Flacco practices, uncertain for Sunday
Dumervil, Mosley remain out; Orr getting noticed
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco sauntered onto the practice field at 11:39 a.m. Friday. He caught a football from practice squad cornerback Asa Jackson and returned it with a behind-the-back pass.
He then went over to the rest of the quarterbacks and started loosening his right arm. Flacco threw several short passes to tight end Dennis Pitta, then some intermediate ones. He showed no signs of discomfort in the sore right shoulder that kept him out of practice for the previous two days.
“He looked good. He was throwing the ball well. He didn’t seem in any kind of pain. Yeah, we’re excited to have him back out there, for sure,” Pitta said. “It was walkthrough tempo. Just throwing with him, he had good zip on the ball and good velocity. So we should see same old Joe Flacco.”
Coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal about Flacco’s status for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, and the quarterback was listed as questionable on the final injury report. If Flacco can’t play, Ryan Mallett would get the start.
That Flacco practiced as a full participant, though, was certainly a step toward playing Sunday.
“We’ll see how he responds tomorrow,” said Harbaugh, who said earlier in the week that he believed Flacco will play. “He was out there running around a little bit, throwing the ball a little bit. We’ll see what happens. It was encouraging. I’m always for that, seeing Joe out there. It’s a good thing.”
Asked whether Flacco is a game-time decision, Harbaugh said, “I’m not putting any labels on it.”
Pitta said he’d be surprised if Flacco doesn’t play Sunday. The quarterback had started 137 consecutive games, including playoffs, to begin his career before he tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in November. He was unavailable to comment after practice Friday because he was getting treatment.
“I don’t really know his medical status, but it was encouraging to see him out there today, for sure,” Pitta said. Two out, five doubtful to play: For the second straight week, the Ravens won’t have strong-side linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot) and middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (hamstring). Both players were declared out for the Jets game.
Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (ankle), right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder), Quarterbacks Joe Flacco (5) and Ryan Mallett share a laugh as they walk off the field after practice Friday morning. Flacco is listed as questionable Sunday against the Jets. linebacker Terrell Suggs (biceps), and defensive backs Shareece Wright (hamstring) and Kendrick Lewis (thigh) are doubtful to play. Smith and Yanda missed last week’s loss to the New York Giants as well and haven’t practiced in two weeks.
Wide receiver Kamar Aiken (thigh), offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot), cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (concussion) and Jerraud Powers (thigh) and return specialist Devin Hester Sr. (thigh) are questionable.
Jimmy Smith remains in the concussion protocol, but he made enough progress to practice on a limited basis over the past three days. Hester, who missed last week’s game, returned to practice Friday.
“We got a little over 48 hours still,” Hester said. “I think I should be good and ready to go.” Remember me? Za’Darius Smith is hoping to get reacquainted with Jets starting quarterback Geno Smith on Sunday. When the Ravens outside linebacker was taking his college visit to West Virginia, his host on the trip was Geno Smith, the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback at the time.
“To get a chance to see him, get close to him and actually probably sack him would be great,” said Za’Darius Smith, who is looking for his first sack of the season.
When a reporter joked that Geno Smith must not have done a great job as host because Za’Darius Smith wound up going to Kentucky, the Ravens’ second-year linebacker said: “I’m not going to say that. He did a great job with what he did, especially being a host.” Unknown no longer: In his first year as a starter, weak-side linebacker Zachary Orr leads the Ravens in tackles with 51. He also has two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one interception and three pass breakups. The numbers are somewhat startling when considering that the 6-foot, 225-pound Orr was signed by the organization as an undrafted rookie in 2014 and had just 22 tackles last year.
“I think it’s going pretty well,” Orr said after Wednesday’s practice. “I was able to come in and do my job.”
When the club allowed Daryl Smith, who led the team with 121 tackles, to walk away as an unrestricted free agent after last season, there was some question about who would slide next to Mosley in the defense’s 3-4 scheme. Now with Mosley likely to sit out his second consecutive game because of a hamstring injury, the defensive interior is headed by the North Texas graduate with a degree in kinesiology.
Orr is tied for 12th in the NFL in tackles and tied for first in fumble recoveries.
“I told him the other day he’s making a name for himself in this league,” Harbaugh said. “Everybody is watching the tape, and they know who [No.] 54 is for the Ravens right now. That’s what you hope for guys. He’s really come through.” Taliaferro close to return: The Ravens are considering activating running back Lorenzo Taliaferro before today’s 4 p.m. deadline. Taliaferro, who is on the physically-unable-to-perform list, returned to practice this week. “He was moving around pretty well,” Harbaugh said. “That’s just another one we’ll have to decide on.”