Yanda prac­tices, hopes to play

Team ex­pects to start 7th O-line in 7 weeks

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

As happy as Ravens fans might have been that the team did not place Mar­shal Yanda on injured re­serve, the five-time Pro Bowl right guard might have been even more re­lieved that his injured shoul­der would not end his year with the team lead­ing the AFC North with seven games re­main­ing in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“We’re work­ing through it, and we’re try­ing to get back out there when­ever I can,” he said af­ter par­tic­i­pat­ing in Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice. “So I’m still prac­tic­ing and just try­ing to fight my way back out there.”

Yanda’s po­ten­tial re­turn for Sun­day’s game against the NFC East-lead­ing Dal­las Cowboys would be sig­nif­i­cant for an of­fen­sive line that knows it will not have start­ing rookie left guard Alex Lewis be­cause of a high right an­kle sprain.

John Urschel, who is ex­pected to start for Lewis, started three games at left guard when Lewis shifted to left tackle for injured rookie Ron­nie Stan­ley. Urschel said know­ing that he will be start­ing in­def­i­nitely has not changed his ap­proach.

“It’s al­ways the type of deal where I’m try­ing to help the team how­ever I can,” he said. “If they need me, if some­one goes down, I’m ready to go in.”

The Ravens are poised to start their sev­enth dif­fer­ent of­fen­sive line in the past seven weeks. But Urschel had lined up be­tween Stan­ley and cen­ter Jeremy Zut­tah in the pre­sea­son, and that fa­mil­iar­ity will be key, coach John Har­baugh said, against a Cowboys de­fense that ranks third in the NFL against the run and eighth in points.

“You’d like to have your of­fen­sive line with some con­ti­nu­ity,” Har­baugh said. “I think you see that with them work­ing to­gether on those com­bi­na­tion blocks, the calls, be­ing on the same page — just the foot­work, one guy work­ing next to another guy and hav­ing the tim­ing of the foot­work where we don’t step on one another, just some­thing as sim­ple as that. It’s def­i­nitely a chore­ographed type of a thing with that of­fen­sive line. We’re work­ing to­ward that with the young guys [and] with the in­juries.” Not-so-mild-man­nered re­porters: Out­side line­backer Terrell Suggs took a turn at be­ing a reporter Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon while Bal­ti­more-area re­porters were in­ter­view­ing Cowboys rookie quar­ter­back Dak Prescott.

“Hack­saw Smithers here,” Suggs be­gan. “What do you think of Terrell Suggs and how he’s been play­ing this year?” “Who is there?” Prescott asked. “This is Hack­saw,” Suggs replied. “Smithers.” “Oh, OK,” Prescott an­swered. “Yeah, Suggs is great. I mean, he’s a guy that’s been play­ing well in this league a long time. We know how spe­cial of a player he is.”

“I ap­pre­ci­ate you,” Suggs said, munch­ing on a Reese’s Peanut But­ter Cup. “Thank you.”

Ear­lier this sea­son, Buf­falo Bills coach Rex Ryan, a for­mer Ravens de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor, interrupted a con­fer­ence call with New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots wide re­ceiver Ju­lian Edel­man, in­tro­duc­ing him­self as “Walt Patul­ski from The Buf­falo News” and ask­ing Edel­man whether he planned to play quar­ter­back in their game Oct. 2.

Edel­man said he was will­ing to do what­ever it took to help the team and then re­ferred “Walt Patul­ski” to Pa­tri­ots coach Bill Belichick for more in­for­ma­tion. Mar­shal Yanda Dumervil non­com­mit­tal: Out­side line­backer Elvis Dumervil (foot) took part fully in Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice, mark­ing his first ap­pear­ance on the field since he played Oct. 9 in a16-10 loss to the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins. But the 32-year-old, who said he was “feel­ing great,” de­clined to say whether he will play against Dal­las, de­fer­ring to Har­baugh.

“I re­ally don’t know,” he said. “I’m just go­ing out there and re­ally work­ing my craft and do­ing what I do.”

Dumervil, who has sat out the past four games, un­der­went foot surgery in the off­sea­son and was not ac­ti­vated from the team’s phys­i­cally-un­able-top­er­form list un­til Aug. 22. Af­ter sit­ting out the first three games of the sea­son, he played against the Oak­land Raiders and Wash­ing­ton, but did not record a sack or a tackle.

Dumervil said he has re­gained strength in his foot, adding: “We’ve been re­ally work­ing like two-a-days to try and get as much as we can. We

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made a tremen­dous amount of progress in the past few weeks. So I re­ally feel good.” No prac­tice for three play­ers: Cor­ner­back Jim­mySmith­did not prac­tice Wed­nes­day be­cause of what the team called a back ail­ment in its in­jury re­port. Smith was joined by Lewis and tight end Crock­ett Gill­more (pulled ham­string).

Har­baugh did not seem ter­ri­bly wor­ried about Smith, say­ing: “I don’t an­tic­i­pate it be­ing a con­cern. Heshould be out there Sun­day. I ex­pect him to prac­tice this week.” End zone: Dal­las prac­ticed Wed­nes­day with­out three starters: strong safety Barry Church (frac­tured right fore­arm), cor­ner­back Mor­ris Clai­borne (strained groin) and left tackle Ty­ron Smith ( bulging disk in back, hip flexor). De­fen­sive end DeMar­cus Lawrence, who sacked Pitts­burgh Steelers quar­ter­back Ben Roeth­lis­berger in Sun­day’s 35-30 win, was limited by a back ail­ment. Backup quar­ter­back Tony Romo (bro­ken bone in back) par­tic­i­pated fully. … Romo en­dorsed Prescott as the starter Tues­day in an emo­tional speech that in­cluded an ad­mis­sion that Prescott “has earned the right to be our quar­ter­back.” Prescott ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion of and ad­mi­ra­tion for Romo, say­ing: “It was a heart­felt state­ment. It was a guy that cares a lot about this team, cares a lot about play­ing, cares a lot about our suc­cess. He’s a team player, and that just shows from yes­ter­day.”

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