Rookie LT Stanley eyes return from foot injury
Smith looking forward to matching up against Giants WR Beckham
With right guard Marshal Yanda and right tackle Rick Wagner dealing with injuries and sitting out Wednesday’s practice, the Ravens offensive line could use a boost. Rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley would love to help.
The sixth overall draft pick sat out his seventh consecutive practice because of his foot but called the chances of his returning for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants “good.”
“Day by day, it’s getting better every day,” Stanley said Wednesday. “So I’m very happy with the progress.”
Stanley, who has sat out the team’s past two games, said he has begun to reach certain benchmarks in his recovery, such as anchoring, pushing off and changing direction. Stanley said he thinks he would need just one practice to regain his rhythm.
“It’s really all mental at this level, figuring out what the guy you’re going against likes to do and his tendencies and whatnot — really, the whole defensive scheme, and that’s just through studying and film work,” he said.
Without Stanley, the Ravens started James Hurst in a 28-27 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 2 and fellow rookie Alex Lewis in a 16-10 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Wagner injured his thigh against the Redskins, forcing Yanda to move from right guard to right tackle and backup Ryan Jensen to fill in at right guard.
Stanley acknowledged that injuries to the line have heightened his desire to return.
“Seeing my guys out there fighting and fighting their butts off, I definitely want to be out there and help them,” he said.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace, who injured his ribs against Washington, wore a noncontact pinnie during Wednesday’s practice. But he said it was only precautionary.
“I’m a little sore, but I’ll be fine,” he
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Cornerback Shareece Wright returned after missing Sunday’s game because of back spasms that he said began to flare up last week. He said the pain has subsided to the point where he will be available to play against New York, barring any setbacks. Jimmy Smith vs. Beckham: Jimmy Smith has lined up against promising young wide receivers this season. Sunday’s game against the Giants should present the Ravens cornerback with his most difficult assignment yet: Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham caught 200 passes in just 30 games, the fewest in NFL history, and is tied with former Houston Oilers wideout Bill Groman for the fewest games (21) to compile 2,000 receiving yards.
While Beckham’s talent is difficult to deny, his 2016 season has not gone smoothly.
Beckham is tied for 13th in the NFL in receptions (27) and ranks 18th in yards (359). He caught his first touchdown of the season in Sunday’s 23-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Beckham has garnered more attention so far for his emotional outbursts in losses to the Redskins and Minnesota Vikings. The book on Beckham is that when defenders are physical and talkative with him, he struggles.
Smith said he is looking forward to matching up against Beckham, not getting into an altercation with him.
“I don’t play the game to try to knock you out of the game,” he said. “I’m just going to play my game — the physical aspect of it, running around and hitting people and all that. If we’re going to have to get extracurricular after the whistle, if that’s the game he wants to play, we’ll play that game. If he wants to play the game regular and he wants to go out and compete, then we’ll compete.” Fundraiser for Brigance: The Brigance Brigade Foundation, created by Ravens senior adviser to player engagement O.J. Brigance and his wife, Chanda, will hold a fundraiser and celebration for Brigance’s 47th birthday Oct. 21 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Baltimore.
The second annual “Soiree with O.J. – A Rockin’ Good Time!” will raise funds to further the mission of his foundation, which helps people living with ALS.
Several current and former Ravens — including Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr, Morgan Cox and Trevor Pryce — are expected to attend.
“It is an amazing feeling to be able to hold this event nine years after my diagnosis, and celebrate turning 47. I truly am blessed,” Brigance, a former Ravens special team ace, said in a release. “But this event is about way more than a birthday, this event is about raising much needed funds and awareness.”
The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at brigancebrigade.org. End zone: In addition to the three absent offensive linemen, outside linebackers Suggs (noninjury reasons) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), inside linebacker Mosley (hamstring) and wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (ankle) did not practice. Mosley is expected to miss an indefinite period. Return specialist Devin Hester Sr. (thigh) participated on a limited basis. … The Ravens claimed offensive lineman Billy Turner off waivers. To make room for Turner, the club waived outside linebacker Chris Carter.