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Ravens Insider
The latest Baltimore Ravens news, notes and analysis
Getting over knee injury, Ravens tackle Eugene Monroe pursuing first career playoff berth

Since his arrival in the NFL as a first-round pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars six years ago, Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe has experienced plenty of success from an individual standpoint.

What's eluded Monroe, though, is an opportunity to play in the postseason. One of his best chances was last season, after the Ravens acquired him from Jacksonville in a trade. The Ravens finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, thanks to a loss in the final game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"We have six games ahead of us with a solid chance to control our destiny in terms of a potential postseason," Monroe said. "We're just grinding towards that. I'm excited about the opportunity. I've had chances to make it two times in my career and ended up losing the last game we needed to make it, once being here last year and another season early in my career in Jacksonville. It's customary to make the playoffs here. The opportunity is here. It's up to us to make it happen."...

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A healed Justin Forsett eyeing 1,000 yards and a strong stretch run

The cut across the bridge on Justin Forsett's nose is healing up, finally knitting after a long run of bloody Sundays for the diminutive Ravens running back.

Forsett doesn't mind the battle scar that much, considering it something of a badge of courage from his series of collisions with much larger linebackers and a reminder of the most prolific season of his career.

"During the bye, I was really focused on taking care of that and not picking at the scab and making sure I was covering it up," Forsett said in the Ravens' locker room. "Hopefully, it doesn't open up again on Monday night. They put some more air in my helmet. We'll see if that works because it keeps dropping down on me."

Forsett is in the midst of a breakthrough season. Once regarded as a place-holder during Ray Rice's original two-game NFL suspension, Forsett has earned the starting job ahead of Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro.

Forsett ranks seventh in the NFL with a career-high 721 rushing yards, and he's on pace...

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Wide receiver Marlon Brown has 'chance to make some some plays' in red zone

Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak pointed Thursday to the Ravens’ red-zone performance as crucial to a playoff push, and said second-year wide receiver Marlon Brown could be part of that attack.

“You want to get down there a bunch. We’ve been able to do that,” Kubiak said. “We need to play better. We need to be more efficient down there … but the red-zone [percentage] is an interesting stat.

“It’s about the importance of when you’re down there. In my opinion, it’s fixing to get very important here over the next six weeks.”

The Ravens have scored touchdowns on 54.1 percent of trips inside the 20-yard line, the 19th-best rate in the NFL, but they’re climbing after a poor start to the season. In the past seven games, they have 15 touchdowns in 23 trips inside the 20.

Brown, who caught seven red-zone touchdowns last season, has 10 catches for 93 yards and no touchdowns in 2014. He has been targeted 13 times in eight games, but never in the red zone.

“Marlon’s getting more involved in what we’re doing,” Kubiak said. “I think he’s played really well the last couple of games. He’s got a big body [and] a chance to make some plays.”

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Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith says he'll be sidelined for six months after Lisfranc injury

Injured cornerback Jimmy Smith wheeled around the Ravens locker room Thursday on a scooter, his left knee propped up and his left foot in a large, black boot.

“It's a six-month period and timetable for it, so it's been three weeks,” Smith said in his first public comments since having season-ending foot surgery Nov. 6. “I guess I got some time on this little scooter I got here.”

Smith confirmed that he suffered a Lisfranc injury, a dislocation of his foot, in the Ravens’ 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 26. The nature of the injury was confirmed during a visit to noted orthopedist Dr. Robert Anderson earlier this month.

If all goes well in Smith’s rehabilitation, he should be fully recovered around May, giving him some time to prepare for the 2015 season.  

“I'm more just [angry] because I thought it was something more minor, but going in there and finding out what it was and them telling me how severe it was” was revealing, Smith said. “But it's like any other injury. I'll...

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Drew Brees well aware that Ravens are the only team he hasn't beaten

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs didn’t want to hear it. Informed Wednesday that the Ravens were the only team that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has never beaten in his career, Suggs quickly shot back: “I don’t believe that.”

Alas, it’s true, albeit in a very small sample size. Brees is 0-3 in his career against the Ravens, losing twice to them as a member of the Saints and once with the San Diego Chargers.

“I am aware. I played them in ’03, ’06 and ’10. Thanks for reminding me,” Brees joked in a conference call with Baltimore reporters Thursday. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. Every time I step on the field, I want to win. But certainly, you want to say that you’ve beaten every team.”  

Sean Payton, the Saints’ head coach since 2006, also has a victory over every NFL team except the Ravens, losing to them 35-22 at home in 2006, and 30-24 at M&T Bank Stadium in 2010.

In his career against the Ravens, Brees has thrown six touchdown passes and seven interceptions. His...

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Marshal Yanda returns to practice for Ravens

Ravens right guard Marshal Yanda returned to practice Thursday after not participating in Wednesday's team workout.

Yanda has been on the injury report the past couple of weeks with a left knee issue, but he should be ready to play against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

Rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro (hamstring) and offensive guard/tackle Jah Reid (broken hand) remained sidelined from practice. Campanaro hasn't practiced since Oct. 24, while Reid was injured a couple of days before the Ravens' 21-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Nov.9.

Neither player appears likely to be active Monday.

Tight end Owen Daniels and middle linebacker Daryl Smith also weren't present for the early portion of practice. But the coaching staff has been given them periodic days off this season because of their veteran status.

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