Luck targets recovering CB Webb, picks up first down after first down

INDIANAPOLIS -- It wasn't long before Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck discovered the location of Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb.

Once Luck found Webb, he began regularly peppering the veteran cornerback with a series of short-to-intermediate passes to his receivers.

Webb allowed no touchdown passes or deep completions, but Luck completed several passes on him for first downs during the Colts' 20-13 win on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. That included the bulk of wide receiver Reggie Wayne's seven catches for 77 yards along with a 16-yard completion to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks in the fourth quarter two plays before Luck rushed for a 13-yard touchdown.

This marked Webb's most extensive playing time of the season, as he was in for the majority of the defensive snaps after being sidelined for three games with a lingering lower back injury. Webb appeared to have regained most of his mobility and tackled crisply, but clearly wasn't back to his old shutdown form.

"I just got to keep knocking off the rust and keep getting better," Webb said. "He's Andrew Luck, we came in respecting him. He's a great quarterback. Everybody knew that. We just got to keep fighting."

Webb was limited to four snaps against the Cleveland Browns earlier this season, but obviously wasn't physically ready and was pulled from the game. Webb finished Sunday's game with a season-high six tackles and two pass deflections.

"It looked like he played OK," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "When we see the tape, we'll know better. He looked healthy, that was good to see."

This was a better performance, but Webb acknowledged that he's not quite there yet.

"Yeah, very close to it," Webb said. "I hope so. I always leave that to Harbs. He looks at me each week and he tries to look out for me."

Webb didn't look overly hesitant or concerned about injuring himself. It was a step in the right direction for Webb, who's in the third year of a five-year, $50 million contract.

"Yeah, I just play ball," Webb said. "I got back to football, something I've been doing for a long time. When I got on the field, it was just natural."

Injury updates

Cornerback Asa Jackson didn't finish the game, limping off the field. He had a sprained ankle earlier this year.

Left offensive guard Kelechi Osemele downplayed a sprained right knee that initially looked serious. Osemele eventually jogged on the sideline and convinced team doctor Leigh Ann Curl that he could go back into the game.

"It's not so bad," Osemele said. "It's minor."

Strong safety Matt Elam had a bag of ice on his right shoulder after the game, but said he felt fine.

Rookie free safety Terrence Brooks went down twice, but neither time was serious.

"The first one, I just got the wind knocked out of me," Brooks said. "The second one, I banged my knee on the turf. Just bruises and stuff."

Ngata intercepts pass

For a 6-foot-4, 340-pounder, Ngata is extremely adept at intercepting passes.

The Pro Bowl defensive tackle displayed that skill again Sunday when he picked off his team-high second pass of the season.

Ngata gathered in a pass by Luck in the first quarter when Mosley slammed into the quarterback to pop the football into the air. For Ngata, this was the fifth interception of his career. He returned it three yards.

"I just went up and caught it," Ngata said. "That was about it."

Canty sidelined

Veteran defensive end Chris Canty didn't make the trip to Indianapolis. He has been dealing with an illness and a knee injury and didn't practice all week.

With Canty sidelined, the Ravens used DeAngelo Tyson, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and new defensive end Lawrence Guy to fill in for him.

Tyson had five tackles. McPhee had three tackles, two for losses, and his first sack of the season. Guy recorded one tackle.

"It was awesome except for the final score," McPhee said. "I wish I could have done a little better."

Torrey Smith 'sick'

Wide receiver Torrey Smith dropped a few catchable passes. That included a deep sideline pass in the fourth quarter that could have positioned the Ravens for a potential game-tying score.

"It was catchable," Harbaugh said of Smith's final drop. "It was a tough catch, it was a challenging play to make, very challenging play to make. Those are not plays you see made every play in the NFL."

The dropped passes upset the former Maryland standout, who finished the game with three catches for 38 yards on eight targets.

"I'm sick right now," Smith wrote on his official Twitter account after declining interview requests after the game. "never been in this position before … very trying times for me on and off the field but I will be better from this."

End zone

The Ravens also scratched defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee meniscus) and left tackle Eugene Monroe (arthroscopic knee surgery), inside linebacker Arthur Brown, guard John Urschel, tight end Phillip Supernaw (thigh) and wide receiver Michael Campanaro (River Hill.). … The Colts benched former Ravens center A.Q. Shipley, replacing him with undrafted rookie Jonotthan Harrison.

awilson@baltsun.com

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