The Beat with Aaron Wilson

Courtney Upshaw nearing return

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OWINGS MILLS — Courtney Upshaw is nearing his return to the practice field, perhaps even as soon as today, a development hinging on two factors. One, his right shoulder injury is no longer causing him as much pain. Upshaw has been sidelined for a week, but feels his condition has improved. "Most definitely," Upshaw said. "I’m getting treatment every day. I’m feeling good, actually. Whenever the trainer says it’s OK to go out there, I’ll be ready to go." Two, the Baltimore Ravens’ rookie outside linebacker and top draft pick...

McKinnie seeking answers to weighty issues

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BALTIMORE — Bulky offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie wants to get to the bottom of why he’s having trouble losing weight. So, the Baltimore Ravens’ left tackle will meet with a doctor Monday to discuss his diet and metabolism. McKinnie said he currently weighs about 360 pounds after playing at 370 pounds last season after being cut by the Minnesota Vikings last summer when he tipped the scales at 387 pounds. "I think it’s my metabolism," said McKinnie, who’s been activated from the non-football injury list after passing the conditioning test...

McKinnie, Ngata activated, practice for the first time of camp

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OWINGS MILLS — With the conditioning test finally conquered Friday morning, Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie were activated and practiced for the first time since arriving at training camp. Ngata had been sidelined with a hamstring injury sustained when he first attempted the conditioning test, a series of timed running intervals. He’s now off the physically unable to perform list. McKinnie told 24×7 when he reported last Sunday that he injured his lower back prior to the veteran reporting date last Wednesday....

Jamal Lewis calls arrest a ‘misunderstanding’

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OWINGS MILLS — Former Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis issued a statement reacting to his arrest Wednesday night in Georgia, where he was charged with a single count of child abandonment. “My arrest on Wednesday evening was the result of a misunderstanding rather than the result of me being an unfit father,” Lewis said in the statement. “I am a responsible parent and have always provided for my children. That fact cannot be disputed. I have made mistakes in my life, but failing to care for my children is...

REED: ‘I’m dealing with football right now’

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OWINGS MILLS — Sweating profusely after a practice where he intercepted two passes and dashed into the end zone for a touchdown off a Ray Lewis lateral, Ed Reed smiled, nodded and struck an entirely different tone than his combative, cryptic offseason remarks. The Baltimore Ravens’ mercurial star free safety spent his spring and summer dropping hints at a potential holdout, contemplated retirement and skipped a mandatory minicamp, a finable offense under the NFL collective bargaining agreement. Now that he’s ensconced again with the defending AFC North champions after being...

Kruger making moves

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OWINGS MILLS — Paul Kruger set his feet, squared his shoulders and began barreling past blockers to clear the line of scrimmage and penetrate the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive backfield. His cleats were occupying the territory usually owned by NFL Defensive Player of the Year outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, one of the most feared defenders in the league. And Kruger is determined to prove that he belongs in that spot, a vacancy suddenly created in late April when Suggs partially tore his right Achilles tendon and later underwent surgery. The Pro...

Dennis Pitta may have broken his hand

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OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has likely broken his hand Monday afternoon and will require surgery to repair the damage, a setback for one of the most reliable players on the offense Pitta is expected to be sidelined until the Ravens’ regular-season opener Sept. 10 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Although a magnetic resonance imaging exam and X-rays will be conducted today to confirm the initial diagnosis, the Ravens are concerned that Pitta will be out for the entire preseason. It’s the first major injury suffered by...

Anquan Boldin: ‘Each year, I feel like I get better’

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OWINGS MILLS — Anquan Boldin broke free across the middle with a smooth plant, cut and sprint, creating a tiny seam for himself in between defenders. It was enough for the Baltimore Ravens’ veteran wide receiver to haul in a short touchdown pass in traffic from Joe Flacco during a red-zone drill. And the well-practiced sequence offered another reminder that Boldin, 31, remains a pivotal figure in the Ravens’ offense despite being the oldest receiver on the roster. For Boldin, it’s about refining his craft and not taking for granted...

Sides inch closer towards new Flacco deal

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OWINGS MILLS — The agent for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco negotiated again with team officials Sunday at team headquarters, another step in the process of eventually working out a long-term deal. Joe Linta met with general manager Ozzie Newsome and vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty for several hours before driving home to Connecticut. "It was a good meeting," Linta told 24×7 in a telephone interview. "We’ll keep working. There’s no deadline. It’s always good talking with Ozzie and Pat. Those guys are pros." Flacco is due a...

THE BOY IS BACK IN TOWN!

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OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie is back in town and will report to training camp today after arriving at BWI Airport this afternoon. The former Pro Bowl blocker told 24×7 after his flight that his absence was due to a lower back injury suffered during an accident at his home in South Florida last week where he said he fell and twisted his lower back. McKinnie missed the first four days of training camp and was placed on the reserve/did not report list, incurring daily $30,000...

Michael Oher on moving back to left tackle: ‘It’s no big deal’

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OWINGS MILLS — Michael Oher has moved several yards over to his left, a relatively short journey that returns him back to his roots: protecting the blind side of the quarterback. It’s a natural move for the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive tackle given his background immortalized in a best-selling novel and popular movie about his life: "The Blind Side." Now, the defending AFC North champions are shifting Oher back to where he started two years ago for them, where he was an All-American at Ole Miss and as a blue-chip high...

Bryant McKinnie still a no-show, being fined $30,000 per day

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OWINGS MILLS — The daily fines that wayward offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie is piling up for his unexcused absence from training camp for personal reasons pales in comparison to the enormous lawsuits he’s facing. Nonetheless, the former Pro Bowl blocker’s tab with the Baltimore Ravens is getting quite expensive. Under the terms of the NFL collective bargaining agreement, McKinnie is being fined $30,000 per day and can be docked an entire game check for $188,235 for every preseason game he misses. The Ravens’ veterans reported to training camp Wednesday. "Yeah,...

Bryant McKinnie absent from practice for personal issue

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OWINGS MILLS — The strange saga of Baltimore Ravens veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie took another awkward turn Thursday as the defending AFC North champions launched training camp. McKinnie, 32, is absent due to an undisclosed personal issue and was officially placed on the reserve/did not report list, a situation sure to try the Ravens’ patience and potentially endanger his roster spot if it drags out too long. "Well, he contacted us through a representative," coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s dealing with an issue right now. I don’t really want...

Ray Rice: ‘Hopefully, I’ll retire a Raven’

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OWINGS MILLS — Emotional and suddenly wealthy, Ray Rice felt his instincts tugging him in a singular direction after applying his signature to a $40 million contract that included a $15 million signing bonus. The Baltimore Ravens’ star running back wanted to see his mother, jetting up the highway in his white Mercedes back to his hometown in New York after leaving team headquarters a week ago when Rice’s agent, Todd France, and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty narrowly beat an NFL deadline to finalize deals for...

Ravens sign two linebackers, one guard

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OWINGS MILLS — In a series of transactions intended to build depth, the Baltimore Ravens signed former Oakland Raiders linebackers Ricky Brown and Darryl Blackstock and offensive guard Cordaro Brown. All three were signed to one-year contracts. Brown and Blackstock could emerge as special-teams contributors if they make the team. Brown, 28, ended last season on injured reserve after suffering a concussion against the New York Jets. A former Boston College standout, Brown is a 6-foot-2, 235-pound inside linebacker entering his seventh NFL season. He was limited to three games...

Ed Reed reports to camp

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OWINGS MILLS — Ed Reed fulfilled his stated commitment to attend training camp, officially reporting for work following an unpredictable offseason where he skipped a mandatory minicamp, contemplated retirement and hinted at a potential holdout. The Baltimore Ravens’ All-Pro free safety showed up at the Ravens’ training complex midway through the morning Wednesday, making no comments to reporters as he entered team headquarters. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year recently assured coach John Harbaugh that he would be at camp, and has been working out on the practice...

Harbaugh optimistic at start of training camp

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OWINGS MILLS — Ed Reed essentially erased the suspense surrounding his plans for this season a week ago with his announcement at his golf tournament that he intends to play this season. That followed a rocky offseason where Reed contemplated retirement and hinted at a potential holdout as he enters the final year of his contract. The status of the Baltimore Ravens’ unpredictable star free safety crystallized even more Tuesday when coach John Harbaugh disclosed that Reed informed him personally that he would be attending training camp. Veterans report today,...

Birk back from varicose vein surgery

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OWINGS MILLS — Joe Namath once created a memorable stir when the New York Jets quarterback legend donned pantyhose for a popular commercial. It’s unlikely that Baltimore Ravens six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk will rival Broadway Joe in the advertising game, but the veteran blocker did upgrade his legs this offseason. Birk had surgery in June to deal with varicose veins in his legs, something that had plagued the 36-year-old for several seasons. "Well, you guys can tell that my legs are tiptop now," Birk said with a smile...

Upshaw, Suggs on non-football injury list, McPhee, Osemele on PUP

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OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens have placed three players on the non-football injury list, including Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. Suggs partially tore his Achilles tendon in April and underwent surgery. Courtney Upshaw, the Ravens’ top draft pick and a projected starter at strongside outside linebacker, was also placed on the non-football injury list along with undrafted rookie tight end Bruce Figgins. Players placed on the non-football injury list can be activated at any time. The designation can mean a player didn’t pass his conditioning test. Meanwhile, four...

Ravens to work out guard Eric Steinbach today

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OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens will audition former Cleveland Browns offensive guard Eric Steinbach on Tuesday. Steinbach, 32, is a former Pro Bowl alternate who missed last season with a back injury that required surgery. Steinbach had a procedure to remove a disc fragment from his spinal nerve. The 6-foot-6, 295-pounder spent last season on injured reserve with the Browns. Steinbach is a former Cincinnati Bengals second-round draft pick. Steinbach was signed to a seven-year, $49.5 million contract by the Browns in 2007 and was named a Pro Bowl...