Sev­eral vet­er­ans re­turn to lineup

Ravens still forced to start makeshift of­fen­sive line; team re­lies on Tucker

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Jeff Zre­biec jeff.zre­biec@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jef­fzre­biec­sun

MI­AMI GAR­DENS, FLA. — Most of the Ravens’ vet­er­ans who were held out of last week’s game against the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins re­turned to get their first pre­sea­son ac­tion Thurs­day against the Mi­ami Dol­phins. How­ever, the of­fen­sive line still bore lit­tle re­sem­blance to the group the Ravens hope to put out on the field in their Sept. 10 reg­u­lar-sea­son opener against the Cincin­nati Ben­gals.

With left tackle Ron­nie Stan­ley side­lined with an undis­closed in­jury, right guard Mar­shal Yanda be­ing held out as he con­tin­ues his re­cov­ery from off­sea­son shoul­der surgery and left guard Alex Lewis out for the sea­son be­cause of shoul­der surgery, the Ravens were again forced to start a makeshift of­fen­sive line.

James Hurst, who started at right tackle against the Red­skins, moved to left tackle in place of Stan­ley. Re­cently-signed Austin Howard oc­cu­pied the right tackle spot. Ryan Jensen re­mained at cen­ter with Matt Skura start­ing at right guard and Jar­rod Pugh­s­ley get­ting the as­sign­ment at left guard. Rookie fifth-round se­lec­tion Jer­maine Elue­mu­nor started at left guard last week, but he missed some prac­tice time this week with an undis­closed in­jury, so the Ravens went with Pugh­s­ley.

The first-team of­fen­sive line strug­gled in the first half as Skura was called for two penal­ties and Hurst, Jensen and Howard got one each.

Oth­er­wise, run­ning back Danny Wood­head, wide re­ceivers Mike Wal­lace and Jeremy Ma­clin and tight end Ben­jamin Watson got their first pre­sea­son ac­tion af­ter be­ing held out last week.

Wood­head­hadonecarry for two yards, but did not catch a pass. Wal­lace had two re­cep­tions for 33 yards and Watson caught one ball for11­yards. Ma­clin caught one ball for five yards.

The only other Ravens who weren’t in uni­form werequar­ter­back JoeFlacco(back), wide re­ceivers Bre­shad Per­ri­man (ham­string), Kenny Bell (ham­string) and Tim White (thumb), line­backer La­mar Louis (undis­closed), and cor­ner­backs Mau­rice Canady ( knee) and Bran­don Boykin ( undis­closed). Faith in Tucker: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is a vic­tim of his own suc­cess. Even his head coach, John Har­baugh, ac­knowl­edges that he’s guilty of tak­ing the league’s all-time most ac­cu­rate kicker for granted on oc­ca­sion.

Tucker has been so good that it’s news­wor­thy when he does miss, even if it’s in prac­tice. Dur­ing train­ing camp, Tucker has mis­fired on far more field-goal at­tempts than he has in pre­vi­ous sum­mers. While just about all the misses have been from more than 40 yards, it’s still jar­ring to see Tucker, whomade 38 of his 39 at­tempts last year, miss mul­ti­ple times in a prac­tice, which has hap­pened this sum­mer.

“We treat prac­tices very se­ri­ously — just like for pun­ters, kick­ers and all play­ers who are prac­tic­ing to get bet­ter. The re­sults of Justin’s train­ing camp, I think, are pos­i­tive,” Ravens as­so­ciate head coach and spe­cial teams co­or­di­na­tor Jerry Ros­burg said ear­lier this week.

Ros­burg said that the kick­ing bat­tery of Tucker, holder Sam Koch and long snap­per Mor­gan Cox has been work­ing hard to re­gain the tim­ing that they had last year.

Tucker had an­other good game Thurs­day, con­vert­ing on all three of his field-goal at­tempts from 57, 42 and 41 yards and mak­ing both of his ex­tra-point tries. It was an im­pres­sive per­for­mance given the poor field con­di­tions at Hard Rock Sta­dium.

Tucker also added a fum­ble re­cov­ery, pounc­ing on Senorise Perry’s fum­ble on a kick­off re­turn late in the sec­ond quar­ter. The re­cov­ery book-ended two Tucker field goals. End zone: The Ravens used de­fen­sive line­manPa­trick Ri­card at full­back ona­cou­ple of plays in the first half. … Tight end Maxx Wil­liams had a nice game with two catches for 48 yards. … There were no de­vel­op­ments on the Jeremy Zut­tah front as the free-agent cen­ter is still pon­der­ing sign­ing with the Ravens or In­di­anapo­lis Colts. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano an­nounced Thurs­day that his start­ing cen­ter, Ryan Kelly, will need foot surgery and could miss some time dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son. … Ravens safety Tony Jef­fer­son and Dol­phins wide re­ceiver Kenny Stills caught up be­fore the game. The two were for­mer room­mates at Ok­la­homa. … CBS an­nounced the broad­cast­ing crews ear­lier this week for the Ravens’ first three games. Spero Dedes and Adam Archuleta will be on the call for the reg­u­lar-sea­son opener against the Ben­gals; An­drewCat­alon and James Lofton have the Week 2 matchup with the Cleve­land Browns and the Week 3 game against the Jack­sonville Jaguars in Lon­don; and Ian Ea­gle and Dan Fouts will broad­cast the Ravens’ Week 4 game against the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers.

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