Wood­head to IR; Lang­ford steps in

Suggs fo­cused on bat­tle with Browns tackle Thomas; Wed­dle re­turns to prac­tice

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS - By Jeff Zrebiec and Ed­ward Lee jeff.zrebiec@balt­sun.com ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jef­fzre­biec­sun twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun

Ravens run­ning back Danny Wood­head now has eight weeks to re­cu­per­ate from an in­jured left ham­string.

The Ravens put the vet­eran on in­jured re­serve Thurs­day, mean­ing he won’t be el­i­gi­ble to re­turn to game ac­tion un­til the team’s Week11­matchup with the Green Bay Pack­ers on Nov. 19.

If the Ravens de­cide Wood­head is one of two play­ers they’ll bring back to the ac­tive ros­ter from IR, he can re­turn to prac­tice in six weeks, but he can’t be ac­ti­vated un­til af­ter eight weeks. The Ravens have a Week 10 bye, so that means Wood­head wouldn’t be able to play un­til Week11.

To take his place on the ros­ter, the Ravens pro­moted for­mer Chicago Bears run­ning back Jeremy Lang­ford to the ac­tive ros­ter. The Ravens added Lang­ford, 25, to the prac­tice squad Sept. 4 and chose to pro­mote him over Alex Collins, the for­mer Seat­tle Sea­hawks run­ning back.

“You never want no­body to get hurt,” Lang­ford said af­ter Thurs­day’s prac­tice. “For me, it was just an op­por­tu­nity to come in here and work hard un­der a great coach and coach­ing staff. My op­por­tu­nity has come and I have to make the best of it.”

Lang­ford has 210 car­ries for 737 yards and 10 rush­ing touch­downs, and 41 catches for 421 yards and one touchdown in 28 to­tal games (five starts) for the Bears in 2015 and 2016. A fourth-round pick out of Michi­gan State in 2015, Lang­ford was ex­pected to be Chicago’s start­ing back last year, but an an­kle in­jury and the emer­gence of rookie Jor­dan Howard started his slide down the depth chart. He was let go by the Bears fol­low­ing the pre­sea­son af­ter they claimed Taquan Mizzell off waivers from the Ravens.

It’s un­clear whether Lang­ford will be ac­tive for the game Sun­day against the Cleve­land Browns. The Ravens could choose to just have two run­ning backs — Ter­rance West (Tow­son Uni­ver­sity, North­west­ern High) and Buck Allen — in uni­form.

Wood­head, 32, who bat­tled a ham­string prob­lem through­out train­ing camp, is a sig­nif­i­cant loss. He was on the field for just six plays in the opener against the Cincin­nati Ben­gals be­fore he pulled his left ham­string run­ning a pass route near the goal line. He had three catches for 33 yards and one carry for 4 yards.

“What a heck of a player, a heck of a player,” Ravens of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Marty Morn­hin­weg said. “So now we have some other guys, a whole group of guys that have to take that part over, and we’ll look for­ward to get­ting him back quite pos­si­bly at some point there.” Suggs read­ies for tough test: Ravens rush line­backer Ter­rell Suggs made clear Wed­nes­day that he’s not overly con­sumed by the de­fense’s matchup with Browns rookie quar­ter­back DeShone Kizer. He’s more fo­cused on who will be di­rectly in front of him much of Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Suggs and Browns left tackle Joe Thomas will re­new ac­quain­tances in the lat­est chap­ter of their ri­valry. Sun­day might carry a lit­tle ex­tra sig­nif­i­cance for Thomas, who is poised to play his 10,000th con­sec­u­tive snap.

A 10-time Pro Bowl se­lec­tion, Thomas, 32, has never missed a game or an of­fen­sive play. Over­all, he has played in all 9,996 of­fen­sive snaps since be­ing drafted in 2007.

That’s the long­est cur­rent streak in the league, and it’s be­lieved to be the long­est in NFL his­tory.

“God damn, that is le­git,” Suggs said when in­formed of Thomas’ streak. “That is pretty amaz­ing, es­pe­cially in this league. It is a phys­i­cal league for his po­si­tion. That is a pretty awe­some mile­stone, ac­com­plish­ment.”

Suggs, who is com­ing off a two-sack per­for­mance in Sun­day’s opener, has 17 ca­reer sacks and eight forced fum­bles in 25 games against the Browns, the most he has ver­sus any op­po­nent. Eight of those sacks, though, came be­fore Thomas en­tered the league.

Suggs, 34, does have one sack in four of the past six games against Cleve­land.

“It is not re­ally the rookie quar­ter­back I’m re­ally fac­ing. I have to go against the Hall of Famer,” Suggs said of Thomas. “Those matchups are al­ways fun. You al­ways want to play against the best.” Wed­dle back in, Wil­liams out: De­spite say­ing he still felt a lit­tle worn out, Ravens safety Eric Wed­dle re­turned to prac­tice Thurs­day af­ter miss­ing the work­out a day ear­lier be­cause of an ill­ness. How­ever, rookie out­side line­backer Tim Wil­liams, who could be in line to make his reg­u­larsea­son de­but Sun­day with Za’Dar­ius Smith not ex­pected to play, was side­lined Thurs­day with an ill­ness.

Smith, Wil­liams and cor­ner­backs Shel­don Price (con­cus­sion) and Jaylen Hill (ham­string) were the four Ravens not prac­tic­ing. Hello again: Only five op­pos­ing run­ning backs reached the 100-yard mark last sea­son against the Ravens, who will reac- quaint them­selves with the first one to do so. Cleve­land’s Isa­iah Crow­ell gained 133 yards — in­clud­ing 85 on a touchdown scam­per in the first quar­ter — in a 25-20 loss to the Ravens on Sept. 18, 2016.

In a sec­ond meet­ing with the Ravens on Nov. 10, the 24 year old man­aged only 23 yards on nine rushes, but mid­dle line­backer C.J. Mosley has not for­got­ten what Crow­ell did in the first game.

“A down­hill run­ner,” Mosley said Wed­nes­day of the 5-foot-11, 225-pound Crow­ell. “He can also be a perime­ter run­ner, but he’s def­i­nitely a big-play guy. Last year, the first time we played them — he got an 80-yarder on us. He can break tack­les.” End zone: The Ravens an­nounced that two of their all-time best play­ers, Jonathan Og­den and Ray Lewis, will be in Lon­don next week to take part in events be­fore the team’s game Sept.24 against the Jack­sonville Jaguars at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium. Og­den, Lewis and for­mer Jaguars Mark Brunell and Fred Tay­lor will par­tic­i­pate in a fan fo­rum and be fea­tured as the re­spec­tive team’s le­gends. … De­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dean Pees re­vealed that only one of the de­fense’s five sacks in Sun­day’s win against the Ben­gals was the re­sult of a blitz.

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