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D. Reed: "I'm ready to go"

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D. Reed: "I'm ready to go"

Ravens kick returner David Reed returned to practice this week more than 10 months after tearing an ACL, giving the team an emotional lift and also starting the clock on a roster decision.

Reed, who began the season on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list while recovering from knee surgery, can practice for up to three weeks, after which the team must either add him to the active roster, cut him, or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

“They got a tough decision," Reed said. "I’m feeling really good. I feel better than I did last year, so whatever happens, happens."

Reed was jumpy at his locker on Wednesday, saying he couldn't wait to put on shoulder pads again.

"I'm ready to go," Reed said before Wednesday's practice, which was to be his first since he crumpled to the ground against Cleveland on Christmas Eve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

“I’m going to do as much as I can. I’m going to try to do everything, until they pull me out.”

Reed said his rehab had plenty of ups and downs, and he drew motivation from cornerback Lardarius Webb, who was recoving from ACL surgery when Reed was a rookie. (Now Webb is doing it all over again.)

"That’s what I used to keep in the back of my head every day," Reed said, " ‘I gotta get back to where Webb was. If Webb can do it, I can do it.’”

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said at his weekly session with the media on Thursday that "we were all uplifted" by Reed's return to the practice field.

"We all know how much David enjoys football," Rosburg said. "He got an ovation at the meeting, and it was exciting for everybody to see David back out here."

Reed, a fifth-round draft pick out of Utah in 2010, was the Ravens starting kick returner last year before losing the job for about a month after fumbling three times in a span of two games. He also saw limited action at wide receiver last season but has no NFL receptions.

Reed finished last season with an average of 29.7 yards on 18 kickoff returns. As a rookie, he led the league with 29.3 yards a return, including a 103-yard touchdown against Houston.

But will he get that role back?

Jacoby Jones, who took over the kick return duties from rookie Deonte Thompson, is averaging 33.5 yards on 13 returns, including a franchise-record 108-yard touchdown.

"Of course I want to be back there (returning kicks)," Reed said, "but Jacoby’s been doing a great job at it, and I can’t take nothing away from him. Hopefully I can just come in and add on to that and maybe we can both do it.”

 

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4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

4 prospects Baltimore Ravens fans should be keeping an eye on in 2019 NFL Draft

The Baltimore Ravens will add to their historic franchise this weekend during the 2019 NFL Draft. All eyes will be set on who they take with their first pick, whether that's at No. 22 or beyond. 

With a handful of needs, which prospects should you be aware of? Here are four players projected to possibly land with the Ravens Thursday night.

WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi

Metcalf grabbed the attention of the football world during the NFL Combine, running a 4.33 40-yard dash and posting a 40.5 vertical jump. The jury is still out, however, on how he'll pan out in the NFL. Metcalf missed part of the 2018 season with a neck injury and a foot injury derailed his 2016 season after just two games. Metcalf admitted that his history of injuries was brought up often when meeting with NFL teams, and his apparent 1.9% body fat simply isn't healthy, according to a combine trainer. Nonetheless, draft experts have the receiver as a top option for the Ravens. 

DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

The Ravens are going to need some help on defense after losing Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za'Darius Smith in free agency. Ferrell had 38 tackles for loss and 21 sacks over the last two seasons with the National Champions. Standing at 6'4", 264 pounds, the defensive end's combine profile describes him as having "prototypical size, length and strength to offer early help against both the run and pass."

C/G Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

The Ravens could be looking for their center of the future. McCoy earned a starting role with the Aggies during the 2016 season, starting all 16 games after redshirting his freshman season. In his sophomore season, McCoy helped Texas A&M average 406.8 yards per game. From 2016-19, the center helped his team rush for over 2,000 yards. A talent like that could be extremely helpful with Lamar Jackson under center. 

WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

Another wide receiver in the mix, Brown averaged more than 18 yards per reception over two years at Oklahoma, racking up 1,300 yards with 10 touchdowns on 75 receptions in 2018 alone. Nicknamed "Hollywood," the 21-year-old's speed and ability to threaten deep "gives him a chance to become the most impactful wideout in this draft."

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.

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Baltimore Ravens and kicker Justin Tucker agree to four-year contract extension

Baltimore Ravens and kicker Justin Tucker agree to four-year contract extension

The most accurate kicker in NFL history is staying in Baltimore.

The Ravens announced Wednesday that they have agreed to a contract extension with kicker Justin Tucker. The four-year extension will keep him in Baltimore through the 2023 season. The extension is reportedly worth $23.05 million, including $12.5 million fully guaranteed in the first two years and an $8 million signing bonus.

Tucker, who was entering the final year of his second contract, is a two-time Pro Bowler who has made 90.1 percent of his field goal attempts through his seven-year career. In 2018, Tucker converted 35-of-39 field goal attempts and 36 of the Ravens' 27 extra points. He was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice last season and has a franchise-record nine nominations.

An undrafted free agent in 2012, the 29-year-old owns an NFL-record seven-career games with multiple 50-plus-yard field goals and became the only kicker in league history to kick field goals from the 20-, 30-, 40-, 50- and 60-yard ranges in a single game. 

Keeping Tucker in Baltimore is a major win for the Ravens this offseason. The team will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to officially announce his extension. 

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.

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