RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Lee Evans back in a protective boot

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Lee Evans back in a protective boot

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OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens starting wide receiver Lee Evans is back in a protective boot on his left foot due to a lingering ankle injury that first started bothering him during the preseason, sidelining him at practice Wednesday.

Evans wore the boot following the Ravens’ third preseason game, returning to practice in advance of the Ravens’ 35-7 beating of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was targeted four times and didn’t catch a pass.

"It’s the same," Evans told 24×7 following the Pittsburgh game. "It is what it is."

Acquired via a trade from the Buffalo Bills, Evans caught a touchdown pass and led the Ravens with 128 receiving yards during the preseason.

If Evans can’t go, the Ravens would have to increase their reliance on wide receiver Anquan Boldin and tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta.

At the other receiver spot, they could go with rookie Torrey Smith or David Reed.

CARR VISITS SPECIALIST: Ravens cornerback Chris Carr continues to be plagued by a left hamstring injury that has bothered him since early in training camp, and visited a specialist recently in an effort to address the problem.

"I went to Texas and saw somebody and got another way of looking at the injury," Carr said. "I think combined with the stuff I’ve already been doing here, which has already been good, I think it’s going to be good.

"It’s been frustrating, because there’s been a lot of work going into it. It’s just been one of those nagging things, but I think it’s going to be better pretty soon."

Carr aggravated his leg again against the Steelers, but didn’t tear the hamstring.

"It was tough," Carr said. "This last game, it was on that receiver screen that I got caught in a really awkward position where I was really stretched out on my left leg and somebody was cutting me, so that did it. Other than that, I was fine, but it was kind of like the perfect storm. It’s been frustrating."

Besides Carr and Evans, offensive guard Ben Grubbs (toe) and rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith (high-ankle sprain) didn’t practice.

For the Titans, starting safety Chris Hope didn’t practice with a shoulder injury, along with reserve wide receiver Damian Williams (hamstring).

Defensive end William Hayes (shoulder) was limited.

Participating fully: running back Javon Ringer (back) and defensive ends Derrick Morgan (knee) and Jason Jones (knee).

DAVID REED RETURNS: Reed returned to practice after serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy.

The punishment stemmed from his probation before judgment sentence in a misdemeanor possession of marijuana case from last year that was initially placed on the inactive docket by a Baltimore County district judge.

"It was very disappointing being against our rivals and everything," Reed said. "I’m just happy I can get it behind me now and move on and just get better. It was hard. It was real hard.

"It was real disappointing. I’m just glad to get by it and move on from it. It definitely got me hungry watching."

Reed said he learned the suspension was being handed down midway through training camp.

Now, Reed is in the mix to resume his kickoff return duties and also operate possibly as the Ravens’ third wide receiver.

"Definitely, I can’t wait to show these guys that I’m a player, show the coaches and everybody that I’m back and everything," said Reed, who caught five passes for 84 yards during the preseason. "I feel like I can get in there."

He’s unsure if he’ll immediately become the primary kickoff returner again. Reed led the league with a 29.3 kickoff return average last season and established a franchise record for longest kickoff return with a 103-yard touchdown against the Houston Texans.

"I’m not sure, it’s up to [special teams coordinator Jerry] Rosburg," he said. "I’m just going to compete, continue to compete for it. I think I’m a great kick returner and I think I showed that last year, and I can only get better."

DIRTY PLAY?: Titans star running back Chris Johnson accused the Ravens of trying to injure him during their 13-10 AFC divisional playoff win over Tennessee during the 2008 season.

"They were trying to hurt me a little bit," Johnson told Tennessee reporters. "But the play I actually got hurt on, it was a fair play, somebody landed on my ankle the wrong way and I fell back the wrong way. It was a fair play when I got hurt."

Johnson rushed for 72 yards during the first half, but left the game with an ankle injury.

"I really don’t have any carry-over from then, that was two years ago," he said. "I’m just trying to win the game."

FOXWORTH IMPROVING: Domonique Foxworth was encouraged about how his knee responded during his first regular-season game since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last year.

"It’s getting a little bit better every day," Foxworth said. "It’s obviously good enough to play and good enough to play at a high level against the defending AFC champs. I stepped out there and held up my end.

"When I was asked to step into action, I did what I needed to do. That little bit of confidence will go a long way as I continue to rehab."

The Ravens’ depth at cornerback is being tested this week as Carr and Smith are dealing with injuries.

"Out on the edge, it’s demanding on your body, so I think all of our guys knew that coming into the season, they were going to have to play, at some point, a significant amount," Foxworth said. "Nobody in our group, I think, thought they were just going to coast through the season."

The Ravens could have used Smith against imposing Titans receiver Kenny Britt.

"He’s a big, physical, fast receiver," Foxworth said. "He can run, but that shouldn’t be an issue with us because we have guys that can run, too. I wish Jimmy Smith was healthy this week. We could use him against Britt because he’s so big."

KINDLE STILL WAITING: One year after missing his entire rookie season with a fractured skull, outside linebacker Sergio Kindle is still waiting to play in his first NFL regular-season game.

Kindle said he hasn’t inquired with the coaching staff why he was a healthy scratch.

"I didn’t ask for a reason," Kindle said.

Kindle said he didn’t know if he would be active this week.

"I’m working hard," he said. "I’ll keep working to prove myself when I get my shot."

NO SURGERY FOR MCADOO: Rookie outside linebacker Michael McAdoo was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season.

McAdoo said he won’t need surgery on his previously undisclosed knee injury.

"I’m disappointed," he said. "I was hoping to get to play this year. I’ll just get ready for next season."

QUICK HIT: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice are on the regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week.

"It’s kind of cool, but it’s crazy," Flacco said. "It really is crazy how week-to-week this league is, how hot and cold everybody is. You just have to sit back and laugh about it."

 

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson

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