OWINGS MILLS - Ravens running back Ray Rice took a positive step Wednesday as he works towards being available for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.
Rice was back at practice for the first time since straining his left hip flexor against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2, albeit on a limited basis.
Rice was sidelined for last week's game versus the Houston Texans, but Baltimore coach John Harbaugh seemed optimistic on Monday regarding Rice's chances of playing against the Bills.
Starting defensive end Chris Canty also returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday.
Canty missed the game against the Texans with a strained groin that he suffered against Cleveland.
Harbaugh said on Monday that Rice and Canty were almost healthy enough to play against Houston. Returning to practice Wednesday bodes well for their chances of playing versus the Bills this weekend.
OTHER INJURY NOTES: Wide receiver Marlon Brown was among six Ravens to miss practice Wednesday.
Brown is dealing with a neck injury.
Wide receiver Jacoby Jones (knee), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (knee), outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (knee), running back Shaun Draughn (ankle) and center Ryan Jensen (foot) were the other Ravens that didn't practice.
Jones has already been ruled out for a third straight game.
Meanwhile, Rice, Canty, inside linebacker Arthur Brown (chest), defensive lineman Brandon Williams (toe) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot) were all limited participants in practice.
Thompson hasn't played since spraining his foot in Baltimore's first preseason game, but he said his foot is "coming along great" and said he's optimistic that he'll be able to play this week, although he did acknowledge that he's still experiencing some soreness with the foot.
If Thompson is healthy enough to play, he's an option as a kick returner, especially with Draughn injured.
RESPONDING TO RAY: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was one of several players asked for their opinion Wednesday of Ray Lewis' comments from Monday.
Lewis, now an analyst for ESPN, was on air hours after news broke of the incident involving Jacoby Jones and said Baltimore is lacking leadership now that veterans like he and Ed Reed are gone. He also implied that the situation with Jones wouldn't have happened if he were still a member of the team.
"It is what it is," Flacco said. "Ray knows better than that. Things happen. I think we're usually a pretty good team with stuff like that. If you look around the league, there are probably a lot of leadership problems then. So, like I said, Ray knows better."
Right guard Marshal Yanda was another player asked about Lewis' comments.
"I didn't hear the comments," Yanda said. "But no, it doesn't bother me because we all understand the leadership that we have. ... Obviously, Ray, he was a huge vocal leader and stuff like that and very enthusiastic, and we all love him and miss him, but it's going to be a different type of leadership [now] obviously.
"Nobody is going to be able to just jump into Ray Lewis' role and just try to be exactly the same, but we have a lot of really good leaders on this team, and we're not sweating it one bit."
ROSTER MOVE: Two days after cutting rookie safety Brynden Trawick to make room for safety Jeromy Miles, the Ravens announced that they signed Trawick to their practice squad.
To make room on the practice squad, Baltimore released inside linebacker Brandon Copeland, a Sykesville native.