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Ravens notes: WR Adeboyejo regaining speed; Back injury changes Flacco's routine

The Baltimore Sun

Quincy Adeboyejo said the PCL in his left knee that he injured during the preseason has slowly but steadily been improving to the point in which the Ravens rookie wide receiver said he is comfortable sprinting past defenders.

“It’s not 100 percent, but I’ve definitely gotten to where I can run past people,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “I think that’s the strength of my game — my speed. So it kind of took away my speed and took away the best part of my game. It’s definitely coming back. This bye week is going to [help] a lot in my progress. So hopefully I can come back and be 100 percent. That’s my plan.”

Adeboyejo, 22, said the injury would usually take five to six weeks to fully heal. But as an undrafted free agent trying to secure a spot on the team’s roster, he did not have the luxury of taking time off. Adeboyejo, who was cut by the team and re-signed to the practice squad before the start of the regular season, said the ailment was a mental roadblock as much as it was physical.

“It was a struggle mentally because I’m not really used to being injured,” he said. “So getting to this level and it happening at the worst time ever [because] in the preseason, I’m still fighting to make the team. So it definitely affected me mentally.”

If not for the knee injury, Adeboyejo might have been a candidate for promotion to the active roster when the team was forced to play against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 22 without Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) and Breshad Perriman (concussion) and then lost Mike Wallace (concussion) in the first quarter. But Adeboyejo said he was in no shape to make the leap.

“I understood where I was at,” he said. “I wasn’t full speed. So I probably wouldn’t have been any help anyway. I understood. It’s a business, and I wasn’t ready.”

Wide receivers coach Bobby Engram said he has seen progress in Adeboyejo’s growth.

“Every week has been a little step in the right direction,” Engram said. “It seems like [his knee injury] has been a little bit slow, but I know I stay on him about doing everything that he can and being a professional away from the classroom and away from the practice field. Those are kind of easy things, but when you get away from the classroom and the football field, what are you doing to keep getting better and keep getting yourself healthy? I think he is doing everything he can, but he is getting close.”

Flacco changes routine: In past seasons, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would be on the field about two hours before games, getting loose and throwing to some of his receivers. He’s not done that at all this year, waiting instead for the official warmup. Flacco acknowledged that his preseason back injury forced a change in his routine.

“I am kind of just hanging out in the training room and getting more loosened up in there,” Flacco said. “I am definitely getting [to the stadium] probably earlier than I ever have and my routine is more inside this year than anything. Especially because early in the season, that is what it had to be, and I have got in a little groove doing it and it is what it is.”

Flacco, who also dealt with a concussion recently, downplayed the importance of the bye week from a physical standpoint.

“I think people always talk about the break you get during the bye week, and I mean it is just a couple of days,” he said. “A lot of time it ends up being more of a mental reset than anything. Obviously, little things, physically, can get better. But it is not like you are going to come back and be like, ‘Man, I was just off for six months and I feel great.’ Everybody is still dealing with the stuff you deal with throughout the course of a 17-week season. I think it is a good time for guys to kind of reflect and reset mentally a little bit. It is nice to have it right in the middle of the year. I think it is the best time to have it.”

Correa’s future? Ravens linebackers coach Don Martindale made an interesting comparison Tuesday when asked what weak-side linebacker Kamalei Correa needs to do to play more over the final seven games.

“As the season progresses, roles develop. To help you all to see where I see K.C. at, I see him taking Albert McClellan’s role,” Martindale said. “He has done a great job on special teams, and he is really playing all three [linebacker] spots. I had him playing [middle] today some. He can play [weak side], he can play [strong side], and that is where his role is at right now.”

McClellan, who is out for the year after having knee surgery, signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2010, spent a year on the practice squad and then morphed into a core special teamer and a versatile linebacker. McClellan started a game in 2011, 12 in 2012 and 11 last year, when he played primarily on the strong side.

Correa, meanwhile, was a second-round pick last year. He played in nine games last season mostly on special teams before he became the starting weak-side linebacker this year. However, after starting the first three games, Correa was supplanted by converted safety Patrick Onwuasor, an undrafted free agent last year.

“[Onwuasor] was just more productive, and I went ahead and went with that move of putting him there full time,” Martindale said. “He will spot [Onwuasor], but not as much as what we were doing earlier when we were rotating them.”

End zone: Coach John Harbaugh won’t be spending a rare Saturday off in College Park, where his brother Jim’s Michigan Wolverines play Maryland. Harbaugh will instead be on the sideline at a lacrosse tournament to watch his daughter, Alison, play. “Blood is thicker than blood,” Harbaugh joked. … Harbaugh confirmed that nose tackle Michael Pierce played only seven defensive snaps Sunday against the Tennessee Titans because he was still sick with the flu.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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