With Marshal Yanda out with back spasms, the Ravens did some experimenting at Saturday's practice, moving Oniel Cousins from starting right tackle to right guard.
The Ravens had talked about moving Cousins to guard in the offseason. When they re-signed Yanda, the team scrapped that plan and decided to give Cousins a shot at right tackle.
Now, with Yanda temporarily sidelined, Cousins has shifted to Yanda's spot at right guard and Jah Reid has taken over at right tackle.
"Maybe he is suited for that position," coach John Harbaugh said. "We'll find out. That's one of the great things about training camp, you get a chance to look at guys at other positions and see how they do."
Cousins, a 2008 third-round pick, struggled in the preseason opener when he played at left and right tackle. He said he's never played guard before.
"I felt comfortable," Cousins said. "Coach teaches everybody ... if you play tackle, you got to be able to play guard. If you play right tackle, you got be able to play left tackle."
Billy Cundiff led the NFL in touchbacks last season, but it seems like everyone is going to record them this year.
A new NFL rule that moved the kickoff five yards up to the 35-yard line was implemented to reduce injuries on returns. But it has drawn criticism because it turned kickoffs into a boring exercise. Six of seven kickoffs in the Ravens' preseason opener resulted in touchbacks.
"I think this kickoff rule will be short-lived," Cundiff said.
Thunder and rain forced the Ravens into their first extended practice indoors at this year's training camp.
It wasn't a problem at Ravens headquarters, where the team could conduct a normal practice at its field house. If camp had been at Westminster, the Ravens would have held a walk through at the McDaniel College gym.
"This is one of the advantages of having practices here now that we have this facility," Harbaugh said.
Pain in the neck
Despite sitting out practice with a recurring neck injury a couple of days before the preseason opener, Tavares Gooden made three tackles in the second and third quarters.
"The warrior in me, the coaching staff gave it up to me and let me make the decision, and I felt … that I was able to go," Gooden said. "I still have a little soreness, but the competitive beast in me came out, and I just wanted to compete and show what I had and that I could hold my own weight on this team."
Gooden confirmed that the neck injury is a repeat of a similar injury during last year's training camp that the team had described as neck tightness. Gooden said the recurring nature of the injury prompted him to consider missing the game against the Eagles, but he changed his mind.
"I thought about that, but just getting ready for the game, my teammates were jumping around, and I kind of fed off of their energy," he said. "So I had to go. It's just something that I had to do. I didn't want to let my team down."
Yanda (back spasms) and nose tackle Terrence Cody (ankle) were the only starters sidelined Saturday. It was considered precautionary. "I would rather not have those guys out there," Harbaugh said. Brandon McKinney filled in for Cody. …. Ed Dickson returned after missing the preseason opener with a hamstring injury, but Dennis Pitta continued to run with the starting offense at tight end. … Bernard Pollard worked with the first-team defense at strong safety over Tom Zbikowski. … New Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans chose No. 85 in his first practice because his usual No. 83 is being worn by tight end Ed Dickson. Asked if he is going to offer some compensation to Dickson, Evans said, "I haven't really thought about it. There's a lot more things going on right now." … There are approximately 300 tickets remaining for the Ravens' preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 19. Tickets can be purchased by calling 410-261-RAVE.