OWINGS MILLS — It was no surprise to hear Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil sounding like he would miss his second straight game Sunday against the Browns. Dumervil has not practiced this week, and while he has made progress, Dumervil simply must let his recovery from offseason foot surgery run its course.
“I feel like I’m getting close, but I don’t know what close means yet,” Dumervil said Thursday in the Ravens’ locker room. “In due time when the time is right, I’ll be ready. I’m definitely learning more patience. The good thing is, it’s coming.”
Not only is Dumervil not expected to play Sunday, it doesn’t look good for outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (ankle) to play either. Smith also missed practice Thursday, and the absence of Dumervil and Smith could negatively impact the Ravens’ pass rush against the Browns and quarterback Josh McCown.
Terrell Suggs and Albert McClellan are expected to start at outside linebacker, but rookie linebackers Matt Judon and rookie Kamalei Correa could both see playing time Sunday, along with linebacker Chris Carter.
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OWINGS MILLS – Add outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith to the list of Ravens not expected to play Saturday night. Head coach John Harbaugh said Smith had an ankle issue that would keep him out against the Lions. Smith was not at practice Thursday.
Others not expected to play against the Lions include outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, left guard John Urschel, tight ends Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams, safety Kendrick Lewis, cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Jerraud Powers, and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. All of them are at various stages of dealing with injuries.
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Perriman returned to practice this week, but head coach John Harbaugh did not commit to playing Perriman after Thursday’s walkthrough practice.
“We’ll see, it’s up to the doctors,” Harbaugh said of Perriman. “He hasn’t gone full speed in practice yet. Today was not a full speed practice for anybody.”
Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is not expected to play either, because he just returned to practice this week after offseason foot surgery. With Suggs, Dumervil, and Smith out of the lineup, Saturday should present an opportunity for pass rushers like Matt Judon, Chris Carter, and Victor Ochi to get extra reps.
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OWINGS MILLS – Five observations from Day 6 of Ravens training camp on Wednesday:
1. Quarterback Joe Flacco had his best day of camp throwing the football.
There were at least four throws that Flacco delivered in perfect spots, completing passes despite tight coverage. Not only is Flacco moving well on his surgically repaired knee, his accuracy is not suffering.
2. The Ravens’ defense is getting more tipped balls in practice than last year.
That’s a good sign for the defense, especially since Flacco is throwing well. The coverage looks tighter. The secondary is making fewer mental mistakes. The Ravens have added two experienced minds to their secondary – safety Eric Weddle and secondary coach Leslie Frazier. Both have been positive influences.
3. Anthony Levine is seeing plenty of time at linebacker instead of safety.
Levine has been a valuable player on special team for years, but he could factor into more defensive snaps as a linebacker, especially in passing situations. He looks comfortable in that role so far.
4. Rookie cornerback Tavon Young continues to make plays.
The fourth-round pick from Temple is playing with poise and confidence. If that continues during the preseason, Young could be a factor as a nickel back.
5. This could be a breakout season for linebacker Za’Darius Smith.
Smith ended his rookie season with 3 ½ sacks over the final three games. It appears in practice that Smith is picking up where he left off, and the Ravens may move him around in passing situations to give him favorable matchups as a pass rusher.