Clayton Back on the Field

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Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton seems to be on his way to recovering from an injured hamstring, as he suited up to practice in the portion open to the media on Wednesday.

Clayton originally hurt his hamstring in a training camp practice on Aug. 2, and head coach John Harbaugh said the wideout could miss a few preseason games because the hamstring suffered "significant bleeding."

"We're not going to be in any hurry to bring him back," Harbaugh said at the time. "We're going to be very safe with that."

The five-year veteran was back on the field making cuts with his position group and seemed to run without any apprehension. Since Harbaugh spoke to the media prior to practice, it is still unclear whether Clayton will play Saturday against the Carolina Panthers.

The Ravens were missing several key players in the session, however.

Defensive tackle Kelly Gregg was not on the field after injuring his shoulder Monday in Baltimore's 24-23 preseason win over the New York Jets.

"We had a little bit of a scare with Kelly, because we weren't sure exactly what it was," explained Harbaugh. "But, it turned out to be just a nagging deal. As you get older those things get a little sore, as we all know. He's going to be OK. We're going to be smart with him for the rest of the preseason."

While Gregg is not expected to play in either of the Ravens' final two preseason contests, Harbaugh said that "Buddy Lee" could go if it were the regular season.

Tight end L.J. Smith may not play in any more preseason games. He came up limping in the third quarter of Monday's game with a hamstring injury. Harbaugh attributed the hamstring pull to Smith's battle with previous ailments.

"It's going to take a little while," Harbaugh said. "What happens is that he had the hip flexor, the groin and sports hernia, then an upper hamstring. [With] these things, you compensate and they tie into one another, so he's just going to have to keep working hard. He's been working incredibly hard to try to get it right, and he's going to have to continue to do that.

"It's a long season and we're going to need him to be a really good player for us. We need to get him ready for hopefully Atlanta. And if not Atlanta, [then] Kansas City."

Harbaugh also said that there has been no word on the status of cornerback Samari Rolle, who remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a neck injury. Rolle has seen two specialists this summer.

"Hopefully he'll be able to play, but we're going to play it safe. We should know, by obviously, the end of training camp."

Other players not practicing were linebackers Terrell Suggs (heel) and Dannell Ellerbe (knee), guard Chris Chester (calf), offensive tackles Oniel Cousins (undisclosed) and Stefan Rodgers (undisclosed), and wideout Biren Ealy (undisclosed).

Meanwhile, receiver Derrick Mason donned the No. 9 jersey again instead of his usual No. 85 in honor of Steve McNair, the murdered quarterback that was his former teammate and friend.

Ravens spokesmen said that Mason wants to wear it during practices for the rest of the season, but he is unable to switch for games.

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