It was the simple things that James Hurst missed most. His teammates. Run blocking. Wearing closed-toe shoes.
Of all the nuisances the Ravens’ season-opening starter at right tackle expected from a back injury that sidelined him at practice for nearly six weeks, footwear was probably not one of them. It wasn’t that he was physically incapable of lacing up his sneakers before heading to team headquarters. It was that sliding into flip-flops was so much easier than testing a sensitive spinal cord.
“But now I can do that pretty safely,” he joked before practice Wednesday. “I don't have to wear sandals to the building in 30-degree weather.”