Weeks after falling awkwardly against the Dallas Cowboys and coughing up blood, Ravens starting cornerback Jimmy Smith proclaimed that he's made a full recovery.
Smith suffered a chest contusion against the Cowboys and also had lung issues, but has been practicing since last week and says he's on track to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.
Smith said he won't need any extra padding to protect his chest.
"I'm absolutely fine," said Smith, who's not listed on the first injury report released Wednesday. "There's nothing wrong with me at all. I can do whatever."
Meanwhile, starting cornerback Lardarius Webb declined an interview request. Webb has been practicing since last Friday after missing the entire preseason with a lower back injury and undergoing sports hernia surgery in the offseason. Webb was listed as a full participant as well as running back Bernard Pierce, who had a concussion in the preseason and has passed a baseline neurological test.
The Ravens also didn't list tight end Owen Daniels (hamstring), offensive tackle Jah Reid, who's passed a baseline test after a concussion in the preseason, and cornerback Asa Jackson.
"I can see it in Webbie's eyes, he wants to be there so bad," strong safety Matt Elam said. "I'm not sure what's going on, but I can just see he's trying to get out there. I can see the fire in his eyes and the competitor he is and how much he cares about us, I can see how much he wants to be there."
Cornerback Asa Jackson, who's returned to practice from a sprained ankle and isn't listed on the injury report, said he feels much better. Jackson has been cutting fine in practice.
"It's been a good week of practice so far, I'm just trying to keep improving," said Jackson, who got hurt during a joint practice session against the San Francisco 49ers. "It was frustrating for a while how long it was taking, but the amount of time we took to make sure the injury was all the way healed, I'll be abel to be at full speed. It was the right decision. Hopefully, it will pay off on Sunday."
Jackson had a leaping interception in the first preseason game against the 49ers. After serving a combined dozen games of suspensions during his first two seasons for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy for unauthorized usage of Adderall, Jackson is eager to get on the field in a key role.
“The more balls get thrown my way, the more opportunities I have to get my hands on one,” Jackson said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge, for sure.”
For the Bengals, they've ruled out running back Rex Burkhead (knee) and wide receiver Marvin Jones (foot). Bengals linebacker Sean Porter (hamstring), wide receiver James Wright (concussion) and center Mike Pollak (knee) didn't practice. Rookie cornerback Darqueze Dennard (hip) was limited, and Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict (hamstring) participated fully.
Smith said he's not overly concerned about accumulating rust during the preseason when he missed the final two weeks of practice and games.
"My challenge is going to be the Bengals," Smith said. "I'm not really too worried about rust or anything because I've been conditioning, I've been trying to stay in shape."
Pierce feeling better
Running back Bernard Pierce remains on track to start against the Bengals with Ray Rice suspended for the first two games of the regular season for violating the NFL personal conduct policy.
Pierce participated fully in practice Wednesday after suffering a mild concussion during the preseason and has since passed a baseline neurological test.
“I’m good,” Pierce said. “I would say the concussion last week was minor. I started practicing the week after and am full throttle now.
“It was just dizziness, a little sensitivity to light. Besides that, my balance was good. I was sleeping well and everything.”
The Ravens didn't list tight end Owen Daniels (hamstring), or offensive tackle Jah Reid (preseason concussion, passed baseline test) on the injury report.
Cornerback signed to practice squad
The Ravens considered at least one more choice at defensive back before signing veteran cornerback Derek Cox.
The Ravens also brought in former Arizona Cardinals third-round cornerback Jamell Fleming for a visit and signed him to the practice squad.
Fleming was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars during the final major roster cutdown. He has 23 career tackles and played in eight games last season for the Jaguars.
Meanwhile, the Ravens cut rookie cornerback Deji Olatoye from the practice squad.
Cut by the Ravens on Tuesday, inside linebacker Josh Bynes cleared waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent. … The Ravens reached a $58,765 injury settlement with fullback Shaun Chapas (shoulder), removing him from injured reserve. … The Ravens also removed offensive tackle Brett Van Sloten (sprained knee) from injured reserve with an undisclosed injury settlement. … The Bengals ruled out running back Rex Burkhead (knee) and wide receiver Marvin Jones (foot). Bengals linebacker Sean Porter (hamstring), wide receiver James Wright (concussion) and center Mike Pollak (knee) didn't practice. Rookie cornerback Darqueze Dennard (hip) was limited, and Burfict (hamstring) participated fully.
Our Thursday night football picks
Syreeta “The NFL Chick” Hubbard: Seahawks
Monique Jones: Seahawks
Jon Meoli: Seahawks
Mike Preston: Seahawks
Peter Schmuck: Packers
Aaron Wilson: Seahawks
Jeff Zrebiec: SeahawksCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun