes that he'll be ready to go by gametime.
"It's going to be an end of the week decision," Kubiak said. "He's got a sprained toe – we'll see where we're at. He's one of those players where he can play without practicing."
Wide receiver Andre Johnson is also coming back from a concussion he suffered last week. Johnson did not practice Wednesday, but the Texans expect him to be ready Sunday.
"All indicators are – if everything goes well throughout the course of the week – he should be ready to go, but we'll see where we're at each day," Kubiak said.
The other limited participants for the Texans were tight end Owen Daniels (rest), cornerback Jonathan Joseph (rest) and left guard Wade Smith (knee).