Welcome to Lunchtime Links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we find out that Jimmy Smith is “absolutely fine,” Bernard Pierce is ready for his two game audition, Asa Jackson is back to full speed, and Lardarius Webb declined to speak on his condition.
Jimmy Smith “absolutely fine,” Lardarius Webb declines interview
Cornerback Jimmy Smith had a bit of a nasty fall while contesting a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant in the second game of the preseason, one that left him coughing up blood on the sidelines. Smith returned to practice last week and as Aaron Wilson at the Baltimore Sun tells us, he is fully recovered in time for this weekend’s regular season opener.
In fact, Smith isn’t even listed on the injury report this week. One player that is, albeit as a full participant, is fellow starting corner Lardarius Webb. All indications are that Webb is ready to play as well, but his situation is a bit trickier following some lingering back spasms. Webb declined an interview request but has been practicing all week as well.
Safety Matt Elam did speak on Webb’s behalf, assuring reporters that Webb is doing everything he can to get ready to play. “I can see it in Webbie’s eyes, he wants to be there so bad,” Elam said. “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I can just see he’s trying to get out there. I can see the fire in his eyes and the competitor he is and how much he cares about us, I can see how much he wants to be there.”
Asa Jackson “good to go”
Another member of the secondary overcoming a preseason injury is third corner Asa Jackson, who had a bit of a minor ankle problem. But he wasn’t listed on the injury report from Wednesday’s practice, and as Clifton Brown as CSN Baltimore tells us, he is ready to roll Sunday.
“It’s an opportunity I’ve been wanting for a long time,” Jackson told reporters following Wednesday’s practice. “Now I have to take advantage.”“I’m good to go. Top shape, full speed by Sunday. Really, I feel like that now. Obviously everything’s up to the coaches, but as far as ability (to play full speed), I’m good to go.”
Jackson has a great opportunity to seize the third cornerback spot and play major snaps this season. He is also playing behind two starters who have suffered their own injuries lately, so Jackson has to be ready in the event something happens to one of them.
Bernard Pierce excited for audition
Bernard Pierce has what is essentially a two game audition to prove that he is the superior running back on the Raven’s roster, and he is ready for the opportunity, though reluctant to admit that it is really a competition. While no one knows whether he really has a shot to stick as the starter when Rice returns, we would expect the Ravens to play their best players.
Jamison Hensley at ESPN tells us that the Ravens are confident that Pierce can carry the load, and that Pierce is looking forward to his big chance. “I’m excited as I can be,” Pierce said. “At the end of the day, I can’t really overthink it. I have to make sure I stay mentally locked in and focused because this could possibly be my only shot. I got to make it count.”