Darnerien McCants' return to the NFL was a joy-filled experience. Painful, too.
Before the Ravens signed the wide receiver two weeks ago, McCants had gone almost two years without practicing with or playing for a NFL team. So McCants' first practice July 25 was somewhat bittersweet.
"It feels great to be out [of] the league for two years and then to jump back in it," the Arundel alumnus said. "But it hurt."
McCants' presence on the roster was necessitated by an injury to Demetrius Williams. Expected to compete with Mark Clayton for the second starter position opposite Derrick Mason, Williams suffered a lower-left leg injury and is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
At 6 feet 3, 215 pounds, McCants is the second-tallest receiver on the roster, 2 inches shorter than rookie Ernie Wheelwright. McCants' size makes him an inviting target, especially in the red zone. That formula appeared to work in 2003, when McCants caught 27 passes for 360 yards and six touchdowns for the Washington Redskins.
Wide receivers coach Jim Hostler said McCants, 31, is rusty but has the potential to compete for the No. 3 receiver slot.
"I think he's got a chance to at least push and get in the games and show people what he's got," Hostler said.
McGahee to sit?
There is a "possibility" Willis McGahee (left knee) could be sidelined for Thursday's preseason opener and rookie Ray Rice will start at running back, coach John Harbaugh said yesterday.
Tight end Todd Heap missed practice with a right calf injury, but it's not considered serious.
Offensive tackles Adam Terry (sprained left ankle) and Jared Gaither (right ankle), linebackers Edgar Jones (concussion and right leg) and Dan Cody (right foot) and defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (left knee) did not practice.