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Cowboys will vary pressure


Cowboys will vary pressure

The Dallas Cowboys probably will have outside linebacker Anthony Spencer for Sunday's game at the Ravens, which bodes well for their fourth-ranked defense.

Spencer had limited participation in practice Thursday because of a pulled pectoral muscle, but he said, according to the Dallas Morning News: "I'm good. I'm playing."

Spencer is concerned about re-injuring himself and admitted that he's "still a little sore," but he's a valuable asset for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Spencer has nine pressures on the quarterback which leads the team.

The Ravens have had issues protecting quarterback Joe Flacco in the last two weeks, allowing eight total sacks against the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs.

"We’re all hopeful that Spence can play and will get healthier and healthier as the week goes on," coach Jason Garrett said, according to the Morning News.

Nose tackle Jay Ratliff (ankle) and defensive tackle Marcus Spears (knee) participated fully in practice Thursday. So did linebacker Alex Albright (neck), defensive tackle Kenyon Coleman (knee), safety Matt Johnson (hamstring), center Phil Costa (back) and receiver Miles Austin (hamstring).

The Ravens don't sound too concerned about Ryan's defense, but they're preparing for a few wrinkles. They have two young offensive linemen in rookie right tackle Kelechi Osemele and left guard Ramon Harewood, who is in his third season but first as a starter and has limited experience.

"They probably play more fronts, more coverages than any team we've faced at this point," Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said Thursday. "The good news is we see a lot of that in practice every day in our defense and have since we've been here....

"They are coming off a bye. They had a little extra time. I'm sure they are tweaking things that they are doing, and then they have some things that we'll have to adjust to."

That's in line with Ravens coach John Harbaugh sees from Dallas.

"They run a lot of stunts up front. ... They run a lot of pressures. They mix the pressures," he said. "You really don't get the same pressures from one week to the next. And they mix the coverages behind the pressures. It's a package that we're familiar with. We've seen it."

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson has his best practice yet

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson has his best practice yet

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. The Ravens are hopeful Earl Thomas will be a leader for their new defense which Thomas called "very complex." "This defense is very complex compared to what we were doing in Seattle,” Thomas said to Ravens media. “We were just playing Cover-3 all the time. Now, we’re making calls on the fly. That’s the biggest adjustment for me.”

Additionally, Thomas told media members after practice that he's made "fast friends" with quarterback Lamar Jackson. "He's a very funny guy, I don't know if you all know that," Thomas said.

2. Speaking of Lamar Jackson, he reportedly had his best day of practice so far this offseason according to Ravens media. Jackson's throws looked much better and he was quick in the pocket.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.


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RG3 likens KD's desire to play hurt to his own injury in 2012

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RG3 likens KD's desire to play hurt to his own injury in 2012

Like most athletes, Robert Griffin III was empathetic towards Kevin Durant when he first went down, taking to Twitter on Monday night to voice his concern. 

Today, the Ravens' veteran quarterback told ESPN's The Undefeated that he's all too familiar with Durant's decision to play and subsequent injury. RG3 likened it to his own brief playoff stint in 2013. Just four weeks removed from an injury to a knee that required reconstructive surgery in college, RG3 started – only to get hit late in the fourth and watch both his season and career come to a screeching halt. 

But that's not how RG3 views it. 

"I was looking at it like I'm out for here for my brothers. I'm out here for my team. And that was the only place I wasnted to be." 

And Griffin doesn't believe he's alone in that thought process, suggesting it was KD's mindset ahead of Game 5 as well.

"Most of us are built to fight. So whenever we get a situation where we’re a little injured or a little banged-up, our first reaction isn’t to get out of there and rest. Our first reaction is to figure out how we can keep going. That’s what makes a guy like Kevin Durant great." 

It remains to be seen whether KD's recovery will be smoother than RG3's. The former Heisman Trophy winner never came close to matching his breakout rookie season, eventually losing his starting job in Washington in 2014.

Durant will miss all of next season, meaning the former Montrose Christian star's next NBA appearance would be as a 32 year-old.