Chris Wormley’s 13th game and sixth start produced the one result he had been seeking: his first career sack.
Wormley, who made his fourth start of the season at nose tackle in Sunday’s 21-0 shutout of the Tennessee Titans, took down quarterback Marcus Mariota for a 6-yard loss on Tennessee’s first offensive series of the game. It was the only tackle Wormley made, but he acknowledged feeling a sense of relief for breaking the seal for sacks.
“I think so, because in the back of your mind, you’re always looking to get the sack, and you’re always worrying about it,” he said. “Now it’s gone. That burden’s gone, and I’m just excited to be able to contribute in the passing game now, too. So yeah, it was good.”
Wormley, 24, said the next step is adding to that total.
“When you do something for the first time, you’re always looking to repeat it, especially when it comes with success,” he said. “So I’m obviously looking for more sacks.”
As expected, the Ravens ruled out Alex Lewis for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. The starting left guard missed all three practices this week after suffering what coach John Harbaugh characterized as a “pinched nerve” in the fourth quarter at the Titans.
The team could shift James Hurst from his starting right tackle position and insert rookie Orlando Brown Jr. at right tackle or replace Lewis with rookie Bradley Bozeman. Either Brown or Bozeman would get his first NFL start.
Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey (thigh) and rookie Anthony Averett (hamstring) and defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. (hamstring) were listed as questionable, according to the Ravens’ final injury report of the week.
Wide receiver John Brown (not injury related), cornerback Brandon Carr (knee) and free safety Eric Weddle (not injury related) fully participated in Friday’s walkthrough and were removed from the injury report.
The Saints’ offensive line could be without two starters. They ruled out left guard Andrus Peat (head), and right guard Larry Warford (back) is questionable.
Two more starters in left tackle Terron Armstead (knee) and cornerback Marshon Lattimore (concussion) practiced fully Friday and are no longer injury concerns.
Edwards looking to build
Gus Edwards knew he would get a few snaps on special teams, but the rookie running back was unsure how much he would factor into the offensive game plan in Sunday’s victory over the Titans. He heeded the advice of running backs coach Thomas Hammock, who told him to stay close, and he played 14 offensive snaps, carrying the ball 10 times for 42 yards.
On Monday, Harbaugh praised the undrafted free agent for using his 6-foot-1, 238-pound girth to his advantage on some of his runs. Edwards, who was promoted when fellow rookie De’Lance Turner was placed on injured reserve Saturday because of a hamstring injury, appreciated the compliments.
“It’s a good feeling, but at the same time, I’ve got to keep doing well so that I keep getting those high praises,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep on improving. It just makes me want to do what I do like I did last weekend and do even more to help prepare myself for the game.”
» New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees’ favorite wide receiver is Michael Thomas, who has caught an astounding 93.9 percent of the balls (46 of 49) thrown to him for 519 yards and three touchdowns. While the other receivers on the active roster have been targeted no more than 25 times, that doesn’t make defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s job any easier.
“He’s like any No. 1 receiver — he’s a problem,” he said of Thomas. “I think he has 49 attempts at him, and I think he has 46 catches. It’s crazy. I haven’t heard anybody with that stat, and he’s that good. So if I was Drew, I would throw it to him a lot as well.”
» The Saints boast the league’s No. 1 defense against the run, giving up only 71.4 yards per game. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg hedged on whether the team would commit to rushing the ball to keep New Orleans honest.
“We’ll see,” he said. “Every game is a little different. We’re right in the middle of the game plan, sort of putting on the finishing touches.”
» Few teams have a backup quarterback returning kicks, but that’s how the Saints are using Taysom Hill, who ranks seventh in the NFL with a 24.3-yard kick-return average. Ravens special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg will not have to worry about Ted Ginn Jr., who was placed on injured reserve Thursday because of a knee injury, but he noted Hill’s skills as a returner.
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“I haven’t watched his offensive tape, but I know this: he’s a good player,” Rosburg said. “The guy plays aggressively and he’s strong and tough. There’s a place for players like that in this game, and he’s shown that.”