Baltimore Ravens: Returner Position Open, Injury Report


May 28, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson (27) catches a punt during training camp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens had on full pads for practice Monday. It is the first of two practices they will hold before their first preseason game Thursday against the New Orleans Saints at M&T Bank Stadium.

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Head coach John Harbaugh did say it would be last physical practice before Thursday night’s game. The physical practice did not result in any major skirmishes beyond a bit of pushing and shoving.

At this point in training camp, the behavior during practice tells the coaches and others that the players are done hitting teammates and ready for a real game.

The injury report looked much the same compared to over the weekend with a few differences. Wide receiver Marlon Brown (back, hamstring), rookie tight end Maxx Williams (eye), cornerbacks Tray Walker (hamstring) and Chris Greenwood (hamstring) and offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele (foot) returned to the field.

However, first-round pick Breshad Perriman missed his ninth-straight practice, which threatens his chances to play Thursday night. He could still play if they are holding him out of practice to avoid any risks, but a decision will have to be made sooner or later.

Offensive linemen John Urschel and Robert Myers were both held out with concussions. After safety Kendrick Lewis was involved in an accidental collision Saturday, he was sidelined with an undisclosed injury.

Perriman missed his ninth-consecutive practice Monday. The team only has one practice left before Thursday’s preseason game.

Defensive tackle Jimmy Ternigan (foot) missed practice, which allowed rookie Carl Davis to take additional snaps with the first-team defense. Depending on who plays on Thursday, the rookie could receive time with the starting defense against the Saints. He is on track to sharing a good number of snaps with starters during the season.

During Monday’s practice, one of the undecided positions had a lot of time spent on it. The returner spot was left vacant when Jacoby Jones left the team.

Michael Campanaro, Aldrick Robinson, DeAndre Carter, Asa Jackson, Steve Smith Sr. and Lardarius Webb took snaps as returners during the practice. They returned punts from Sam Koch and Justin Manton as the coverage team was converging on them.

On the day Smith Sr. made his retirement announcement, he was the oldest player returning punts. Though Jackson seems to have the edge over the other competitors, the returner has yet to be decided. He is listed as the kick-returner starter on the first depth report, though Campanaro is listed as the starter for the punt returner.

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The preseason games should help decide who ultimately is the returner when the regular season Webb is trying to recover from injuries, so after leaving practice early from a tweaked hamstring, the chances he stays in the competition for the returner position is unlikely.

He said earlier in the offseason his main goal was to stay healthy, and he would only pursue the returner position if he could do both. The Ravens need him more in the secondary than they do on kickoffs or punts.

The first preseason game will shine more light on all the position battles.

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