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Ravens' Joe Flacco hopes to play Sunday but says throwing shoulder is sore

Ravens' Joe Flacco hopes to play Sunday but says throwing shoulder is sore

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco hopes to play Sunday against the New York Jets, despite soreness in his throwing shoulder that prevented him from practicing Wednesday. Flacco did not go into specifics about his MRI results but remained optimistic that he would be not be sidelined for Week 7, with the Ravens (3-3) riding a three-game losing streak.

“I have a little shoulder soreness, so we thought it would be best to take a day off, see how I feel tomorrow,” Flacco said Wednesday. “I did not feel it during the game.  

“I think a little bit of rest right now is probably the best of thing. I’m not nervous. It’s not about being pain-free. You can deal with a little pain. It’s just about making sure you can throw the ball good enough to go out there and help your team.”

Flacco suffered the injury during Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants, but he could not remember exactly when the injury occurred. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he expected Flacco to play, but would have confidence if backup quarterback Ryan Mallett was pressed into action.

“We think [Flacco] has a chance to play,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know what the percentage is.

“Ryan has started in this league. That will not be a problem if he plays. I feel very confident if Ryan Mallett’s out there. I’m going to want Joe out there. Everybody knows that, Joe knows that. Joe will be out there if he can be. There’s no tougher guy than Joe. And to me, he will be out there. It’s my belief he’ll be out there. But the way it heals is the way it heals. We’ll see.”

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Ravens add three defensive players with flurry of afternoon deals

Ravens add three defensive players with flurry of afternoon deals

In the wake of injuries to the Ravens’ defensive line, the team reportedly signed veteran defensive tackle Justin Ellis, while also working on a deal with defensive tackle Domata Peko, according to reports from Ian Rapoport and Jeff Zrebiec. 

According to a report from Tom Pelissero, the Ravens placed Daylon Mack on injured reserve and waived Cyrus Jones. Zrebiec later reported the team waived defensive end Ufomba Kamalu, too.

By waiving Jones, the Ravens made room to activate rookie cornerback Iman Marshall off injured reserve.

Marshall, a rookie fourth-round cornerback out of USC, was placed on IR on September 2 and returned to practice at the end of October.

Ellis is a former 2014 fourth-round pick of the Raiders, where he stayed until October 8, when he was released by the team. He’s a 6-foot-2, 350-pound defensive tackle that is mostly a run-stopping defender. He hasn’t played this season and only appeared in six games in 2018, but he registered a career-high in tackles (48) in 14 starts in 2017 for the Raiders. 

Peko was a 2006 fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, where he stayed until 2016. He spent 2017 and 2018 in Denver. Peko is incredibly durable, failing to play in all 16 games just twice in his NFL career. 

Out the door for this season is Mack, who was added to the injury report late Friday with a knee/hip injury. The rookie fifth-round pick played in just one game this season against the Browns, and he didn’t register a statistic. 

Baltimore also waived Jones, a cornerback who handled return duties this season, muffed a punt against the Patriots and was inactive against the Bengals on Sunday. Jones played in every game this season except for the Bengals game. De'Anthony Thomas took over his job as the returner, making Jones expendable on the roster.

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Lamar Jackson’s play this season has begun to make some analysts and fans backtrack 

Lamar Jackson’s play this season has begun to make some analysts and fans backtrack 

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson is starting to make people reconsider what they think of him. 

After the Ravens’ 49-13 win over the Bengals on Sunday, the rest of the NFL is starting to take notice about Lamar Jackson’s status in the NFL. Especially considering his spin move through the Bengals defense.

Hall of Fame NFL general manager Bill Polian recently admitted that he was wrong when he said that Jackson should be an NFL wide receiver during his draft process in 2018.

“I was wrong, because I used the old, traditional quarterback standard with him, which is clearly why John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome were more prescient than I was,” Polian told USA TODAY Sports. 

Jackson is currently building an MVP case for himself and is on-pace for over 30 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards of total offense. 

It’s a nice change of pace for the 22-year-old quarterback in his second year as a pro. Jackson had to face heavy criticism after he left Louisville for a variety of reasons headed into the draft. Even after he took over as the Ravens quarterback, those evaluations persisted. 

“We always knew what he was about,” Ravens center Matt Skura said. “We always knew his ability to make plays and all that stuff. I think it’s just people right now seeing it on a much larger scale and it’s just getting the attention now.”

At this point, however, it’s clear that not only is Jackson a quarterback, he might even be the MVP of the league.

Of the five quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2018 Draft, only four are starting and just two have led their teams to a winning record. Jackson leads all of his draft counterparts in total yards and total touchdowns. 

But as anyone in the Ravens’ locker room will say, the accolades don’t concern Jackson — only the record does.

“I think he’s more concerned with winning than anything,” Orlando Brown Jr. said. “As individuals, we’ve all got people to prove wrong and things that we used to put a chip on our shoulder. At the end of the day, I know he’s more concerned with winning more than anything.”

Still, it’s noteworthy that it only took Jackson a complete season of starts, through two partial seasons, to begin the backtracking across the NFL landscape.

“If you watch ESPN or you watch TV, it’s going to come up no matter what,” Skura said. “Even on your Instagram feed it’s going to come up. I think for a lot of us, just in one ear and out the other as far as people pumping us up. You’ve kind of got to stay level-headed and ride the rollercoaster, so to say.”

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