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Ravens QB Matt Schaub remains sidelined, increasing likelihood of Jimmy Clausen start

Ravens quarterback Matt Schaub (8) pauses on the field during the first half against the Miami Dolphins.
Ravens quarterback Matt Schaub (8) pauses on the field during the first half against the Miami Dolphins. (Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

The Ravens still haven't ruled out quarterback Matt Schaub for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, but signs continue to point toward Jimmy Clausen starting.

Schaub missed a second consecutive practice Thursday with a chest injury and general soreness, and offensive coordinator Marc Trestman acknowledged that the team is preparing as if Clausen will get the start.

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"Jimmy is the guy practicing right now," Trestman said. "Certainly, Matt is in the meetings. He's all over the game plan. He knows exactly what to do and where to go. It's just a day-to-day thing from Matt's standpoint. And while Jimmy's here, he's certainly getting all the reps."

Trestman said he sat down with Clausen on Wednesday night and hashed out a set of plays that he knows the 28-year-old quarterback will be comfortable with as the starter. Clausen, who played under Trestman in Chicago last year, was claimed on waivers from the Bears on Nov. 24, two days after starter Joe Flacco went down with a season-ending left knee injury.

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"We sat down after practice and went over the things that we feel really good about, and we'll continue to pare it down and get to the things that he feels the best with, both running and throwing the football," Trestman said. "That's what we'll do on Sunday, but we have enough in where we can stretch the field vertically and horizontally. We've got our run game in. We have an adequate menu of runs and things that he can do. We feel good about that … if that comes into play."

If the former Notre Dame standout starts on Sunday against Seattle, he'd become the sixth different quarterback in NFL history to start against the same team in the same season for two different organizations, according to Stats, Inc.
In the Bears' 26-0 loss to the Seahawks on Sept. 27, Clausen, subbing for an injured Jay Cutler, completed 9 of 17 passes for 63 yards. Chicago punted on all 10 possessions and the shutout was the franchise's first in 195 games.

"Losing doesn't help but just going in there and preparing for them and practicing all week to get ready for them, I think is definitely going to help if I have to go in there," Clausen said Wednesday.

It's not out of the question that Schaub returns to practice Friday and even if he doesn't, Ravens coach John Harbaugh has said the veteran not practicing all week wouldn't preclude him from playing.

Clausen, who has taken the first-team repetitions in practice, said that he'll be prepared either way.

"The biggest thing being a backup quarterback, you know that you have to stay ready and prepare like you are the starter," Clausen said. "I've been doing that my whole entire career while I was backing up. That's just my mentality going through this week and the rest of the season. You always got to prepare yourself like you're the starter."

Along with Schaub, wide receiver Marlon Brown (back), tight end Crockett Gillmore (back) and left tackle Eugene Monroe (shoulder) were not practicing. Veteran defensive starters Daryl Smith and Chris Canty also were not practicing, but they traditionally get Thursdays off.

Meanwhile, right tackle Rick Wagner (ankle) and nose tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder), who were sidelined Wednesday, returned to practice. Tight end Maxx Williams (concussion) wasn't wearing a non-contact jersey, likely meaning that he's been fully cleared to play.

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