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Ravens safety Earl Thomas says he’ll play vs. Patriots; WR Willie Snead IV ‘really excited’ to re-sign

Ravens second year quarterback Lamar Jackson on facing "the goat" on Sunday, New England Patriots' Tom Brady.

A day after missing practice with a knee injury, Ravens safety Earl Thomas III was back on the practice field Thursday and preparing to play in Sunday’s prime-time game against the New England Patriots.

Before suiting up for a rainy afternoon in Owings Mills, Thomas said he would be ready for action at M&T Bank Stadium. Thomas has often missed the first day of practice during game weeks this season, but he was listed on the injury report Wednesday. He was limited Thursday.

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Thomas played all 71 defensive snaps for the Ravens in their last game, a Week 7 win over the Seattle Seahawks, but got last week off during the team’s bye. He said he’s learned how to manage his injuries over his nine-plus NFL seasons.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at understanding my body and listening to it, and just trying to give myself the best chance on Sunday to go out there and fly around,” he said.

Only fellow safety Bennett Jackson (ankle) missed practice Thursday. Rookie wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (ankle), cornerback Maurice Canady (thigh), guard Patrick Mekari (back), inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor (ankle) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) were also limited.

Snead ‘excited’ to re-sign

Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead IV said Thursday that contract talks between his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and the team’s front office began in the offseason, continued into training camp and lingered through the regular season.

On Monday, they finally reached a deal, with Snead signing a one-year extension through 2020 reportedly worth $6 million.

“I was really excited, to be honest,” Snead said Thursday. “I want to be here in Baltimore, and to know I’m going to be here for another year, for sure, it’s just a great feeling. It just allows me to focus on football now and just really finish the year strong.”

A year after finishing with 62 catches for 651 yards and a touchdown over his first season in Baltimore, Snead has caught 15 of 22 targets for 223 yards and two scores in seven games. He said he’d started to wonder about his NFL future beyond this season.

“It’s always there, especially when you’re in the last year of your deal, just figuring out what you’re going to do next year,” he said. “But when they contacted my agent, I was really excited. I was just curious to see what it’s going to be, and the deal was fair, I believe. I just know I’m going to be here for another year, so I’m just grateful to have that, grateful to be here and just to continue to play football with this team.”

Extra points

>> Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale joked before Marcus Peters’ Ravens debut in Week 7 that if the two-time All-Pro selection wasn’t ready, he hoped the cornerback would lie to him. But Martindale said Peters quickly showed a “knack” for the big play, despite his limited study time. His pick-six in the second quarter was quarterback Russell Wilson’s first interception all season.

“To come cross-country [from Los Angeles] to come here for, what, three days, two-and-a-half days? And then get back on a plane and fly back out there [to Seattle] — who would have jet lag?” Martindale said. “I know all of us standing around here would have jet lag. So for him just do that and then go in the game and play the way he did, that was a great trip for us.”

>> Martindale said having Onwuasor back “strengthens our defense.” With the emergence of Josh Bynes at middle linebacker, Onwuasor will likely share snaps Sunday at weak-side linebacker, the position he held last season, with L.J. Fort.

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