RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Let the trash talk games begin

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Let the trash talk games begin

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OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens reserve safety Haruki Nakamura is expected to be sidelined for at least a month due to slightly torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Nakamura isn’t expected to need surgery for an injury incurred during the Ravens’ 37-7 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Edward Jones Dome.

A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed the extent of the damage later Monday.

“It looks promising in terms of him being able to come back, maybe a month or so,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ll see.”

Nakamura got hurt during the first quarter and didn’t return after heading to the locker room to have his knee examined.

He’s not on crutches.

The Ravens are dealing with other injuries in the secondary, including rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith out indefinitely with a high left ankle sprain and cornerback Domonique Foxworth still on the mend from a torn anterior cruciate ligament from last year.

Because the Ravens have safety Bernard Pollard on the roster and starters Ed Reed and Tom Zbikowski are healthy, the current plan isn’t to necessarily sign a replacement for Nakamura.

“We’ll be talking about that,” Harbaugh said. “I think we’re OK with the guys we have, because Chris Carr can go back there and swing at safety. Lardarius [Webb] could go back there and swing at safety if we needed him to. Those guys are playing the slot. I don’t think we have a plan today to make a move today, but that could change.”

HARBAUGH NONCOMMITTAL ON EVANS, FOXWORTH: Wide receiver Lee Evans and Foxworth might return this week after being scratched against the St. Louis Rams, or they might not.

Evans has a left ankle injury that has hampered him since the preseason. And Foxworth is still on the mend from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last year.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh shed no light on whether Evans or Foxworth will return this week against the New York Jets.

“I have no idea, two different cases,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes this week and see where they’re at, probably watch and see if they can practice or not. If they go out and practice, how does it respond the next day? We’ll just have to see."

ELLERBE INJURED: Backup inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe’s status is up in the air for Sunday due to a hamstring injury.

“Dannell’s hamstring is just going to be throughout the week to see how it responds,” Harbaugh said. “So, we’ll probably know by Friday.”

OHER HOLDS UP: Although offensive tackle Michael Oher allowed a sack to Rams defensive end Chris Long and was flagged for holding and illegal hands to the face, he got solid reviews from the coaching staff.

Oher had no false starts after committing a pair of infractions against the Tennessee Titans.

And Long finished with only one tackle, a sack of Joe Flacco for a loss of two yards with one other quarterback hit.

“I thought he did a good job against Chris Long, run and pass,” Harbaugh said. “He did a good job of kind of controlling the pass set, slowing it down a little bit. He was still right on time. A couple of times, it was perfect timing, so I kind of held my breath a couple times.

“Chris Long is a relentless guy, a violent pass rusher, and Michael Oher did a nice job with his punch. I think one time, Chris spun inside and got just a bit of pressure, then Mike flattened him right back out. So, it was a good day for Michael.”

NGATA TIME: All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata displayed his athleticism on a 28-yard fumble return for a touchdown, bending over to scoop up the loose football without slowing down.

The fourth-quarter score pushed the game further out of reach.

“I guess it’s not too tough for Haloti, it would be tough for any of us probably,” Harbaugh said. “That’s a great play. He is just an unbelievable athlete for his size. Then, he had a little limp leg there. He kind of gave him the limp leg, left leg, and slid away from the tackle, threw the ball in the stands, had a nice celebration.”

After the touchdown, middle linebacker Ray Lewis tried to congratulate Ngata and bounced off him and fell to the ground.

“Did you see Ray on the celebration? Did anybody catch that?” Harbaugh said. “We caught that in our meeting today. We showed it to the team. It was as hard as Ray went down all day, on the celebration.”

TRASH-TALK?: The New York Jets take their cue from Rex Ryan, their brash, swaggering coach.

And that includes talking big and then attempting to back up those words.

Harbaugh insisted that he won’t muzzle his players this week.

“We always tell our guys really to be themselves,” Harbaugh said. “We don’t tell them not to say anything. We encourage them to be their best selves. I think our guys are pretty good guys, and our guys are classy guys. I’m sure our guys will have fun with it.

“I don’t think you will hear too much malicious coming out of our guys. Our guys like those guys, so to speak. It will be good laughs listening to what comes out of New York, and we will be looking forward to it because it is always funny. It’s always entertaining. It makes it more fun.”


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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. 

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