Thirteen players didn’t practice during the open practice at M&T Bank Stadium.
That includes running back Bernard Pierce (hamstring), wide receivers Tandon Doss (hamstring), David Reed (ACL surgery) and Patrick Williams (undisclosed), tight end Dennis Pitta (broken right hand), center Matt Birk (back spasms), offensive lineman Jah Reid (strained right calf), cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (back) and Cary Williams, linebackers Josh Bynes (undisclosed), Terrell Suggs (partially torn Achilles tendon) and defensive end Arthur Jones (strained hip flexor).
Birk said his back is beginning to loosen up. He’s missed the past six days of practice.
"Yeah, it’s making progress," Birk said. "I don’t try to predict anything or rush anything. Just every day, making progress every day and doing everything I can and everything they tell me to do. Rest and strengthening and flexibility and therapies, all sorts of stuff."
Doss has been sidelined for a week.
"I’ve been out of football for a while," Doss said. "I started off camp well and unfortunately I had some maintenance issues that I had to take care of. I’m ready to get back on the field now. I should be back Monday. That’s the plan.”
"I felt it tighten up, so I’m just trying to lay low. I’ve been in treatment every day, multiple times a day. I’ve been hitting it pretty hard.”
Williams said his absence from practice isn’t related to his right hip surgery during the offseason.
"It’s nothing to do with my right hip that I had my right hip that I had surgery on," Williams said. "It’s perfectly fine. I’m just taking a couple of days off.
"It’s been pretty good. It responded really well. It’s everything I wanted to be. I’m just trying to shake the rust off right now."
The following players returned to practice: fullback Vonta Leach (back), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, cornerback Asa Jackson.
Upshaw said he didn’t suffer a shoulder stinger or a bruise, indicating some kind of sprain.
"It’s probably a little sprain, a little soreness in there," Upshaw said. "Honestly, there really was no pain, but the second play I went to try to extend it, being at the position I’m at, I have to use my hands and try to be powerful and I really could not do it. It flared up as I was out for the rest of the practice. Right now, it’s still sore and it’s still a little stiff. We’re just trying to work on getting that out.”
Upshaw said he’s getting close to returning.
"I’m getting treatment every day," he said. "I’m feeling good actually. Whenever the trainer says it’s OK to go out there, I’ll be ready to go.”Upshaw reported at roughly 280 pounds and didn’t pass his conditioning test on his first try, but is beginning to shed some pounds.
"I’m close to 270," Upshaw said. "I’m not there yet. I still got six, seven pounds to go, but I’d be working while I’m out with the little injury. I’ve been doing a whole lot of cardio. I’m going to reach my goal soon.”
Jones said he expects to return soon, but didn’t indicate when.
He expressed relief that he didn’t tear his hip flexor. A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed it was just a strained muscle.
"Definitely, I was praying and everything like that just to make sure it was nothing too serious," Jones said. "God answered my prayers so I’m excited about that. Yeah, it was a little nagging injury that bothered me. I’d rather fix it now before it becomes a serious, big injury.
"Right now, we’re doing all the right things, icing it and stem and treating it every single day. I can’t wait to get back out here with these guys."
FORMER CFL LB SIGNED: The Ravens have signed former Canadian Football League linebacker Stevie Baggs.
According to his awesome Wikipedia page entry, Baggs was known as Shakespeare to his CFL teammates because all he does is make plays.
The 6-foot-1, 241-pounder played collegiately at Bethune-Cookman.
He was signed after the Ravens cut offensive lineman Paul Madsen, formerly of the Buffalo Bills.
Baggs was cut by the Hamilton Tigers-Cats this spring.
Two years ago, he was with the Arizona Cardinals and was cut before the start of the regular season.
He had a previous stint with the Detroit Lions and has also played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton Eskimos and the Sasketchewan Roughriders.
Baggs had 50 tackles and five sacks with the Tiger-Cats before being released.
Three years ago with the Roughriders, Baggs had a dozen sacks, four forced fumbles and was named a West Division All-Star as Sasketchewan reached the Grey Cup.
He was a three-time All-American selection who recorded 40 career sacks and was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
QUICK HIT: Former Ravens majority owner Art Modell and actor Josh Charles were among those attending the opening practice.