Baltimore Sun sports columnist Mike Preston is constantly asked by Raven fans, "will the Ravens make the Super Bowl?" (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens’ run of good health appears to be continuing.
The team opened its first day of practice Wednesday before Sunday’s AFC wild-card game against the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium at 1 p.m. with only two players missing, and one was seven-time Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda, who enjoyed a day off as a veteran.
The other player absent was slot cornerback Tavon Young, who has been dealing with a groin injury since November. Despite the ailment, Young has sat out only one game and has played in the past five.
Wide receiver-kick returner Chris Moore practiced on a limited basis after injuring his shoulder late in Sunday’s 26-24 win against the Cleveland Browns. Moore, who was replaced by Willie Snead IV and Cyrus Jones for two kick returns in the fourth quarter, said he was never worried that the injury was serious.
“I just got a little banged up, but I’m all good,” he said before practice. “I’m going to be out there practicing today and ready to go this week.”
Hayden Hurst encouraged
Hayden Hurst has given way to Mark Andrews as the offense’s most productive rookie tight end, but the 25th overall pick in April’s draft flashed a bit of his potential when he turned a short pass from rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson into a season-high 32-yard gain en route to a season-best 43 receiving yards against Cleveland.
Hurst, who caught 13 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown in a 12-game rookie season shortened by surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot, said Sunday’s effort was a boost for his confidence, but tried to pump the brakes on making more out of it.
“I guess we’ll see,” he said. “I’m just really focused on doing what the coaches ask of me. If they put me more in the game plan, that’s great, and I’ll take that. I know what I’m capable of at this point, and hopefully, I’m there more just to help the team, but whatever I’m asked to do, that’s what I’m going to do.”
» The Chargers and New Orleans Saints led the league with 7-1 road records this past season. Los Angeles’ lone setback was Sept. 23 at the Los Angeles Rams.
“It definitely can’t hurt that we’ve won in some tough places,” coach Anthony Lynn said. “I think our guys, they like the challenge. I believe they thrive in hostile areas, and it tends to galvanize our team a little bit. But [the Ravens are] a tough group. They’re tough, and they’re resilient, and we’ll see. We’ve done well on the road. So we’re not fazed at all going to play on the road, I can tell you that. But we’ve got to play the game.”
» Chargers starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane did not practice for non injury-related reasons. Four other starters in safety Jahleel Addae (shoulder), left guard Dan Feeney (knee), running back Melvin Gordon (ankle) and right tackle Sam Tevi (groin) were full participants.