RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Lardarius Webb in a walking boot

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Lardarius Webb in a walking boot

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OWINGS MILLS — Due to a turf toe injury suffered against the Indianapolis Colts, the Baltimore Ravens’ top cornerback is getting around in a protective walking boot.

Lardarius Webb is regarded as a question mark due to a left turf toe for Sunday night’s game against the San Diego Chargers and didn’t practice Wednesday.

Under a worst-case scenario, Webb could be sidelined for as long as the remainder of the regular season.

"I hope not, I don’t want to," Webb said when asked if he thought he would miss this game. "I’m doing everything I can do to get back on the field. I’m going to treatment right now. It would hurt me if I’m on the sidelines and somebody else is playing.

"The last time I did that was my rookie year when I had an ACL and I couldn’t get back on the field. This isn’t an ACL. It’s really going to take a lot to keep me off the field right now. I’m feeling good, I’m feeling better. A little precautionary thing, I want to take it day by day, take care of a little soreness while I can."

If Webb is out, the Ravens would have to start rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith against the Chargers’ seventh-ranked passing game that’s headlined by quarterback Philip Rivers, wide receiver Vincent Jackson and tight end Antonio Gates.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Jackson leads the Chargers with 53 receptions for 952 yards and eight touchdowns.

A first-round draft pick from Colorado with the size to match up with big receivers like Jackson at 6-2, 210 pounds, Smith has started the past two games in the Ravens’ nickel package. He has two interceptions.

"I know Jimmy is going to do great," Webb said. "We’ve done a great job of preparing him up to now. He’s an NFL cornerback. He knows what he has to do. He’ll have to do the preparation. So far, he’s doing well."

Webb expressed hope that he won’t be sidelined for a long time like teammates Ray Lewis and Ben Grubbs have been with turf toe injuries

"I can’t worry about it," he said. "All I can do is all the treatment I can. I hope I don’t have to be out like those guys."

R. LEWIS LIMITED: Five players were held out of practice Wednesday as All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis returned from his right turf toe injury on a limited basis.

Besides Webb, Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff (left calf), offensive guard Ben Grubbs (right toe), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (back) and defensive end Cory Redding (ankle) all didn’t practice.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh predicted Monday that everyone who played against the Colts would play Sunday night against the Chargers.

Webb, Ngata and Redding are all new additions to the injury report. Cundiff, Grubbs, Ngata and Redding are all expected to play Sunday

Cornerback Chris Carr (back) was limited.

He has missed the past three games, but is expected to fill in on the nickel package and possibly on returns with Webb sidelined.

Rookie running back Anthony Allen (hamstring) participated fully.

The following players didn’t practice today for the Chargers: center Colin Baxter (ankle), linebacker Donald Butler (foot), defensive end Jacques Cesaire (ankle), linebacker

Takeo Spikes (back) and safety Darrell Stuckey (groin).

NO COMPLAINTS: Ray Rice is heading into the final games of his original rookie contract, a four-year, $3.16 million deal that included a $1.1 million signing bonus.

Now, the Pro Bowl running back is heading toward a larger payday as that deal expires. Whether that comes in the form of a major contract extension or he’s named the franchise player, Rice is a lock to be back with the Ravens next season.

"I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere, that I can almost assure," Rice said. "Obviously when you’re in this situation, there’s nothing that would make me think that I would be anywhere else. I love it here. The city, the team, the organization, they all feel the same way."

With three games left in the regular season, Rice has rushed for 1,029 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s also hauled in 62 catches for 593 yards and two scores.

And he has compartmentalized his pending offseason business, putting it aside from his thoughts while concentrating on his football activities.

"It’s hard to think about it now, and I’m just being honest," Rice said. "I’ve had the ability to not even think about it because, No. 1, I respect my teammates and I didn’t want to bring my contract, my personal decisions or my personal life in here into this locker room. I have enough respect for my teammates, the organization to keep it that way."

After holding out last summer, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was eventually given a six-year, $55.26 million contract.

Paid a $600,000 base salary this season, Rice has generated 1,622 yards from scrimmage and is the only NFL player with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards.

"We’re winning," Rice said. "If you love the game enough, you enjoy winning and you appreciate it, and you just live by it. If you take care of the game, the game will take care of you. I’ll just let my numbers and everything else pan out, and in the offseason, I’m sure it’ll be dealt with."

RIVERS FLOWING: Rivers has passed for 3,745 yards and 22 touchdowns this season.

He’s also been sacked 30 times and tends to play the game with up-and-down emotions.

"I think he is a quarterback that hates to get hit and loves to win," Ngata said. "I think if we can get in front of his face and hit him often, I think it gets him a little frustrated. He doesn’t really like getting hit.

"I think you can see that he really starts to get on his linemen and into the refs and talking about some hits. Once we can do that to him, get him frustrated, it’s going to be a better game for us."

DAD IN WAITING: Quarterback Joe Flacco has been amused by the attention stemming from his announcement to the Times on Sunday that his wife, Dana, is expecting their first child.

The baby is due in the middle of June.

"It’s a little funny," Flacco said. "It’s not even close to being here yet. It’s exciting for us, though. We’re really excited about it."

QUICK HITS: Offensive tackle Michael Oher has noticeably cut down on his penalties after struggling with false starts earlier this year. "I think Michael’s gotten better, too," Harbaugh said. "I think he’s grown into the right tackle spot again. We’ve cleaned up a lot of the pre-snap stuff, across the board on our offensive line. Our whole offensive line has gotten better." … The last time the Ravens played the Chargers two years, Baltimore won 31-26 as Lewis made a dramatic fourth-down tackle on running back Darren Sproles late in the game. "I remember being very happy about it," Harbaugh said. "It was just a great play, and maybe one of Ray’s signature plays probably in his career." … Flacco hasn’t been sacked in the first quarter this season "I hadn’t realized that," Flacco said. "To get in a rhythm as an offense and get your confidence going and get everybody’s confidence going can be important. I think we just play well when we do get off to a good start and can get in that rhythm early. So, it definitely helps us out." … Chargers safety Eric Weddle has already intercepted seven passes this season. "He’s just got good ball skills," Flacco said. "He’s back there at safety, and he’s got the skills. When the ball goes in the air, he does a good job of being a guy that can go get it and judge the ball and catch it and do all those things."


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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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