Ravens notes: Right tackle James Hurst says back surgery not an option

'I haven't been OK not playing, but I think if I was OK then I wouldn't be the competitor that I've grown to be," said Robert Griffin III when asked about his approach to his role this season. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)

James Hurst did not practice for the second consecutive day Thursday and has sat out the Ravens’ past three games, all losses. But the starting right tackle ruled out undergoing surgery to fix whatever is ailing his back.

“Not right now, no,” the 6-foot-5, 310-pound Hurst said when asked Thursday morning if surgery is an option. “That’s not what we’re thinking. It’s not a surgery thing. So that’s obviously exciting. That was one of the first questions my wife probably asked me. But it’s not that. I’ve seen a lot of progress in what we’re doing. So we’re just going to continue along that path.”


Hurst said he did not have a timetable for his return to practice or a game.

“Just as soon as I’m healthy,” he said. “We’re working to get back. I’m working every day and getting better every single day. I’m really hopeful about the progress that I’ve made and just following the program and trusting all the people we’ve got working on it.”

With Joe Flacco also out, Robert Griffin III, who has not played since the preseason, took all the repetitions with the offense Thursday.

Hurst, 27, started the first six games before his back flared up the day before the team’s 24-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 21. Since then, rookie Orlando Brown Jr. has made three straight starts at right tackle, and Hurst offered praise for the third-round draft pick’s play.

“He’s done great,” he said. “I’m really proud of him. I knew he would. He’s a very talented guy and has been blessed with a lot of physical traits that anyone would want. He’s been working hard for this opportunity, and he’s definitely taken advantage.”

In addition to Hurst, quarterbacks Joe Flacco (right hip) and Lamar Jackson (illness) and defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. (ankle) did not take part in Thursday’s practice. Robert Griffin III was the only quarterback on the field inside the team’s indoor training facility in Owings Mills.

Strong safety Tony Jefferson (thigh) returned after sitting out Wednesday’s session and practiced on a limited basis. He was joined by left tackle Ronnie Stanley (left ankle) and outside linebacker Tim Williams (right ankle), who were limited for the second consecutive day.

Slot cornerback Tavon Young (ankle) practiced fully for the second straight day.

Extra points

The Ravens need a win Sunday to keep their hopes alive for a berth in the AFC playoffs. But outside linebacker Terrell Suggs dismissed the notion of revenge against Cincinnati. “We were supposed to handle their [stuff] in the first game. We didn’t do that,” he said. “No, we don’t owe anybody one. We owe ourselves one. We handle our business. We can’t be worried about anything. This is football. Games are won and lost in this league. Things happen. We owe ourselves one. I’ll say that.” … Cornerback Jaylen Hill participated in Thursday’s session shortly after the Ravens announced that he was cleared to practice and had been removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list. Hill, an undrafted rookie in 2017 who made the team’s active roster, played in six games before suffering a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. The Ravens will have three weeks to add him to the active roster or keep him on the sideline for the remainder of the season. … Three Bengals starters in linebackers Preston Brown (knee) and Nick Vigil (knee) and wide receiver A.J. Green (toe) missed practice for the second consecutive day. Starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) practiced Thursday on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday’s session. Four other starters in linebacker Vontaze Burfict (hip), running back Joe Mixon (knee), right guard Alex Redmond (hamstring) and wide receiver John Ross (groin) were limited.