Notebook: Kelechi Osemele Returns To Practice


Rookie lineman Kelechi Osemele returned to practice on Friday for the first time since minicamp in June.

The second-round pick was held out for more than a month because of back spasms, but the Ravens eased him back into action.

"This was a good day to get him back," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We were not going to put him in full force. We wanted to ease him in, just to make sure the back didn't cramp up on him. It looks like he got through pretty well."

In his first day back, Osemele took reps with the first team offense at right tackle. With Michael Oher back at left tackle because of Bryant McKinnie's absence, the Ravens are looking at Osemele as the possible starter at right tackle going into the season.

And Harbaugh has confidence that the rookie would be up to the task.

"We definitely feel like he's a guy we could plug in and he could start," Harbaugh said. "Absolutely."

Harbaugh added that he also thinks the players Osemele will have to beat out for the job – Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood – would be able to step in and start right away.

"But KO is talented," Harbaugh said. "He's tough. He's really smart."

Ravens Being Careful With Ngata

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata missed practice for the second day in a row as he recovers from a hamstring injury. The seven-year veteran tweaked his hamstring running the conditioning test, and coaches aren't rushing him back on the field.

"That's a hamstring," Harbaugh said. "It's not a major hamstring, but Haloti has been around a long time and I think we'll bring him back when the time is right here. It won't be real long, but it's going to be a few days."

With Ngata out, the Ravens have been using free-agent acquisition Ryan McBean in his place. The reps could be valuable for McBean, a veteran lineman who is looking to earn his way onto the roster.

Webb Misses Practice

Starting cornerback Lardarius Webb also missed Friday's practice to tend to a personal issue.

"It's no problem, just something he had to take care of at home with his son," Harbaugh said. "I expect him back tomorrow."

With Webb not at practice, Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith took all of the reps with the first-team defense. Both of them played well, as they both had some pass breakups and played tight coverage on the receivers.

Offense Shreds Defense In Two-Minute Drill

In a two-minute drill during 11-on-11 action, the Ravens offense got the best of the vaunted defense.

Quarterback Joe Flacco marched the team right down the field and capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to tight end Ed Dickson. He spread the ball around, tossing passes to Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith.

The most entertaining part of the drive was the way Flacco was trash-talking to legendary linebacker Ray Lewis.

On one play, Lewis gambled and tried to break up a pass to Dickson over the middle, but he missed on his attempt to swat at the ball and Dickson made the catch and continued up the field. Lewis fell down on the play and Flacco shouted across the line, "That's a missed tackle, Ray."

These guys are competitive.

Just wait until tomorrow when the pads come on.

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