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Ngata, McPhee finally back to practicing


Ngata, McPhee finally back to practicing

While coach John Harbaugh has been inflating his injury report with every nick and bruise since the league fined the Ravens for violations last month, the one released Wednesday was slightly smaller but still significant.

Three defensive starters missed the 55-20 win against the Oakland Raiders. End Pernell McPhee (thigh) and tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder) didn’t practice going into the Oakland game, but both were limited participants in practice Wednesday. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin), who was a late scratch against Oakland, didn’t practice.

"He's getting closer," Harbaugh said of McPhee, who has missed the last two games. "We'll see how he does this week."

The Ravens play at the Pittsburgh Steelers in a prime-time game Sunday. Fourteen players were listed for Baltimore, down from 19.

The offensive line has injury issues, too. Right guard Marshal Yanda (ankle) didn’t practice and left guard Bobbie Williams (ankle) was limited. Receivers Jacoby Jones (toe) and Torrey Smith (chest) had limited participation, too, but their injuries aren’t expected to keep them out against Pittsburgh. Jones was listed as having a toe injury last week and returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown. Smith, who wasn’t listed on the report last week, had two touchdown catches.

Yanda's ankle has bothered him for a few weeks, but he played 58 snaps, or 91% of the offensive plays, against Oakland.

If Smith can’t go, that means Corey Graham likely would start in the secondary again. Rookie DeAngelo Tyson started on the line in place of Ngata. Tyson, a seventh-round draft pick, was healthy but inactive for the first six games of the season. Backup Arthur Jones filled in for McPhee.

Williams’ injury appears more serious. He left the Raiders game after he re-aggravated a lingering ankle injury. Jah Reid, who missed the first seven games with a calf strain that had nagged him since the preseason, got game action for the second time this season.

Reid played nine offensive snaps in the 25-15 win at the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago but that escalated to 50 against Oakland. Williams only was able to stay on the field for 14 plays. He had surgery one year ago after breaking the ankle while with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Safety Ed Reed, who left the Oakland game in the third quarter after what he called a shoulder “stinger,” was a full participant. So was running back Ray Rice (toe), linebacker Courtney Upshaw (shoulder), Bernard Pollard (ribs), safety Sean Considine (knee/chest), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (thumbs) and linebacker Terrell Suggs (ankle).

Reed was replaced by James Ihedigbo on Sunday.

Right tackle Kelechi Osemele was wearing a brace on his right wrist but wasn’t listed on the injury report.

For Pittsburgh, seven players didn't practice Wednesday, including safety Troy Polamalu (calf). He was targeting a return to the field against the Ravens, though coach Mike Tomlin recently said it would be unlikely that he plays.

Running back Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) fully practiced as did safety Ryan Clark (concussion), who was injured in Monday night's 16-13 win against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?