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Notebook: Jeremy Ross contributes early for Ravens

Notebook: Jeremy Ross contributes early for Ravens
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Ross catches a first down pass vs. Cleveland Browns. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

A veteran of three NFL seasons with two teams, wide receiver Jeremy Ross found himself desperate to get off the Ravens practice squad, and made the most of his chance when he did.

"Any practice squad guy will tell you that they want to be out there, they want to play the games," Ross said. "I was one of those guys, and I definitely wanted to play."

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Ross was thrust into the game as the lead kick returner, and took over on punts after cornerback Lardarius Webb injured his thigh. He averaged 27.2 yards per kick return, with a long of 46 yards, and also had a 17-yard punt return and two catches.

With scant options at returner and little depth at receiver, Ross said he's of the mindset to contribute for the Ravens however he can.

"As a competitor, you want to be the guy to make plays for the team, so that's definitely my nature," Ross said. "I'll be whoever I need to be for this team."

Barnidge brings it in

In a play with shades of Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' interception with his legs during the playoffs last year against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Browns tight end Gary Barnidge gave his team their first lead of the game using all of his extremities on an 18-yard touchdown catch.

Barnidge mishandled the pass at first, but plucked it off Ravens safety Will Hill's feet with his legs, secured the ball with his hands, then rolled into the end zone for a score.

"I told him on the sideline, 'If that's not the No. 1 Play of the Week, then there's something wrong," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "I guess it's just another day at the office for 'Big Play Barnidge,' as we like to call him."

Barnidge led all receivers with eight catches for 139 yards and a touchdown, his third of the season.

End zone

Smith Sr., running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot), defensive end Chris Canty (calf), tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf), cornerback Rashaan Melvin, guard Ryan Jensen, and wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) were inactive. … Flacco had his first career multi-touchdown game on the ground, the first Ravens quarterback with two rushing touchdowns in a game since Stoney Case in 1996. … Defensive end Lawrence Guy had two sacks in a game for the first time in his career, tying him for the team lead (two) with Za'Darius Smith, C.J. Mosley, and Elvis Dumervil. … Rookie running back Buck Allen had a 44-yard run, the Ravens' longest of the season, to set up a touchdown in the third quarter. He had a career-high 58 yards on eight carries.

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