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Sunday will mark the first time the Ravens have seen guard Marshal Yanda play in a regular-season game in 11 months.
Yanda suffered three torn knee ligaments in his right knee last season on Oct. 12. Since then, he’s been working diligently to be ready for this weekend’s 2009 opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Yanda said on Wednesday that he wasn’t sure if he or fellow right guard Chris Chester would start, but offensive coordinator Cam Cameron did expect the Iowa product to play.
“He’s really worked hard,” Cameron said. “I think he’s exceeded expectations, and he’ll play in the game to some degree. Basically, we’ve told everybody that’s active, they’re going to play. That’s the important thing. He’s worked hard. I think he deserves to play.”
Yanda eased back into game shape during training camp. He started in Baltimore’s third preseason contest against the Carolina Panthers when Chester was dealing with a calf injury, and then got a few snaps the following week against the Atlanta Falcons.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are also expecting receiver Mark Clayton to suit up. Clayton dealt with a hamstring injury sustained on Aug. 2 that kept him out of all four preseason games, but he has been full-speed at practice this week.
He’ll join a corps that includes Derrick Mason, Kelley Washington and Demetrius Williams.
“He’s healthy. He’s ready to go,” Cameron explained. “Just like we’re running back by committee, we’re receiver by committee. We’re going to need all four of those guys. Again, if the guys are up, we anticipate them playing.”
The Ravens nearly had a full squad participate in Thursday’s practice session. Tight end L.J. Smith was the only player that wore shorts and a T-shirt while running on a side field.
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (foot), and linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo (foot) and Dannell Ellerbe (knee) practiced. They were listed as “limited” in Wednesday’s injury report.