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Ravens practice without Bateman, Houston, Hill while Edwards returns to field

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — While running back Gus Edwards returned to practice for the first time in nearly 13 months, the Ravens worked without several key players Wednesday as preparations ramped up for Sunday’s tilt with Cincinnati.

Top wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot), outside linebacker Justin Houston (groin), and running backs Justice Hill (hamstring) and J.K. Dobbins (chest) sat out for health-related reasons with the status of the first three considered up in the air for Week 5. Head coach John Harbaugh downplayed Dobbins’ absence as more of a rest day, which made sense since the third-year running back was limited with a chest issue last Wednesday and practiced fully the rest of the week before playing against Buffalo.

Bateman missed much of the second half of last Sunday’s loss to Buffalo with what’s been called a “mid-foot” injury, but Harbaugh said he remains “hopeful” that the 2021 first-round pick will be able to play against the Bengals on Sunday night. After catching just three passes for 17 yards and playing a season-low 31 snaps in the 23-20 loss, Bateman left the stadium wearing a walking boot on his left foot.

Houston hasn’t played or practiced since hurting his groin in the first quarter of the Week 3 win at New England.

On the physically unable to perform list while recovering from a torn ACL suffered days before the 2021 season opener, Edwards has begun a 21-day practice window in which he still won’t count against the 53-man roster. The Ravens may activate the fifth-year back at any point, but he must be placed on the roster by the end of the 21 days or remain on the PUP list for the rest of the season. Considering the severity of his injury and the way the Ravens have handled other players returning from long-term injuries, Edwards wouldn’t appear to be an option to play against the Bengals this week.

“Gus looked good. He’s out there. He’s done a really good job with his rehab,” Harbaugh said. “He’s worked really hard. He had a good day. It’s obviously just the first day back in quite a long time. We’re going to have to see where it goes, but it was certainly a good start.”

Edwards wasn’t the only player returning to practice Wednesday as offensive lineman Patrick Mekari participated on a limited basis after sitting out Week 4 with a sprained ankle sustained in the win over the Patriots. The Ravens also hope to finally welcome left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) back to game action against the Bengals with the 2019 All-Pro selection practicing fully once again.

While much was made of the crowded Buffalo injury report ahead of Week 4, the Bengals appear to be a much healthier team coming to town with only one player on their 53-man roster missing practice on Wednesday. Wide receiver Tee Higgins (ankle), former Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst (groin), and kicker Evan McPherson (groin) were limited participants.

Having toppled Miami in a Thursday night game last week, Cincinnati has the benefit of extra rest for a key AFC North clash.

Below is Wednesday’s full injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR Rashod Bateman (foot), DE Calais Campbell (rest), RB J.K. Dobbins (chest), RB Justice Hill (hamstring), OLB Justin Houston (groin), CB Marcus Peters (rest)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: OL Patrick Mekari (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: ILB Josh Bynes (hip), OT Ronnie Stanley (ankle)

CINCINNATI
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: TE Devin Asiasi (ankle), OT La’el Collins (rest)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Tee Higgins (ankle), TE Hayden Hurst (groin), K Evan McPherson (groin)
FULL PARTICIPATION: LB Germaine Pratt (knee)

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