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Rehabbing OT Ja’Wuan James practices with Ravens for first time; CB Marlon Humphrey placed on IR

Ravens offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James practiced with the team Wednesday for the first time since he tore his Achilles tendon in May, moving one step closer to a possible return to action.

James, 29, who’s started 65 games for the Miami Dolphins and Broncos over his six-year NFL career, hasn’t played since a December 2019 game with Denver. He opted out of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, tore his Achilles tendon while training away from the Broncos’ team facility this summer and was released shortly thereafter.

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The Ravens signed James to a two-year deal in June, and coach John Harbaugh said the former first-round pick was “very determined to get himself healthy again and get back to playing at the highest level.” He started the season on the nonfootball injury list while rehabilitating.

Harbaugh had said James could return in December. The Ravens now have 21 days to move him to the active roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve.

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The team is searching for consistency at both tackle spots. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley’s ankle injury limited him to just one game this season. Right tackle Patrick Mekari missed two games last month with an ankle injury and now could be out a few more weeks, according to Harbaugh, with a hand injury suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Alejandro Villanueva has had an up-and-down season at left tackle, and reserve Tyre Phillips has struggled on the right side.

At cornerback, the Ravens activated special teams contributor Kevon Seymour from the reserve/COVID-19 list after he was sidelined for the past week. They also placed Marlon Humphrey (torn pectoral muscle) on season-ending IR, where he joins fellow starting cornerback Marcus Peters (knee) and starting safety DeShon Elliott (biceps/pectoral). Humphrey was hurt on the Steelers’ go-ahead touchdown play late in Sunday’s loss.

In addition to Mekari, six Ravens missed practice Wednesday: fullback Patrick Ricard (back), tight end Nick Boyle (illness/knee), defensive lineman Calais Campbell (illness), outside linebacker Justin Houston (rest), cornerback Anthony Averett (knee) and defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. (knee).

Wide receiver Miles Boykin (finger), safeties Chuck Clark (personal) and Brandon Stephens (shoulder) and Seymour (illness) were limited. Cornerback Chris Westry (thigh) was a full participant Wednesday after two weeks of limited or no activity in practice, while outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson was back from an illness that sidelined him Sunday.

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In Cleveland, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski ruled tight end Harrison Bryant (ankle) out of Sunday’s game. He had three catches for a season-high 50 yards against the Ravens and has 211 yards this season. Starting tight end David Njoku, the team’s leading receiver (407 yards), was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, throwing his availability for the teams’ rematch into question.

Starting wide receiver Jarvis Landry (knee) and receiver-returner Anthony Schwartz (concussion) and starting defensive tackle Malik Jackson (knee) also did not practice Wednesday. Starting center JC Tretter (knee) and starting safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. (ankle) were limited.

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