Just four Ravens on the team’s active roster did not warm up on the Lucas Oil Stadium field before Monday night’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
On offense, only guard Marshal Yanda did not participate. The six-time Pro Bowl selection missed most of last season with an ankle injury and sat out the start of training camp while recovering from surgery on his shoulder. He could be available for Saturday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, with the aim of being in shape for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
Defensively, undrafted rookie linebacker Alvin Jones (undisclosed) and veteran cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Maurice Canady were held out.
Smith started the Ravens’ Aug. 9 game against the Los Angeles Rams but is still less than nine months from tearing his Achilles tendon. The team’s top cornerback has played in more than 12 games just once over the past four seasons.
Canady left Friday’s joint practice with the Colts after about 40 minutes, flexing his right leg. Coach John Harbaugh called the injury a “muscle strain” and said it was “not serious,” though he did also miss Saturday’s practice. Canady, whom Harbaugh has praised as a starting-caliber defensive back this preseason, has missed significant time in each of his first two NFL seasons.
Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo (leg), linebacker Bam Bradley (knee) and cornerback Jaylen Hill (knee) remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Debuts for Waller, Dixon
Monday night marked a belated preseason debut for a handful of Ravens.
Tight end Darren Waller and running back Kenneth Dixon, both competing for spots on the team’s 53-man roster, missed the Ravens’ first two games.
Two days before the Ravens' win over the Rams, Waller was reinstated after a yearlong NFL suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He has impressed Harbaugh with his athleticism and readiness in practice but faces an uphill battle on a crowded tight end depth chart. He entered the game midway through the fourth quarter, but did not catch a pass.
A bothersome hamstring kept Dixon out of the Ravens’ first two preseason games. He missed all of last season with a torn meniscus suffered before training camp, and has twice been suspended for substance-abuse violations.
Dixon rushed for 37 yards on four carries on the Ravens’ 10-play, 56-yard drive right before halftime that ended with a 38-yard field goal by Justin Tucker that tied the game at 10. Dixon, who also caught three passes for 24 yards, finished with 32 yards on six carries.
Tyus Bowser, a second-round pick last season, has a more secure future. But after a standout offseason, the backup outside linebacker has seen limited repetitions in practice and no game action because of a groin injury. Harbaugh said last week that Bowser "needs to get back out there. The competition is starting to heat up."
Bowser finished with one tackle.
Just three days after Harbaugh welcomed torrential downpours at the Ravens' joint practice Friday, saying they'd test the team's ball security, he had reason to wonder whether the weather was any help at all.
On the game's opening drive, running back Buck Allen could not secure a handoff from quarterback Joe Flacco on a quick-snap third-and-1 play. Allen recovered the fumble, but the offense was forced off the field after just three plays.
After the Colts' own three-and-out, punt returner Tim White had the ball ripped loose by Colts safety Clayton Geathers and cornerback Kenny Moore II. Long snapper Luke Rhodes recovered the fumble at the Ravens' 14-yard line.
Not to be outdone, undrafted rookie Janarion Grant had a weaving 18-yard punt return in the third quarter negated when safety Mike Adams popped the ball loose. Punter Rigoberto Sanchez recovered the fumble.
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The turnovers did little to clarify the roster battle for specialist duties. White did not stand out as a wide receiver in training camp, only heightening the importance of his contributions on special teams, but he is more polished than Grant.