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LB Ellerbe key to pass defense

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LB Ellerbe key to pass defense

Among the Ravens’ wounded, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is the most overlooked.

Linebackers Ray Lewis (triceps) is expected to practice as early as Wednesday and Terrell Suggs (biceps) could be out for Sunday’s game at the Washington Redskins.

Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (groin surgery) and Chris Johnson (hamstring) have been out. While Smith’s return doesn't appear imminent, Johnson could work his way back after missing the last two games.

Ellerbe missed his first game of the season in last week’s 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that ended their 15-game home winning streak.

Ellerbe, who has started five games this season, has 4.5 sacks. He went down less than two weeks ago in the second quarter vs. the San Diego Chargers.

He was in pass coverage, went untouched, fell down with a foot and ankle injury and never returned. Ellerbe already has been playing with broken thumbs.

“Dannell Ellerbe is continuing to work, and we anticipate he’s got a chance to get back this week,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We were hopeful for this past game, but it just didn’t work out. We took him right to gameday, and he was unable to go.”

In the Ravens’ first six games, Ellerbe was playing just less than 52% of the defensive snaps. In his four games before his injury in San Diego, Ellerbe played 100% as the defense has improved gradually.

Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, a third-stringer, had his best game since 2001 as he feasted on a Ravens defense that was soft in the middle where Ellerbe would usually drop into coverage.

In particular, tight end Heath Miller had 5 catches for 97 yards – his best game of the season. Batch helped produce five plays of 20 yards or more.

 

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Whirlwind week: Demone Harris makes Ravens practice squad, loses and then finds engagement ring, gets engaged

Whirlwind week: Demone Harris makes Ravens practice squad, loses and then finds engagement ring, gets engaged

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In the span of a few days, Demone Harris bought an engagement ring, was released by the Buccaneers, traveled to Baltimore — where he lost the engagement ring, earned a spot on the Ravens practice squad and subsequently found the ring and got engaged.

Harris announced on Twitter today that he signed with the Ravens practice squad. The outside linebacker is in his second year in the NFL and originally was an undrafted free agent from Buffalo.

But that’s not the entire story of his signing.

Harris was released by the Buccaneers after returning from London on Oct. 15. He also had plans to propose to his girlfriend that week and had already purchased an engagement ring.

After a workout last Thursday morning in Baltimore, he was unable to find the engagement ring he planned to propose to his girlfriend with that weekend. 

Just a short while after the Ravens texted Harris to let him know he’d made the practice squad, he also received word that his engagement ring was found in the hotel he stayed at. 

The Ravens shipped the ring to him overnight and he proposed to his girlfriend on Friday in Buffalo like he’d planned to do all along. 

He ended his story on Twitter that he wanted to find the person who located the ring and “do something nice.”

For not having practiced with the Ravens yet, Harris has already created quite a stir.

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Ravens cut Justin Bethel, lose Pernell McPhee likely for season

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Ravens cut Justin Bethel, lose Pernell McPhee likely for season

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Just a day after a hard-fought win in Seattle, the Ravens have two roster spots to fill on defense.

The Ravens released special teams standout Justin Bethel on Monday, and coach John Harbaugh announced that Pernell McPhee is likely out for the season with a torn tricep.

Bethel was released after the Titans released Brent Urban last week.

The reason for Bethel's release was that Urban was due to give the Ravens a compensatory fourth-round pick. He signed a one-year deal in the offseason with the Titans as he left the Ravens. 

But Urban, who signed with Chicago on Monday, failed to impress in Tennessee and was released before the Week 10 compensatory deadline. Meaning, the Ravens would have lost the fourth-round pick they were scheduled to receive for John Brown's departure were it not for Bethel's release.

Bethel had six special teams tackles this season and was arguably the Ravens' best special teams player that doesn't snap or kick.

"Justin Bethel unfortunately had to be released due to a funky rule that the NFL has with these compensatory picks," Harbaugh said. "A judgement has to be made in terms of for the future as well. That's tough for us. I told him I think he's the best special teams player in the NFL, and he's playing that way."

Additionally, McPhee will likely be out for the season with a torn tricep. McPhee had three sacks and 19 total tackles in seven games for the Ravens this season.

"Pernell McPhee, it looks like he has a torn tricep," Harbaugh said. "If he has a torn tricep which I believe he does, that'll proclude the rest of the season." 

The Ravens have Aaron Adeoye, a rookie outside linebacker, on the practice squad should they wish to promote someone from within. Otherwise, they'll have to look through the free agent market or poach from another practice squad.

The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday. 

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