Ravens' banged-up secondary returns to practice Saturday

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens hit the field to a welcome sight Saturday as four key members of their secondary returned to practice.
Cornerbacks Lardarius Webb (back), Jimmy Smith (chest), and Asa Jackson (ankle) as well as safety Matt Elam (leg) were all present and working during the portion of practice open to the media. Jackson and Elam appeared to be participating at a fairly high rate while Webb and Smith were more limited to individual work.
The return of Webb was particularly positive as he hadn’t practiced since being stricken with back spasms on July 25. With just over a week to go before the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens will need their full array of defensive backs against Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green and a potent offense.
“Very encouraging to get all those guys practicing,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “I think we had everybody practicing today. It was encouraging to see that. Those guys all looked good. We’ll just take it one day at a time from there.”
Running back Bernard Pierce and offensive lineman Jah Reid also returned to practice after both had been dealing with concussions.
With running back Ray Rice beginning his two-game suspension, Pierce will become the starting running back and is expected to handle a bulk of the carries in Gary Kubiak’s new offensive system.