LB Mosley eager to return from injury
Yanda, Stanley back on offensive line that’s been ineffective lately
After sitting out two consecutive games to rest an ailing hamstring, Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley is eager to return against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
The starting inside linebacker said the recovery schedule for his injury — suffered in a 16-10 loss to the Washington Redskins on Oct. 9 —led to his targeting Sunday’s showdown as his return date.
“With a hamstring, there’s nothing you can do,” said Mosley, who was limited in Wednesday’s practice.
“You’ve just got to be patient with it because if you pull it again, it makes the wait even longer. I sat out my two games. So I’m definitely ready to get back, and it’s the best time to be here, against the Steelers.”
A Pro Bowl selection in his rookie season in 2014, Mosley, who still ranks third on the defense in tackles with 29 and first in interceptions with three, was replaced in the starting lineup by Zachary Orr, who shifted from his usual weak-side linebacker spot to Mosley’s middle linebacker position.
Albert McClellan moved from outside linebacker to fill Orr’s vacancy.
Mosley has been eager to help his teammates.
“I definitely want to be out there, especially with the way our linebackers were set up,” he said. “As soon as I went down, more people started getting injured. So we were really stressed at linebacker. We had guys playing at different spots and also played all four special teams.”
Players such as McClellan and cornerback Jimmy Smith enthusiastically welcomed Mosley back.
“C.J., he’s a Pro Bowler, a great teammate and a great leader,” McClellan said. “So with him back, that’s another leader we have on the field. So of course, everybody will be happy. Everybody’s back in their normal posi- Linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) intercepts a pass intended for the Jaguars’ Allen Robinson. Mosley is first on the Ravens in interceptions with three. tions as well. So it should be a little more productive with C.J. back in the lineup.” Offensive line healthy? The bye week featured the return of right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot) to full participation in Wednesday’s practice. It was an encouraging sign for a Ravens offensive line beset by injuries and ineffectiveness.
The mixing and matching of linemen at various positions has contributed to the team’s ranking 26th in the NFL in rushing yards and 25th in yards per carry. Quarterback Joe Flacco has been sacked 15 times and hit 45 times. He is on pace to be hit a career-high 102 times.
Asked whether the offensive line feels a sense of responsibility to anchor the offense, Yanda replied: “I feel like it’s on us every week. I feel like it starts up front. Obviously, in the NFL, it starts up front winning the line of scrimmage. When we do that, we usually have success. When we don’t do that and don’t protect the quarterback, things usually don’t go our way. It starts up front every week, especially in our division, and we understand that, for sure.”
Having Stanley, the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft, back in the lineup would allow rookie Alex Lewis to slide back to left guard. Similarly, the return of Yanda, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, would solidify the right side of the line with right tackle Rick Wagner.
After criticizing himself for not sparking the offense to score more points, Flacco acknowledged that it would be nice to operate behind the offensive line that started the first three games of the season, when the Ravens went 3-0.
“I think it’ll definitely be a help,” he said. “We still have to go out there and play, but it’s definitely nice to have those guys back.” More injury updates: Terrell Suggs was limited in Wednesday’s practice, but the outside linebacker said afterward that his torn left biceps — suffered in a 27-23 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 16 — should not prevent him from playing Sunday.
“My limitations are only limitations in my social life,” he quipped. “As far as football, we are pretty good. I’m working on being ambidextrous. We are pretty good.”
Similarly, free safety Lardarius Webb, who injured his hamstring in a 24-16 loss to the New York Jets on Oct. 23, participated on a limited basis and said he hopes to play against Pittsburgh. “The bye week came at a perfect time for me,” he said. “It helped a lot.”
Return specialist Devin Hester Sr., who has been bothered by a pulled groin, was not listed on the injury report.
Cornerback Shareece Wright practiced on a limited basis for the first time since the week leading up to the Giants game, and has missed two of the past three games because of a hamstring pull suffered in a 28-27 loss to the
TONIGHT’S GAME: FALCONS@BUCCANEERS Jen Badie: Falcons Edward Lee: Buccaneers Mike Preston: Falcons Peter Schmuck: Falcons Mark Selig: Falcons Childs Walker: Falcons Jeff Zrebiec: Falcons Oakland Raiders on Oct. 2. Wright’s absence had been filled in the past two games by rookie Tavon Young (concussion), who participated fully. End zone: Among the four players absent from practice was wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. Smith, who has not played since injuring his ankle against Washington, still ranks third on the Ravens in catches (27) and yards (310). Outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil (foot) and rookie Kamalei Correa (thigh) and tight end Crockett Gillmore (thigh) rounded out the players who did not participate. … Steelers starting right guard David DeCastro did not practice; the team cited non- i njury reasons. Three other starters — wide receiver Antonio Brown (hip), right tackle Marcus Gilbert (high ankle sprain) and defensive end Cameron Heyward (hamstring) — participated fully. … The Ravens signed tight end Nic Jacobs to the practice squad. Jacobs, 6 feet 5, 295 pounds, appeared in 24 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014 and 2015. He replaced running back Stephen Houston, who was cut Tuesday. Terrell Suggs