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Big names return to Ravens practice, but 12 players still missing; starters to sit preseason finale

Ravens guard Marshal Yanda smiles during mandatory minicamp in June.
Ravens guard Marshal Yanda smiles during mandatory minicamp in June. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Offensive linemen Marshal Yanda and Ronnie Stanley, wide receiver Seth Roberts and inside linebacker Chris Board returned to Ravens practice Saturday morning, but injuries still dotted the defense.

Twelve players were absent during the open portion of practice, but just three on offense: offensive linemen Randin Crecelius, Greg Senat and Jermaine Eluemunor. The Ravens’ defensive absentees were defensive tackle Gerald Willis; linebackers Jaylon Ferguson, Nicholas Grigsby and Paul Worrilow, their newest signing; cornerbacks Tavon Young (neck), Brandon Carr, Maurice Canady and Iman Marshall; and safety Earl Thomas III. Worrilow reportedly has retired.

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Willis, Eluemunor, Ferguson and Senat came onto the field about 45 minutes to an hour into practice and were exercising with athletic trainers on an adjacent field.

Roberts’ return is the most encouraging. The free-agent signing has been out with an undisclosed injury since Aug. 10, the Ravens’ first practice after their preseason opener. Roberts’ play at training camp made him a near-lock to make the season-opening 53-man roster, but his absence and the improved play of receivers Jaleel Scott and Michael Floyd had thrown his future into some doubt.

Yanda, whom coach John Harbaugh said is not expected to play this preseason as he prepares for Week 1, had been out since Aug. 12 because of a foot/ankle injury. Stanley missed Tuesday’s joint practice against the Eagles with an apparent left ankle injury and was not in uniform for Thursday’s preseason game against Philadelphia.

“Marshal missed the last week or so, but he’s the one guy that can afford it, and that was an opportunity to get those other guys a lot of reps,” Harbaugh said after practice Saturday. “They filled right in today. It’s time to go.”

Board was out a week after suffering a concussion against the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 15. He worked out on the field before Thursday’s game against the Eagles.

Elliott talks missed call

In the Ravens’ 26-15 win Thursday, safety DeShon Elliot was penalized for lowering his head to initiate contact during a third-quarter tackle on Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward.

Replays of the call showed Elliott had driven through Ward’s body with his shoulder, a legal tackle. Elliott said an official later told him that he “missed it,” but the call stood nonetheless. Overall, there were 24 penalties called, nine on the Ravens.

“They made the call they made,” Elliott said. “Our coaches and me, we always try to tackle the proper way. I think I tackle the proper way, but, hey, there’s no point in arguing back with the ref. Once they make the call, they make the call. So I respect it.”

Extra points

>> Harbaugh said none of the team’s starters, including those on special teams, will play in the Ravens’ preseason finale Thursday against the Washington Redskins. He said the team will likely decide on quarterback Trace McSorley’s playing time by Monday.

>> Harbaugh said Robert Griffin III (fractured hand), whose practice workload has steadily increased in recent weeks, is still expected to be ready for Week 1. “Shouldn’t be a problem,” he said.

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