Dumervil won’t play in Sun­day’s opener

Timetable for re­turn of OLB is un­cer­tain

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS & NFL - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/ed­wardleesun Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Jeff Zre­biec con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

A set­back re­lated to off­sea­son foot surgery will pre­vent Elvis Dumervil from play­ing in the Ravens’ sea­son opener against the Buf­falo Bills on Sun­day at 1 p.m. at M&T Bank Sta­dium.

The out­side line­backer said Wed­nes­day that the in­jury will force him to miss his first sea­son opener since 2010, when he sat out the en­tire year be­cause of a torn pec­toral mus­cle.

“I won’t be able to go this week,” Dumervil said. “It’s one of those things where your body kind of tells you when it’s ready. So we’re all push­ing. We wanted it to be Week 1, but un­for­tu­nately it wasn’t.”

Dumervil, 32, did not par­tic­i­pate in Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice and has not worked out with the team since be­ing ac­ti­vated off the phys­i­cally-un­able-top­er­form list Aug. 22. That is around the time Dumervil ac­knowl­edged that he had “a mi­nor set­back.”

Dumervil, who had six sacks last sea­son after a fran­chise-record 17 in 2014, de­clined to give a timetable for his re­turn.

Al­bert McClel­lan started in Dumervil’s spot in the first three pre­sea­son games, and Za’Dar­ius Smith and Matthew Judon could play against the Bills. Even though McClel­lan has not started in a game since 2012 and has just two sacks in his ca­reer, Dumervil said he is not wor­ried about the sixth-year player.

“He’s been do­ing a great job all pre­sea­son, all camp,” Dumervil said. “So he’s a vet­eran. He’s a guy that’s been around the league and has done it. He’s one of our core guys on spe­cial teams, and he’s been dom­i­nat­ing that phase the past few years. So he’s ca­pa­ble, and we’re all con­fi­dent in him play­ing on de­fense.” Elvis Dumervil Forsett al­ways in­tended to re­turn: Coach John Har­baugh said Tues­day that the Ravens took a cal­cu­lated risk in ter­mi­nat­ing Justin Forsett’s con­tract and ex­pos­ing him to a bet­ter of­fer

Tonight’s picks

PAN­THERS@BRON­COS Jen Badie: Pan­thers Ed­ward Lee: Pan­thers Mike Pre­ston: Pan­thers Peter Sch­muck: Bron­cos Mark Selig: Bron­cos Childs Walker: Pan­thers Jeff Zre­biec: Pan­thers from a com­peti­tor. On Wed­nes­day, the run­ning back said the team’s fears were un­founded.

Speak­ing to the me­di­aafter prac­tice, Forsett said he had al­ways planned on re­turn­ing to the or­ga­ni­za­tion that re­warded him for his 1,266-yard, eight­touch­down per­for­mance in 2014 with a three-year con­tract for $9 mil­lion be­fore the 2015 cam­paign.

“That was the plan,” he said. “I wasn’t go­ing to turn down $10 mil­lion if some­body of­fered me $10 mil­lion. But I al­ways wanted to be back here.

“At no time is it fun to be in the un­em­ploy­ment line, no mat­ter if it’s planned out. Still, a tough de­ci­sion had to be made. I’m def­i­nitely hun­gry and ready to get back out there where I’ll never be in that po­si­tion again.”

Forsett, who jok­ingly com­pared the re­lease to a “trial sep­a­ra­tion” (“We got back to­gether, and now we’re hap­pily ever after.”), said he and his agent talked to a cou­ple of teams, but none got close to what the Ravens had of­fered. And in the end, Forsett said he be­lieved gen­eral man­ager Ozzie New­some would bring him back.

“You got to trust them a lot to sign off on be­ing re­leased,” Forsett said. “I talked to my agent, and he’s sup­posed to keep me em­ployed. And telling him that I was­go­ing to take a cou­ple of days off was a dif­fer­ent dy­namic. You have to trust Ozzie, who has been noth­ing but good to me. So I went with the plan and it worked out.” Per­ri­man ex­cited about de­but: The sea­son opener is an an­tic­i­pated mo­ment for many, but it might be dif­fi­cult to ri­val the emo­tions bub­bling in­side wide re­ceiver Bre­shad Per­ri­man.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound player, the Ravens’ first-round pick in the 2015 draft, has not played in a game of sig­nif­i­cance since Dec. 26, 2014, when he led Cen­tral Florida against North Carolina State in the Bit­coin Bowl (now the St. Peters­burg Bowl).

After Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice, Perri- man ac­knowl­edged the im­por­tance of Sun­day’s opener.

“There’s a lot on the line,” he said. “This is the first game, but it’s the whole team. I’m go­ing to at­tack it like any other game — just go out there ... and try to dom­i­nate and have fun.”

Since strain­ing the pos­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in his right knee — an in­jury that kept him from play­ing last sea­son — and par­tially tear­ing the ACL in his left knee in June, Per­ri­man has worked to re­cover and then to de­velop co­he­sion with quar­ter­back Joe Flacco and wide re­ceivers Steve Smith Sr., Mike Wal­lace and Ka­mar Aiken.

“My ex­pec­ta­tions are for him to go out there and get open,” Flacco said. “We haven’t had a ton of work to­gether. I just got to keep it sim­ple, hit him in the chest and give him a chance to make plays.” End zone: With Dumervil out for Sun­day’s opener, Za’Dar­ius Smith’s re­turn to prac­tice is timely. The­out­side line­backer had not prac­ticed since Aug. 24 be­cause of an in­jured an­kle. ... Rookie run­ning back Ken­neth Dixon is us­ing crutches and is not ex­pected to play Sun­day after strain­ing the MCLin his left knee in the 30-9 pre­sea­son vic­tory over the Detroit Li­ons on Aug. 27. … Cor­ner­back Jer­raud Pow­ers did not prac­tice be­cause of an an­kle in­jury. … Tight ends Den­nis Pitta (bro­ken fin­ger) and Maxx Wil­liams (knee), left guard John Urschel (shoul­der) and cor­ner­back Sha­reece Wright (foot) prac­ticed fully. … The Bills listed five re­serves on their in­jury re­port. Backup cor­ner­back Kevon Sey­mour (ham­string) did not par­tic­i­pate, while backup right guard Ryan Groy (ribs) was lim­ited. ... Steve Smith Sr. wore gold cleats dur­ing prac­tice and warmups, but the vet­eran re­ceiver said he will not wear themin games. “The­yare hand­ing out [NFL] fines like they are hand­ing out park­ing tick­ets in down­town Bal­ti­more,” Smith joked. “I’m not do­ing that.”

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