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Injury doesn't dampen enthusiasm for Rashaan Melvin's preseason

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Before his recent injury, Dean Pees said cornerback Rashaan Melvin was improving every day.

Cornerback Rashaan Melvin hasn’t practiced since Monday, when he walked off the field accompanied by trainers after he suffered an injury during a special teams drill.

“He’s got a soft tissue issue he’s working through, a typical training camp thing,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I don’t know if he’ll be there Saturday. I’ve got my fingers crossed.”

The injury interrupts a preseason in which the promising Melvin has filled in well for starting cornerback Lardarius Webb, who has been out more than two weeks with a hamstring injury.

“He keeps improving,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “I thought he started slow a little bit in OTAs — maybe a little bit because of the [offseason shoulder] surgery and injury — and I think he has gotten better, and better and better. I know sometimes it is hard to find bright spots in a game that you lose, but I thought he and [Tray] Walker were bright spots for us" against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Through the first two games of the preseason, Melvin has been frequently around the ball, and has not been beat for the big plays that haunted him late last season.

In his last meaningful action, in the AFC divisional playoff round against the New England Patriots, Melvin allowed 14 catches on 18 targets for 210 yards and two touchdowns.

Melvin started the final game of the regular season and the two playoff games with Jimmy Smith, Asa Jackson and countless others out. An undrafted rookie in 2013 who was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Melvin spent that season on injured reserve, was on the Miami Dolphins' practice squad after he was released and then came to Baltimore after the Ravens cut several defensive backs in November.

"I was looking for him at the end of the season," Pees said. "This guy did a lot for us late in the year. I really give him a lot of credit coming over from Tampa Bay and coming in and all of the sudden getting thrown into the mix and having to play, in the playoffs of all things."

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