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Steve Smith officially doubtful for Sunday


Steve Smith officially doubtful for Sunday

The Ravens have officially listed injured wide receiver Steve Smith (back) as doubtful for Sunday, suggesting there is a small chance he could play even though both head coach John Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Marc Trestman earlier this week had said Smith would be out.

Smith has not practiced all week after sustaining microfractures in his back against the Steelers last Thursday night. Over the weekend, Harbaugh said that Smith would be out, though he backtracked on Monday. "I don’t think I’m able to do that, really, to be honest with you," he said. "It has to do with the injury report."

On Thursday, Trestman said, "We’re excited about the opportunity for the guys who are playing because Steve is out."

Smith is still most likely out, but the Ravens are giving the impression that the receiver who Harbaugh said belongs in the "hall of fame of pain tolerance" could still play Sunday against the Browns.

The Ravens have ruled out defensive end Chris Canty (calf), tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf) and wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee). Canty will be missing his third straight game and Gillmore his second. The absence of Gillmore means the Ravens again will rely on two rookie tight ends -- Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle.

Tackle Eugene Monroe (concussion) practiced all week and is probable to return, bolstering an offensive line that should have all five starters from last year back for the first time since early in Week 1. Other Ravens listed as probable include linebacker Albert McClellan (abdomen), guard Marshal Yanda (ankle) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot).

RELATED Predicting Ravens-Browns: Can Ravens overcome injuries?

For Cleveland, starting free safety Tashaun Gipson is out with an ankle injury, and starting cornerback Joe Haden (ribs/finger), who missed last week's game, is questionable.

Backup linebacker Craig Robertson (ankle) is out and running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) is doubtful.

 In addition to Haden, the Browns list three other starters as questionable: wide receiver Brian Hartline (ribs/thigh), linebacker Karlos Dansby (ankle) and defensive end Desmond Bryant (shoulder). Others listed as questionable for the Browns include linebacker Scott Solomon (ankle) and running back Robert Turbin (ankle).

The Browns list six players as probable: DB Johnson Bademosi (elbow), running back Duke Johnson (ankle), backup quarterback Johnny Manziel (elbow), tackle Mitchell Schwartz (thumb), safety Donte Whitner (illness) and defensive back K'Waun Williams (concussion).

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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?