Flacco prac­tices, un­cer­tain for Sun­day

Dumervil, Mosley re­main out; Orr get­ting no­ticed

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS & NFL - By Jeff Zre­biec jeff.zre­biec@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jef­fzre­biec­sun Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Ed­ward Lee con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

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.”

KIM HAIRSTON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

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