QB Mal­lett must be ready in a pinch

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS WEEKEND - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun

Sure, Ryan Mal­lett would love to know sooner rather than later his sta­tus for the Ravens’ game against the NewYork Jets this Sun­day at MetLife Sta­dium in East Ruther­ford, N.J.

But as the backup quar­ter­back, Mal­lett doesn’t get the lux­ury of ad­vance no­tice. So he’s not stress­ing out about whether he will start for Joe Flacco.

“You’ve got to be ready at a drop of a hat,” Mal­lett said af­ter Thurs­day’s prac­tice. “Some­thing can hap­pen dur­ing a game, any week of the sea­son. So you’ve just al­ways got to be ready.”

For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day, Mal­lett worked with the first-team of­fense as Flacco nursed a right shoul­der in­jury suf­fered in Sun­day’s 27-23 loss against the New York Giants. Mal­lett said he is root­ing for Flacco to re­turn to a team that has lost three straight games.

“I hope he’s out there Sun­day,” Mal­lett said. “As a com­peti­tor, of course I want to play, but I want what’s best for the team.”

Mal­lett started six games last sea­son — four for the Hous­ton Tex­ans, then the fi­nal two of the Ravens’ sea­son. He helped the Ravens beat the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers, 20-17, on Dec. 27 with a pass­ing per­for­mance that in­cluded a 68.3 per­cent com­ple­tion rate, 274 yards and one touch­down.

Mal­lett worked out with the starters this past off­sea­son while Flacco was re­cov­er­ing from surgery to re­pair his knee in­jury. Mal­lett is lean­ing on that fa­mil­iar­ity with his team­mates, and on of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Marty Morn­hin­weg, to help him this week.

“Be­ing able to be com­fort­able with the guys that are out there and throw to them a lit­tle bit more dur­ing the off­sea­son and this week while Joe is rest­ing has been good,” Mal­lett said.

Morn­hin­weg ex­pressed con­fi­dence in Mal­lett to lead the of­fense if Flacco is un­avail­able.

“He had a re­ally good prac­tice [Wed­nes­day] and even bet­ter prac­tice to­day,” Morn­hin­weg said. “So he had three or four things yes­ter­day. He cut that down to one or two to­day. … So I’m cer­tain he’s go­ing to be ready to play Sun­day, no ques­tion about it.” In­jury re­port: In ad­di­tion to Flacco, seven play­ers sat out their sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day of prac­tice: out­side lineback­ers Ter­rell Suggs (left bi­ceps) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), re­turn spe­cial­ist Devin Hester Sr. (thigh), in­side line­backer C.J. Mosley (ham­string), wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. (an­kle), corner­back Sha­reece Wright “You’ve got to be ready at the drop of a hat,” backup quar­ter­back Ryan Mal­lett said. (pulled ham­string) and right guard Mar­shal Yanda (shoul­der).

Corner­back Jimmy Smith (con­cus­sion) was lim­ited for the sec­ond straight day and wore a red non­con­tact mesh jersey over his uni­form. Corner­back Jer­raud Pow­ers (groin) was lim­ited in his re­turn Thurs­day. Join­ing them in lim­ited par­tic­i­pa­tion were wide re­ceiver Ka­mar Aiken (thigh) and free safety Ken­drick Lewis (thigh).

Rookie left tackle Ron­nie Stan­ley (foot) prac­ticed fully for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day

Wide re­ceiver Bre­shad Per­ri­man wore a non­con­tact jersey for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day. Af­ter wear­ing one Wed­nes­day, wide re­ceiver Mike Wal­lace prac­ticed with­out it. Dumervil work­ing: Hob­bled by a per­sis­tent foot ail­ment, Dumervil said Thurs­day that there is no timetable for his re­turn to the Ravens and that he isn’t en­tirely sure he will be able to play again this sea­son.

“All I can do is just go out and do what I need to do to try and get back, and it’s just wait­ing it out at that point,” Dumervil, 32, said. “So I’ve just got to keep go­ing, keep grind­ing, keep work­ing, and it’ll hap­pen.”

Dumervil, who sat out Sun­day’s loss, is loath to dis­cuss the specifics of his in­jury. Even af­ter coach John Har­baugh said nearly a week ago that Dumervil lacked the strength and ex­plo­sive­ness that made him one of the most feared pass rush­ers in the NFL, Dumervil shrugged off a ques­tion about the ex­act na­ture of the ail­ment, sim­ply re­fer­ring to it as “the foot area.”

Dumervil is un­able to help a pass rush that is tied for 19th in the league in sacks, with just 11 in six games.

“It’s al­ways tough as a com­peti­tor,” he said. “You want to go out and be as healthy as you can and be there for your team. But it’s a work in progress. So that’s what I’m do­ing.” Jack­son ‘blessed’ with sec­ond chance: Asa Jack­son’s re­turn to the Ravens did not res­onate un­til he made his way Wed­nes­day morn­ing to the en­trance of the team’s train­ing fa­cil­ity in Owings Mills — a place he had called home for four years.

“To be hon­est, it didn’t click for me un­til I came back this morn­ing and I was like, ‘Wow, this is re­ally hap­pen­ing,’ ” the corner­back and re­turn spe­cial­ist said af­ter Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice. “Not in a mil­lion years did I think I would be back play­ing here, but I’m just so happy and blessed that the coaches are giv­ing me an­other op­por­tu­nity, and I’m go­ing to do all I can with it.”

Se­lected in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL draft by the Ravens, Jack­son was signed Tues­day to the prac­tice squad. Jack­son would need to be pro­moted to the 53-man ac­tive ros­ter to play Sun­day, but with the un­cer­tain avail­abil­ity of Hester, Jimmy Smith, Wright and Pow­ers, Jack­son could be in line to play.

“That’s what I came here to do,” Jack­son, 26, said of con­tribut­ing. “I came here to play and help this team in any way. That would be awe­some, but it’s not a new thing to me. I’ll be pre­pared and ready to go if that’s what they need me to do.” End zone: Morn­hin­weg joked that he en­dured sev­eral nights of lim­ited sleep in his first week as the team’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor last week. “Heck, I went through al­most a whole bot­tle of Vi­sine,” he said. “We put ev­ery­thing we had into that thing, and it’s been sim­i­lar to this week.” … De­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dean Pees said he has been briefed by Morn­hin­weg on Jets start­ing quar­ter­back Geno Smith, whom Morn­hin­weg coached in 2013 and 2014. “I think it al­ways helps when some­body can give you in­sight on some­body’s ath­letic skills and per­son­al­ity and mind­set run­ning the sys­tem and all those kinds of things,” Pees said. “Marty was very com­pli­men­tary.”

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

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