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Ravens' Pierce, Jimmy Smith, Webb, Jackson, Reid return to practice

Ravens hoping to get healthy in time for season-opener

By Aaron Wilson

The Baltimore Sun

6:54 PM EDT, August 30, 2014

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Jimmy Smith walked up the hill from the Ravens’ practice field to the locker room and immediately started laughing when asked if he would be ready to play in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Sidelined since suffering a chest bruise developing lung issues when he fell awkwardly against the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago, Smith has returned to practice. The starting cornerback said he’ll definitely be playing against the Bengals, which have a receiving corps headlined by Pro Bowler A.J. Green.

“I'm alive, I'm still breathing,” Smith said. “Absolutely, I'm back. I'm fine.”

Several other injured players practiced Saturday as they began preparations for the Bengals game on Sept. 7 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Starting cornerback Lardarius Webb (lower back) and third cornerback Asa Jackson (sprained ankle) both practiced.

Smith was limited and off to the side, as was Webb. Jackson caught punts and was moving well. The players on Friday took part in their first practice since getting hurt.

“It's very encouraging to get all those guys practicing,” coach John Harbaugh said. “We had everybody practicing, so it was encouraging to see that. Those guys all look good, and we'll just take it one day at a time from there.”

Webb missed all four preseason games after getting hurt July 25 during the second day of training camp.

Jackson sprained his ankle during a joint practice session with the San Francisco 49ers and missed the final three preseason games.

Running back Bernard Pierce, who's slated to start for the Ravens during running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension for violating the NFL personal-conduct policy, also practiced Saturday.

Pierce is recovering from what Harbaugh called a mild concussion, suffered against the Washington Redskins on a crushing shot to the head delivered by Washington safety Brandon Meriweather.

Meanwhile, offensive tackle Jah Reid practiced for the first time since suffering a concussion in practice prior to the Redskins game.

Pierce and Reid have passed mandatory baseline neurological exams under the NFL concussion testing protocol.

Reid remained after practice for some extra work with offensive line coach Juan Castillo.

awilson@baltsun.com

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