OWINGS MILLS – The Baltimore Ravens’ shaky offensive line situation took another negative turn Saturday with starting offensive guard Marshal Yanda sidelined due to back spasms.
With Yanda not able to practice, the Ravens shifted Oniel Cousins from starting right offensive tackle to right offensive guard with rookie Jah Reid taking over on the right side.
Meanwhile, starting nose guard Terrence Cody didn’t practice due to an ankle injury.
“It shouldn’t be a major thing,” coach John Harbaugh said of Cody. “Yanda’s got back spasms, so I’d rather not have those guys out here pushing it.”
Cousins struggled in pass protection during a 13-6 preseason loss against the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night.
Guard might be a better spot for the former third-round draft pick.
“Maybe he’s suited for that position,” Harbaugh said. “We talked in the offseason about moving him to guard, but with Yanda coming back we decided to give him a shot at the right tackle spot. That’s what we’ll find out. That’s one of the great things about training camp: You have a chance to look at guys and see how they do.”
At 6-foot-4, 325 pounds, Cousins is a physical player. However, his technique still needs polish.
“You got to be ready to play,” Cousins said. “It was good. I’ve got to step up and play.”
The Ravens surrendered six sacks against Philadelphia with rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor getting punished for five of them.
Harbaugh acknowledged that the pass protection needs to be upgraded.
“It sure can, it will, it has to,” he said. “If you look around the league, you’re going to see those kinds of issues all through training camp early on and even as we get into the season. So, you know we’ve just got to get better at what we’re doing.
“I think some of the one-on-one stuff, we can correct that stuff really quickly. Some of those ‘twos’ are young guys, and that’s developmental stuff right there. We’ve got to go to work, and we’re still looking to add players, too, so that’s a big part of it. It all goes hand in hand.”
Harbaugh is generally encouraged about Reid, the Ravens’ third-round draft pick from Central Florida.
Like Cousins and left tackle Michael Oher, Reid had a rough debut against Philadelphia.
“I saw a guy that’s going to be a really good player, it’s just a matter of when,” Harbaugh said. “It’s going to take a certain amount of time. Hopefully, it doesn’t take more than about four weeks. That would be our goal to get him ready in four weeks, but he’s really smart. He’s a quick learner.”
The Ravens’ offensive line will be tested again this week against the Kansas City Chiefs when they have to block All-Pro outside linebacker Tamba Hali, one of the most feared pass rushers in the game.
“I think the most improvement always comes between the first and second game, so it’ll be fun to watch,” Harbaugh said. “The Chiefs have a nice pass rusher in Tamba Hali. It’s an odd front. It will be a big challenge. So, it’ll be a good chance to evaluate how fast he’s coming along between last week and this week.”
HAREWOOD ACTIVATED: Offensive tackle Ramon Harewood passed his physical and was activated from the physically unable to perform list.
A sixth-round draft pick from Morehouse last year, Harewood spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve after undergoing surgeries on both of his knees. One was an arthroscopic procedure and the other one was more serious.
Harewood is a raw prospect, but is big and athletic. The Barbados native could possibly figure into the long-term plans on the offensive line as long as he continues to develop.
“It’s been feeling better,” Harewood said recently. “I’m about to get back out there and start practicing.”
INDOOR PRACTICE: The Ravens shifted practice to their indoor facility after thunder sounded.
If they had been in Westminster for training camp, then practice would have been conducted at the Gill Center gymnasium.
“It’s nice to have these facilities, so it worked out well for us,” Harbaugh said. “One of the advantages to having the practices here is that we have this facility.”
QUICK HITS: Tight end Ed Dickson (hamstring) and cornerback Domonique Foxworth (knee) returned to practice. Dennis Pitta ran with the starters, though. … There was a brief fight between rookie offensive lineman Justin Boren and defensive tackle Terron Sanders that turned into a 10-player pileup. … Bernard Pollard worked with the first-team defense at strong safety. … Rookie running back Damien Berry (left ankle) didn’t practice. … Wide receiver James Hardy (hamstring) and running back Matt Lawrence (undisclosed) returned to practice.