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As the Ravens prepare for their regular-season opener this weekend against the Kansas City Chiefs, it seems that the team is getting healthier.
Wednesday brought good news for receiver Mark Clayton, whose hamstring injury kept him out of all preseason contests.
Clayton looked smooth in and out of his cuts, however, taking over his starting spot next to Derrick Mason. Clayton was not listed on the Ravens’ first injury report of 2009.
“Those are the kind of things that you just have to wait and see how they go,” said head coach John Harbaugh. “How he practices, and how he feels with it, because it’s a hamstring. We’ll just have to see.”
The only player that was not practice during the portion open to the media on Wednesday was tight end L.J. Smith.
Smith ran by himself on a side field as his teammates – and fellow tight ends Todd Heap, Edgar Jones and Isaac Smolko – performed position drills.
The free-agent signee has been battling a hamstring injury since Baltimore’s second preseason game against the New York Jets on Aug. 24.
Harbaugh said Smith is a “possibility for this game.”
“I know he’s getting ready to play in this game,” Harbaugh explained. “It’s just a hamstring. Again, you just never know about those things, and you want to be a little bit cautious with him. But, he’s worked really hard to get better. He is getting better, yes.”
Joining Smith on the injury report were defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (foot), and linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo (knee) and Dannell Ellerbe (knee) as limited in practice.
For the Chiefs, the biggest question was the status of quarterback Matt Cassel, who signed a lucrative contract extension with Kansas City after being traded from the New England Patriots this offseason.
Cassel has been plagued by a knee injury since Aug. 29, but practiced this week on a limited basis. According to reports out of Kansas City, he wore a bulky knee brace.
In a conference call with Baltimore media, head coach Todd Haley said that he was going to “list [Cassel] as questionable.”
Also limited for the Chiefs were cornerback Brandon Flowers (shoulder) and running back Jackie Battle (illness).