Late For Work 8/31: Stallworth’s Surgery A Success

Plus a decision on kickers coming and the pass protection needs beefing up.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 at 9:18 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

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Stallworth’s Surgery A Success

Just two days after breaking his foot in the Ravens’ victory over the New York Giants Saturday night, receiver Donte’ Stallworth proclaimed his surgery to correct the injury was a success.

Stallworth’s operation consisted of inserting a screw into his broken foot in order to aid the healing process.

“The surgery was successful,” wrote Stallworth from his Twitter account. “[Thank you] all for your prayers. Love you much. Now back on the grind, I’ll be back SOON!!!”

If all goes as planned, Stallworth will return to the field in eight weeks, right around Halloween.

I mentioned yesterday that some fans were upset with Head Coach John Harbaugh for giving the first-half punt return duties to Stallworth during a less-meaningful preseason game. Some assumed Stallworth sustained the injury while returning a punt.

Turns out, however, Stallworth injured his foot while running a route as a receiver, not as a punt returner.

Now, Demetrius Williams, Marcus Smith and David Reed find themselves battling it out for that fifth receiver spot.

Thursday’s fourth and final preseason game will weigh heavily on the outcome of that battle. The only problem for Williams is that he has to overcome an ankle injury to even compete.

He does need to get out there Thursday night and he’s shooting for that,” Harbaugh told Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com. 

Decision On Cundiff vs. Graham All Comes Down to This

Speaking of Thursday’s game vs. the St. Louis Rams, this will also be a huge night for kickers Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham.

The Ravens have admittedly been putting off this decision, as neither kicker has done enough to create separation. But the decision can’t be delayed much longer and the kickers know it. Check out CSNBaltimore.com’s video breakdown of the sitch.

Pass Protection Needs Beefing Up

With right tackles Jared Gaither (back) and Oniel Cousins (head) still sitting out, the Giants recorded five total sacks against the Ravens Saturday night.

“The pocket overall wasn’t consistently solid,” said ESPN’s James Walker. ”At times, it was miscommunications. Other times New York simply outplayed Baltimore up front.”

Through three preseason games the Ravens have allowed a sack nearly 11 percent of the time they attempt a pass. Only the Chicago Bears have allowed more sacks per pass attempt thus far.

“We’re not convinced Tony Moll is the answer at right tackle,” Walker continued. “Giants defensive end Justin Tuck had his way with Moll on several occasions. Baltimore tackles Cousins and/or Jared Gaither need to get healthy quickly.”

Unfortunately, Cousins’ availability is still unclear, writes MASN’s Dan Kolko.

Clayton Designates Elite Tag To Flacco

ESPN’s senior writer John Clayton breaks down all 32 starting NFL quarterbacks, designating each to one of three categories: The Elite, The Chad Pennington division and the Hit-Or-Miss division.

Ranked as the 12th-best quarterback overall, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is elite in Clayton’s book. Clayton also added an “arrow pointing” category for each elite quarterback, and Flacco’s arrowing is pointing up as he continues to progress and grow.

“For the past couple of years, I’ve preached how the league is divided into teams with elite quarterbacks and those without them. To win in this league, you must have an elite quarterback. Without one, the season can be long and frustrating.”

AFC North quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer were also designated the elite tag, ranked No. 4 and No. 10, respectively.

Quick Hits

  • Among NFL players from around the league, SportingNews.com correspondents believe Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski, cornerback Lardarius Webb and guard Marshal Yanda are primed for a breakout season. [SportingNews.com]
  • Steelers safety Troy Polamalu’s three-feet long, flowing locks have been insured for $1 million by his endorsement brand shampoo, Head and Shoulders. [ESPN]
  • For the record, Ravens former Head Coach Brian Billick agrees with Tony Dungy. Billick believes his former colleague and now Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan should tone down his use of obscenities on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” [USA Today]
  • duffstar: Harbaugh said injury settlements will be coming soon to get down to 75 on roster. [Twitter]
  • duffstar: Harbaugh said Fabian Washington has a bruise on his ribs and that’s why he didn’t practice today. [Twitter]
  • In reaching for a ring, 10-year veteran Todd Heap has more help this year. “(Defenses) are going to have to decide who they want to put pressure on, and we’ve got a lot of guys that can step up and make plays when the pressure’s on somebody else,” said Heap. [USA Today]
  • Could the offense now be the Ravens’ strength? “We’re definitely going to be better,” said Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron. “It’s just a matter of how much better. The sky’s the limit for this team.” [SportingNews.com]
  • andysimms (sports agent): NFL Teams have serious roster cuts in next 5 days. 32 teams going from 80 players to 53 means 864 cuts to be made. Reality check for many. [Twitter]
  • Receiver Mark Clayton said Giants safety Antrel Rolle should not be fined for the concussion-inducing hit Rolle delivered Saturday night. Rolle was subsequently penalized for hitting the defenseless receiver. [The Baltimore Sun]

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