The Ravens had three players in middle linebacker C.J. Mosley, free safety Eric Weddle and right guard Marshal Yanda named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday night, but coach John Harbaugh said the team should have had a fourth representative.
Kicker Justin Tucker was tabbed a first alternate to the New York Jets’ Jason Myers, which puzzled Harbaugh.
“Very surprised,” he said Wednesday of the development. “I think that one is kind of a big-time head-scratcher. Call the people that voted and ask them.”
Myers has connected on 93.9 percent of his field goals (31 of 33) and 89.3 percent of his extra points (25 of 28). Tucker has converted 93.3 percent of his field goals (28 of 30) and 97.1 percent of his extra points (33 of 34).
Myers has made six of seven field goals of 50 yards or longer and is 15-for-16 from beyond 40 yards. Tucker has successfully booted all four of his field goals of 50 yards or longer and is 12-for-14 from beyond 40 yards, with the two misses being blocked.
After the reveal Tuesday night, Tucker posted a picture of him looking shocked and confused after he missed an extra-point attempt in a 24-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 21 – his first errant extra point after 222 straight conversions in the first seven years of his NFL career.
“I suppose I was a little bit surprised, but all of that is somewhat in good fun,” Tucker said. “It just is what it is. Like I said a moment ago, the only thing you can do is what we’ve been doing, and that’s focusing on kicking the ball straight. We’ve done a really good job of that for the most part, and we’re just going to aim to continue to do so.”
Rather than talk about himself, Tucker made a spirited case for why punter Sam Koch should have been the AFC representative instead of the Tennessee Titans’ Brett Kern.
“More than anything, I’m disappointed for Sam,” Tucker said. “I think Sam had an excellent year kicking the ball. When you’re talking about one of the guys who’s at the top of his game and works diligently at his craft each and every day and to see it firsthand, I know what he’s all about. When you have to compare with these votes, that’s essentially what you’re doing. You’re comparing one guy to the next, and I don’t think there is a comparison. I think Sam stands above the rest in every single way.”
Judon, Boyle return to practice
After missing Tuesday’s walkthrough because of injuries suffered in Sunday’s 20-12 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, outside linebacker Matthew Judon and tight end Nick Boyle were back for Wednesday’s practice on a limited basis.
Judon injured his left knee in the third quarter and played 34 of a possible 50 snaps on defense. Boyle sustained a concussion in the second half and sat out much of the fourth quarter.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and free safety Eric Weddle — all of whom did not take part in Tuesday’s walkthrough for noninjury-related reasons — practiced fully Wednesday.
Right guard Marshal Yanda and defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. did not participate. Yanda’s absence from Wednesday’s session was not injury related. Levine (toe/ankle) missed his second consecutive practice.
Left guard Alex Lewis (left shoulder) was limited for the second straight day.
Jackson to remain quiet
Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson aspires to enjoy the longevity and numbers that the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers has carved out over his career. But the 2018 first-round draft pick said he will not look to match Rivers in verbal jabs.
Rivers is known across the league as one of the more emotional quarterbacks who is not shy about firing off some pointed one-liners at opposing defensive players. But Jackson, who is 4-1 as the Ravens starter, said that is not his style.
“I just play football,” he said. “I don’t really care. They’re going to talk trash. That’s what a defense is for — talk trash, hit you, do whatever it takes to get you out of the game. My job is to stay focused, so I don’t let it get to me.”
» Chargers starting wide receiver Keenan Allen (right hip pointer) was upgraded from no practice Tuesday to limited participation Wednesday. Two more starters — running back Melvin Gordon (sprained MCL in right knee) and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (not injury related) — practiced fully for the second consecutive day.
» While Harbaugh described Jackson’s command of a drive after the two-minute warning that resulted in Tucker’s 24-yard field goal with nine seconds left before halftime as “seamless,” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg wished for a different outcome.
“I’d like to punch it in down there,” he said. “We were battling the clock. So we were in sort of a semi-trigger situation where you have no timeouts, and if the thing is inbounds … and in fact, on the last play, if the ball is inbounds, you have to run the field goal team on. So we were battling that just a little bit. We sure would like to pump that thing in, but [Jackson] did a heck of a job.”
» While Humphrey downplayed a compliment from Harbaugh after Sunday’s win when he finished with an interception and four pass breakups, defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale called Humphrey “the best corner we have.”
“He’s playing to that level,” Martindale said. “I think he’s just going to continue to grow the more he studies the tape, the more he studies himself, the more he studies the game plan — which he’s done all season. I think you’re just going to see bigger and better things from him.”
» Special teams coordinator/associate head coach Jerry Rosburg accepted the blame for a delay of game penalty on fourth-and-36 in the fourth quarter Sunday.
“We had a number of situations with personnel that were happening at the same time,” he said. “I failed to recognize that we didn’t have a left tackle in the game. So the guy that was supposed to be in there, I had not informed him of such. Anthony Levine took charge and made sure that we didn’t snap the ball with 10 men on the field. That’s a coaching mistake.”