While Ravens have players returning, some Bengals and Browns will be missing first two weeks
By The Baltimore Sun
Sep 07, 2017 | 12:10 PM
"They obviously have been preparing for this game ever since we played them last year," said Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs when asked about what makes it difficult to beat the Cincinnati Bengals. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens have lost a number of players this offseason to retirement, suspension and injury. But heading into the start of the season they are as healthy as they've been all preseason and they will be facing teams in the first two weeks that won't have key players.
When the Ravens open the season at Cincinnati on Sunday, the Bengals will be without two defensive stalwarts, cornerback Adam Jones and linebacker Vontaze Burfect, because of suspensions.
In addition, the Bengals' first-round draft pick, John Ross, a speedy wide receiver out of Washington, has a knee injury and starting safety Shawn Williams has an elbow injury. Neither practiced Wednesday.
Jones has to serve a one-game ban for violating the league's personal conduct policy. He pleaded guilty in May to a misdemeanor charge stemming from an incident in January.
Burfect was initially suspended for the first five games of the season for an illegal hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman during a preseason game. The league reduced it to three games last week.
When the Ravens return to Baltimore on Sept. 17 for the home opener, they will be facing a Cleveland Browns team without its No. 1 pick, Myles Garrett, arguably its best pass rusher. He suffered a high ankle sprain during practice this week.
The Browns said today that Garrett will be evaluated in several weeks, taking the Ravens game off the table for his return.
During a two-month stretch over the summer, the Ravens lost 10 players who likely would've been on their 53-man roster to a season-ending injury, suspension or retirement. Quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receiver Breshad Perriman missed the four preseason games, but are expected to return Sunday against the Bengals.