Late For Work 8/29: La Canfora: Evans’ Walking Boot A Precaution

Plus Dixon, Batch no longer expected to hit market; pump the brakes on CB trade rumors.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Monday, August 29th, 2011 at 9:01 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

La Canfora: Evans’ Walking Boot A Precaution

Fresh off his first touchdown catch as a Raven – a beautiful 35-yard rainbow from quarterback Joe Flacco – receiver Lee Evans was spotted by journalists wearing a walking boot on his left foot Saturday at practice.

Since the media spoke with Head Coach John Harbaugh prior to the session, nobody could comment on exactly why he was wearing the boot and how severe the situation is.

However, Jason La Canfora wrote that a source with knowledge of the situation revealed Evans is expected back at work this week.

“Evans is wearing the boot as a precaution, and the Ravens fully expect him to return to practice soon,” La Canfora explained.

The NFL.com report seemed to be in line with what local media observed Saturday.

The injury doesn’t seem particularly serious,” wrote Aaron Wilson of The Carroll County Times. “Evans was able to stand on one leg with his left foot supporting his weight, and he did several stretching exercises. He didn’t complain of any injury following the Ravens’ 34-31 win over the Washington Redskins.”

MASN’s Dan Kolko gave a similar description: “The eight-year veteran did not appear to be in any pain following Thursday’s game against the Redskins, and he fielded questions from reporters while standing upright without any sign of an injury. It’s hard to imagine the Ravens would let Evans stand and watch practice if his injury was anything serious, but that’s all the injury speculation I’m willing to do.”

Evans and Flacco have developed instant chemistry in just two preseason games. The former Bills receiver now leads the Ravens with 128 receiving yards and caught three passes for 60 yards against the Redskins.

Evans brings speed and a long-awaited deep presence the Ravens have been searching for, which complements the more physical Anquan Boldin, who works the middle of the field.

Expect an update on Evans’ potential injury after practice today (3 p.m. EST).

Dixon, Batch No Longer Expected To Hit Market

A little over a week ago, we asked fans if they would be interested in bringing one of two Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks – Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch – to Baltimore as a veteran backup to Flacco.

At the time, Pittsburgh had three quarterbacks capable of backing up Ben Roethlisberger, and one was expected to be cut or traded before the season began.

That is no longer the case.

No. 2 quarterback Byron Leftwich broke his upper left arm in the Steelers’ victory over the Atlanta Falcons Saturday night.

At first it was reported by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Leftwich would be out for the season, but now it is unclear exactly how much time he will miss.

Regardless, Leftwich’s broken arm makes it unlikely the Steelers would part ways with either of their other backup quarterbacks.

“The injury to Leftwich means that the Steelers will keep both Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon as quarterbacks behind Roethlisberger,” wrote The Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. “The two had been competing for the third and final spot on the depth chart at the position.”

Of course, nobody knows if the Ravens were even interested in Dixon or Batch. It was an idea fueled by fans and media.

King’s Advice: Play The Gamble On Taylor

When asked this weekend if he would feel comfortable with Tyrod Taylor backing up Flacco, Harbaugh answered the way any head coach would, “I’m never comfortable. I’m not comfortable with any of it.”

Harbaugh did say that he would be confident that Taylor would go in there and play well.

“I think he can be the backup quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “Is he going to be the backup quarterback? We shall see.”

Peter King understands that making Taylor the No. 2 option would be rolling the dice, but the Sports Illustrated scribe is for it.

“Tyrod Taylor is exciting,” King wrote in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column. “If I were John Harbaugh, I’d play the gamble and make him my backup to Joe Flacco.”

McKinnie ‘A Dangerous Move For A Smart Team’

While King would gamble on Taylor, he would have passed on the Ravens’ newest signing of left tackle Bryant McKinnie.

“I’ve liked most everything the Ravens have done with veteran players to bolster their roster in the last two or three years,” King wrote. “I do not like the Bryant McKinnie signing. He’s done nothing to show he’s worth two years and up to $7.5 million (only $1.8 million for sure this year), and even less to be handed the left tackle job.

“It might work, in part because McKinnie has a good chance to be kept in line by two players he looks up to — Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. And because the Ravens really need it to work. Still, it’s a dangerous move for a very smart team.”

Pump Brakes On CB Trade Rumors

Prior to Thursday’s victory over the Redskins, I wrote that rumors were swirling about trading cornerback Domonique Foxworth.

Some observers believe the Ravens’ cornerback corps is so deep that any number of players – Chris Carr, Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams – are capable of starting in place of Foxworth at a lower financial cost. CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg had said “something could be on the table in the coming weeks.”

But after the pass defense struggled to contain the Redskins’ offense Thursday night, 105.7 The Fan’s Rob Long is telling pro-trade activists to “pump your brakes on that theory, maybe they aren’t as deep as we previously thought.”

Long says Williams will likely be one of the team’s starting corners, but the question remains as to who should start opposite of the inexperienced four-year player. Long doesn’t feel comfortable with any of the options because each player has shown vulnerabilities during the preseason.

“Before you start more trade rumors, ask yourself, can the Ravens afford to trade Foxworth or anyone else in that group of cornerbacks?” asked Long. “While I haven’t been impressed with Foxworth, maybe the team will need him just for numbers alone.

“How long before Cary Williams gets exposed? Can you rely on Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb all season? Foxworth’s experience may be too valuable to let him go. Yes, he has the big contract, but maybe his existence is similar to the reason the team signed him in the first place. Who else are you going to turn to?”

Quick Hits

  • “While the coaching staff understands that there will be a period of transition for McKinnie, there’s also an expectation that he will make an immediate impact on the front five,” wrote Edward Lee. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • “This offensive line is very much a work in progress,” wrote Kevin Van Valkenburg. “And it’s likely going to be that way through the first month of the season.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Joe Flacco was ranked No. 115 in Scouts Inc.’s Top 200 Players of 2011, but Matt Williamson says Flacco could potentially fall from that ranking by season’s end. Williamson writes of Flacco, “He has all the ability in the world, but must be more consistent series to series, and he also must improve dealing with pressure around him. This isn’t to say I’m not a believer in Flacco.” [ESPN]
  • Starting center Matt Birk is expected to be ready for the season opener vs. the Steelers, but if he isn’t Bryan Mattison has impressed in relief of Birk. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • RavensInsider: For those asking, I’ve confirmed that Joe Flacco has no knee injury at all. He’s fine. Nothing to that false rumor. [Twitter]
  • “LaQuan Williams, the undrafted free agent from Maryland, is making such a strong bid for a place on the 53-man roster that it is hard to imagine the Ravens letting him get away,” wrote Eisenberg. “He has playmaking skills that can’t be ignored.” [CSNBaltimore.com]

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