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Ravens LB Suggs to be 'game-time' decision Sunday

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Ravens LB Suggs to be 'game-time' decision Sunday

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs doesn't intend to let a torn right biceps keep him out of Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins.

``We kind of live by the creed of, if you can breathe then you can play,'' Suggs said Wednesday. ``We just got to check it out. We got to see how it holds up throughout the week. (It will) definitely be a game-time decision on Sunday.''

The injury occurred last weekend in the fourth quarter of a 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh.

Another injured Ravens linebacker, Ray Lewis, returned to practice Wednesday - the next stage of the 37-year-old's attempt to come back from a tore right triceps. Lewis was hurt Oct. 14 against Dallas and placed on injured reserve, designated for return.

``I'm making progress and will practice some today,'' Lewis said in a statement. ``But the story shouldn't be about me right now. We're playing the Redskins Sunday, and I am not eligible to play. If I can help prepare my team in some way for that game, I will. When I know I will play in a game, or when I play in a game, I will say more then.''

Suggs, on the other hand, will be on the field for the Ravens (9-3) against the surging Redskins (6-6) if his ailing right arm won't hinder his effectiveness.

``I don't want to be out there and can't make a play because I'm unhealthy and I don't have a full biceps,'' he said. ``It's more if I will help us or hinder us by playing.''

After missing the first six weeks of the season with a torn right Achilles tendon, Suggs returned sooner than expected and has 19 tackles and two sacks in the last six games. Given his remarkable recuperative powers, Suggs appears to be a good bet to be among the Ravens chasing Robert Griffin III at FedEx Field on Sunday.

``That's Suggs,'' Baltimore defensive back Corey Graham said. ``He comes back from everything, so nothing would surprise me with him.''

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody added, ``The guy is really tough. He came off an Achilles. Now, he's got this injury. You really find out about guys in situations like this. It means something to him. It's always good to have a guy like that on the team that's going to play through everything, loves to play football, loves to go to war like that.''

The 30-year-old Suggs missed only three games in his first nine seasons before this year. He played in all 16 games last season, had 14 sacks and helped the Ravens reached the AFC title game before being named NFL defensive player of the year.

Baltimore appears on course for another trip to the playoffs, but nothing is assured - yet.

``We got a job to do and we've got to get a win,'' he said. ``...If I can play with it, we're going to do everything we can to protect it so I don't injure it anymore.''

Playing with a torn biceps is not unprecedented.

``I've been told a couple of guys in the NFL are playing with torn biceps and that it may get better, it may not, you may need surgery, you may not,'' he said. ``We're going to go over it and decide what's best for the team and myself.''

Baltimore is 4-2 with Suggs in the lineup, and his presence has been a factor in the improved play of outside linebacker Paul Kruger, who has five sacks in the last four games.

``Players like Terrell Suggs do make everybody around them better, so that's probably part of it,'' coach John Harbaugh said.

Lewis is another player with that quality. There is no timetable for his return, but the Ravens don't seem to be the Ravens without No. 52 in the middle of the defense.

``This will be part of his rehab, and we'll see how he does,'' Harbaugh said. ``Whether he gets back soon, late, at all, what he's done to work through the injury, the rehab he's put himself through ... it's really impressive.''

Having him on the practice field wasn't the same as having him in the huddle, but it was an encouraging sign.

``He's Ray Lewis. Everybody knows how much it means,'' linebacker Jameel McClain said. ``Whether it adds up to something in the long run, we don't know that yet. Only Ray knows that. But having him here is definitely a plus for all of us.''

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A Norwegian soccer player turned kicker, Kaare Vedvik fighting for chance on Ravens roster

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A Norwegian soccer player turned kicker, Kaare Vedvik fighting for chance on Ravens roster

Twenty-four-year-old Kaare Vedvik didn't watch his first football game until seven years ago, and now he's fighting for a spot on the Ravens' special teams roster.

Raised in Norway, Vedvik got his first glance at the game when the Super Bowl was being broadcast on Norwegian television for the first time. 

"It seemed like a really, really interesting sport," Vedvik said via The Baltimore Sun. "It was a sport I was never able to try growing up. I loved any sport that was fun, and football seemed really, really fun."

Fun enough to get the competitive soccer player to be an exchange student in the United States during his junior year of high school to test out the game of football. Vedvik returned to Norway for his senior year but impressed college recruiters enough at a Kohl's Kicking Camp in Texas that he was eventually recruited to play at Marshall University in West Virginia.

Staying in Norway would have meant giving up on sports entirely as school becomes more difficult and sports are no longer offered. Vedvik wasn't ready for that.

While at Marshall, Vedvik played in 38 games in four years as both a punter and kicker. He punted 59 times for 2,597 yards — averaging 44 yards — with 26 of them inside the 20-yard line. Vedvik once punted a 92-yarder, making it the seventh-longest punt in FBS history and the longest in 45 years. He ranked in the Top 10 for fewest punt return yards and averaged 63.6 yards-per-kickoff. 

After a private workout with Ravens special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg, Vedvik became one of 14 Ravens undrafted free agents and has impressed thus far hitting 70 and 67-yard field goals in training camp practices. And in Thursday's preseason game vs. the Rams, Vedvik hit a 56-yard field goal.

"Learning how to kick field goals, the biggest thing for me was to stop swiping across and trying to kick a straighter ball," Vedcik said. "That’s the biggest difference: In soccer, you’re trying to curve balls around a defender."

While Vedvik's chances of dethroning the most accurate kicker in NFL history in Justin Tucker and 12-year veteran punter Sam Koch are slim, he could very well make an impact elsewhere. 

“The guys who are able to do that, they’re just good athletes in general, and Kaare is a good athlete,” Tucker said of the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Norwegian. “He hasn’t played a lot of football. He has plenty of ability.”

“When he came in, he’s got such a strong leg," Koch added. "You’ve got to have a strong leg in order to get looked at. He’s got a lot of talent. It’s one of those things — bringing him in, honing his skills and seeing what he can do from here.”

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What we learned from the Baltimore Ravens' 33-7 win vs. the Los Angeles Rams

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What we learned from the Baltimore Ravens' 33-7 win vs. the Los Angeles Rams

The Ravens returned to M&T Bank Stadium for their second game on the 2018 NFL preseason schedule and gave us a lot of reasons to be excited.

Joe Flacco and his new core of receivers only needed one drive to show off, Lamar Jackson put his speed on display and Robert Griffin III gave Breshad Perriman a much-needed confidence boost.

Here's what we learned from their 33-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams. 

1. First teamers make it count

It took Joe Flacco and the first-team offense all of 4 minutes and 46 seconds to get themselves on the board. During the 10-play, 70-yard drive, Flacco connected with rookie tight end Hayden Hurst, Javorius Allen, John Brown, Michael Crabtree, and finally, Patrick Ricard for a six-yard touchdown. During the impressive drive, Flacco showed his own mobility by getting out of the pocket for a three-yard gain and a classic Flacco slide. 

Flacco connecting with three of his newest receivers is what we've been waiting to see all offseason. Even though it was just one preseason drive, it's a step in the right direction after the Ravens' 2017 offense ranked 29th in the league in passing. 

"Listen, our guys are really showing up," Flacco said at halftime. "We've had a great camp, and it was good to come out here and see it carry over into a game."

"I think once the regular season starts, this isn't going to mean anything," said Flacco postgame. "But what it does for our confidence as a group, our confidence as a team, that will carry us pretty far into the season."

2. A lot of room to grow for Lamar Jackson

Jackson followed up the Ravens' successful first drive with one of his own. The rookie hit Chris Moore for a 36-yard gain before putting his footwork on display faking out several Rams defenders en route to a 9-yard touchdown run. 

While he made improvements from his Hall of Fame Game appearance, Jackson showed he still has a lot to learn, finishing the night 7-18 for 119 yards. With two preseason games under his belt, Jackson received high praise from his head coach John Harbaugh and Flacco on which he carries himself. 

"He does seem poised for a rookie," coach John Harbaugh said. "Even on the sideline, he may not know everything ... but he comes off the field and knows exactly what he did. I think he's really going to continue to blossom for that reason. He handles situations very well."

Flacco followed up on Harbaugh's comments by calling his touchdown run "pretty impressive" and said it's been good getting to talk to him on the sideline and that "he's a confident young kid... [that's been] handling himself really well."


3. A much-needed confidence boost for Perriman

The Ravens showed their former first-round pick they still have faith in him after picking up his $649K roster bonus included in the final year of his rookie contract earlier this offseason.

During last week's Hall of Fame Game, Perriman dropped a pass from RGIII that turned into an interception. However, the duo redeemed themselves against the Rams when Griffin III threw a 32-yard bomb to the back left corner of the end zone to Perriman. 

A smiling Perriman could be found in the Ravens' locker room after the win saying the play was "definitely a confidence boost" and is just thankful to finally be healthy during the preseason for pretty much the first time in his career. 

He will have to continue to fight for his spot on the 53-man roster with the additions of Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown. 

4. Williams continues to be a threat

The 2017 third-round pick followed up his strong performance at the Hall of Fame Game – where he had a total of 41 pass-rushing snaps resulting in six hurries, one QB hit and a pass rush productivity of 17.1 according to Pro Football Focus – with another stellar performance.

During Thursday's matchup, the edge rusher out of Alabama had multiple hurries and a strip sack in the third for the first sack of the preseason.

Williams was following in the footsteps of the Ravens' first-team defense who finished their opening drive with a sack from Matthew Judon on third down to force the punt and an interception in the second from Maurice Canady. 

Ravens vs. Rams Notes

— The competition at right tackle between James Hurst and Orlando Brown Jr. is heating up. Brown Jr. played into the third quarter Thursday after getting in 60 snaps during the Hall of Fame Game. Quarterback Joe Flacco praised the third-round pick saying, "You can't ignore the fact that he's got the ability. He's just so big. He swallows people up. He has the natural ability to play that position and be a really good football player, so it's just exciting to see." 

— The Ravens got two W's last night when John Harbaugh quoted THE Michael Scott when asked about avoiding the injury bug during the preseason. Harbaugh said, "I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious." Classic. 

— While the preseason record does not matter whatsoever, the Ravens haven't lost a preseason game since Sept. 3, 2015. They now have ten days until they head to Indianapolis to face the Colts. 

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