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Ravens notes: Jacoby Jones muffs punt; James Hurst flagged three times for holding

For the second time in three weeks, Ravens Pro Bowl kick returner Jacoby Jones muffed a punt.

Jones' mishandled punt came the second quarter of the Ravens' 29-7 win over the Atlanta Falcons. The ball was recovered by Falcons special-teams ace Eric Weems at the Ravens' 37-yard line.

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"I should have fair-caught the ball," said Jones, who misjudged a punt against Indianapolis that bounced off him and was recovered by the Colts. "I was just being aggressive. The gunner was bearing down. I tried to catch it before he could hit me."

The Falcons failed to capitalize on the opportunity, as they missed a 57-yard field-goal attempt.

"We had the muffed punt, which was unfortunate," Harbaugh said. "But our guys bounced back from that as well."

Jones averaged five yards per punt return on five returns, including a long return of 17 yards. He averaged 28 yards on two kickoff returns.

Jones is averaging 29.7 yards per kickoff return with a long return of 58 yards for the season. He's averaging 8.2 yards per punt return for the season with a long return of 33 yards. He's caught only four passes for 50 yards and has six drops with his old third receiver role having been diminished.

"As it gets colder and the weather changes, we'll get more opportunities," Jones said. "Until then, we have to stay patient and wait for it to come. We have to stay focused and stay consistent."

Hurst flagged three times

Undrafted rookie left tackle James Hurst still needs to learn the art of how to hold opponents without getting caught.

Starting his fourth consecutive game as left tackle Eugene Monroe recovers from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Hurst was flagged for three holding infractions against the Falcons.

"I'm happy we won," Hurst said. "I put myself in a bad position definitely on some of those, just seeing the quick replay. I got to be more aware of the pressures they're bringing. That's just going to come with more reps and more experience. Absolutely, [learning to hold without getting caught] comes with experience. I need to learn that and use that to my advantage."

The Ravens went with an all-rookie left side on the offensive line, with left guard John Urschel replacing the injured Kelechi Osemele.

Jernigan returns

Rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan rejoined the defensive line rotation in his first game since undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee.

The second-round draft pick from Florida State had no tackles, but suffered no setbacks.

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"Man, it was so great to be out there," Jernigan said. "There's nothing like the game. I love playing with these guys. They can just flat-out get to the quarterback. It makes it so competitive and makes you really sharpen your game."

Rice hearing coming up

As former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III continues to interview league and Ravens team officials in his investigation of the pursuit and handling of evidence in the Ray Rice case, the appeal hearing for the indefinitely suspended former Ravens star running back remains set for November at an undetermined date, according to sources.

However, under Mueller's timetable, his investigation isn't expected to wrap up prior to Rice's hearing.

Sources reiterated that the NFL Players Association and Rice's legal representatives, including veteran attorney Peter Ginsberg, remain optimistic that Rice will be reinstated as soon as November with the primary argument being that he was punished twice by the NFL in violation of Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement. That governs "One Punishment" and prohibits a player for being punished more than once for the same violation. Rice is appealing his increased punishment after initially being suspended for two games for violating the NFL personal-conduct policy.

The appeal of the three-time Pro Bowl runner is being heard by former federal judge Barbara S. Jones, an arbitrator appointed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in consultation with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.

End zone

Besides Monroe and Osemele, the Ravens scratched wide receiver Marlon Brown (pelvis), cornerback Chykie Brown, linebacker Arthur Brown, tight end Ryan Taylor and defensive end Chris Canty (wrist surgery) on Sunday. … Middle linebacker Daryl Smith led the Ravens with 13 tackles. …  The Ravens honored Orioles manager Buck Showalter before kickoff, and the American League East champion skipper was greeted with a standing ovation.

awilson@baltsun.com
twitter.com/RavensInsider

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