RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Lardarius Webb has toe injury

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Lardarius Webb has toe injury

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OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb suffered a turf toe injury toward the end of a win Sunday over the Indianapolis Colts.

Under a best-case scenario, Webb is expected to miss anywhere from one to three games depending on how fast he heals.

The worst-case scenario is Webb would be out until the playoffs.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh emphasized, though, that all of the players who took part in a 24-10 win over the Colts are expected to be able to play Sunday night against the San Diego Chargers.

“As far as injuries go, there’s nothing serious coming out of that game,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got bumps and bruises. There may be some guys that we rest throughout the course of the week practice-wise but we anticipate everybody that was playing last week health-wise, to be healthy this week and we’re hoping to add some guys. Lardarius played last week, so we have that answer.”

Webb has been having a strong season, intercepting four passes to lead the defense and hasn’t allowed a touchdown pass.

If Webb is sidelined, the Ravens would start rookie first-round draft pick Jimmy Smith opposite Cary Williams.

Harbaugh expressed undefined optimism that All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis might be able to return this week after missing the past four games with a right turf toe injury.

Cornerback Chris Carr might also get back on the field after being sidelined for three consecutive games with a back injury.

“The Harbaugh scale would be very hopeful, very hopeful for his return,” Harbaugh said of Lewis’ status. “He’s doing a good job. We’ll just have to see.”

A former All-American selection at Colorado, Smith has intercepted two passes this season.

After missing time earlier this season with a high-ankle sprain, he has started the past two games in the nickel package with Webb shifting inside to cover the inside receiver while he lines up outside.

The Ravens have noticed improvement from Smith.

“Just learning the game, probably, Harbaugh said. “He’s a young guy, and he’s learning football at a whole another level than what he’s used to in college.”

A LITTLE HELP: Jim Harbaugh, Harbaugh’s younger brother, coaches his San Francisco 49ers team against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

A 49ers victory would help the Ravens in the race for the AFC North division title and the top seed in the AFC as Baltimore and Pittsburgh both own 10-3 records.

Harbaugh acknowledged that he’ll likely consult with his brother before kickoff.

“I’m sure there will be some of that,” Harbaugh said. “The truth is coaches do that around the league based on best interest and things like that. I know for a fact a lot of coaches have spent a lot of time talking about us before they play us. So, I’m sure we’ll try to help him in some way if we can. But it’s not really our game; it’s not really our concern.”

Harbaugh downplayed the significance of the Steelers-49ers game, saying the focus should be on the Chargers.

“To me, that should not be a story, it really shouldn’t,” Harbaugh said. “The story is us going out and playing San Diego. That’s the story, and that’s what we’re going to be concerned with.”

KINDLE PROGRESSING: It was a rare occurrence as outside linebacker Sergio Kindle was active for the second time this season.

He played at the end of the game on defense and also lined up on special teams, including the kickoff team, punt return team and kickoff return team.

“Been working too hard not to be out there,” Kindle said. “I was just waiting for my time to come. When it did, I had to make the best of it.”

Kindle registered no statistics, but seemed to play well.

“He did have a good game,” Harbaugh said. “Sergio did a nice job on special teams. He was very solid. He got all of his blocks. He covered kickoffs very solidly.

“In the pass-rush stuff, he didn’t really get on track. He was in that last drive. I think he was playing a little more solid, conservatively. He can definitely crank up that pass rush a little more.”

The former second-round draft pick hopes the coaches are noticing progress from him after missing his entire rookie season with a fractured skull.

“That has to be it,” he said. “They won’t put you out there if they don’t think you’re prepared. I know I’ve been working my tail off. So, it’s evident that I’ve progressed from the Jets game to now.”

Where have the coaches seen improvement?

“Well, he just has a better understanding now,” Harbaugh said. “I think in some ways, he started over from a football standpoint. He had been out for so long, and then the injury maybe had some kind of an effect. He’s been working very hard and he’s been studying very hard. He’s made a lot of progress, and we think he’s ready to play more and more.”

Kindle lined up at outside linebacker and got off the ball quickly, but didn’t get to the quarterback.

“I don’t think I put my best rush forward,” he said. “Maybe nerves, because I’m a speed rusher and I’m a slender defensive end. The other guy’s pretty big and I’m running down the middle. That’s an automatic loss. I’ve just got to get back to what I do best.”

Kindle is hoping he’ll remain active going forward after becoming a fixture on the inactive list for the majority of the season.

“Definitely,” he said. “That’s the plan.”

NO WORSE: Harbaugh confirmed that Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff didn’t aggravate his left calf injury Sunday.

Cundiff hit a 36-yard field goal and all three extra points.

He wasn’t able to kick off in the second half, but is expected to be fine for the Chargers game.

“Not a major concern,” Harbaugh said. “It’s good that he’ll have more rest. I think he tweaked it on Thursday. So he got through the game OK, but it started tightening up on him during the game on kickoffs. We should get him seven more days of rest and some kicking. We probably won’t kick him a lot, but he should be fine for the game.”

The Ravens tried out former Pro Bowl kicker Shayne Graham last Friday, but didn’t sign him.

Punter Sam Koch, who handled kickoffs in the second half, was the Ravens’ fallback plan if Cundiff had a setback during the game.

“We were OK with Billy on field goals,” Harbaugh said. “We had never thought about Sam yet. If you’re asking if Billy were to go down, Sam can get out there further than people would probably think. We’ve had him in practice, I probably wouldn’t want to say exactly, but it depends on the conditions. He’s capable of getting out there and hitting a field goal, not just an extra point.”

 

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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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