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Tough learning experience for Ravens' Rick Wagner against Broncos

It was an extremely difficult situation for Ravens rookie offensive tackle Rick Wagner against the Denver Broncos.

Thrust into the game at right tackle on an emergency basis when starter Michael Oher sprained his right ankle, Wagner played 60 snaps with fairly predictable results.

Although Wagner held his own at times, the fifth-round draft pick from Wisconsin also predictably struggled when the Broncos put their top pass rusher against him: outside linebacker Shaun Phillips, who finished with 2 1/2 sacks.

"Mostly positive feedback, but I made a couple of mistakes and a couple of things I need to work on," Wagner said. "It was a good experience getting out there. It was tough, but I'm going to continue to work and get better. It was pretty fast, but I thought I did pretty well overall."

Wagner ran into trouble when Phillips would redirect his initial charge and loop outside around him, using his superior quickness.

Wagner said playing next to Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda made him more comfortable.

"He definitely helped me out with everything," Wagner said. "It made me feel right at home."

Oher is expected to return this week against the Cleveland Browns after participating fully in practice Wednesday.

Yanda acknowledged that Wagner was in a rough spot, but performed better than many would have.

"Rick definitely had a tough situation to step into," Yanda said. "All of a sudden, bang, he's in there. That's tough for a young player, but I thought he did well considering what he had to deal with."

awilson@baltsun.com

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