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Ravens confident they can harrass QBs minus Suggs

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens acted quickly to address the loss of linebacker Terrell Suggs, who tore his left Achilles tendon in the season-opener against the Denver Broncos.

The Ravens signed veteran pass rusher Jason Babin to a one-year deal for the veteran minimum to add depth heading into Week 2 against Oakland. Babin was released earlier this month by the New York Jets, which saved that franchise $1.5 million in salary cap space. Babin could play Sunday against the Raiders.

While losing Suggs was a physical and emotional blow, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said his team needs to fully focus on Oakland to avoid going 0-2 to start the season. The Ravens decided to stay out West for practice to help relieve the burden of cross-country travel for two straight weeks.

“We have one objective this week: find a way to beat the Raiders in Oakland this Sunday,” Harbaugh said. “Nothing else matters. This is our sole focus. We’ll spend the week training at San Jose State, and we’ll have a curfew. We did some studying about the benefits of staying out West instead of flying back and forth to Baltimore, and we believe this will benefit us.

“In speaking with the leaders on our team, they thought a curfew would help keep our focus.”

Babin, a former first-round pick, has played 11 seasons and recorded 64.5 sacks over his career. In addition to the Jets, Babin has spent time with the Texans, Seahawks, Chiefs, Eagles, Titans and Jaguars. Last season, he registered 14 tackles and two sacks with the Jets.

Baltimore also worked out Shaun Phillips, but decided to sign Babin, who made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and 2011.

“I like his style. I like the way he plays,” Harbaugh said.

Even with the signing of Babin, Baltimore will start Courtney Upshaw and Elvis Dumervil, who will be on the field for first and second downs, against Oakland. Rookie Za’Darius Smith will also be asked to help carry a bigger load.

“Obviously, Elvis’ role will increase,” Harbaugh said. “He’ll be the starter as a rush linebacker over there on first and second down. I’m sure he and Za’Darius will work those reps, along with Courtney at the outside ‘backer spot.’ We still believe we have the pass rushers that can get the job done.”

Other options includes moving veteran Albert McClellan from inside linebacker to the outside. He has the versatility to help add another element to the pass-rush.

“Albert is so valuable,” Harbaugh said. “He can play inside ‘backer and outside ‘backer. He provides a swing-guy, and he’ll be doing a little bit of that.”

The Ravens defense might not have to deal with Oakland starting quarterback Derek Carr, who was knocked out of the season-opener against the Cincinnati Bengals with a bruised hand. If Carr can’t play, the Raiders will start Matt McGloin.

INJURY NOTES: DT Timmy Jernigan (knee) was ruled out in the season opener against the Broncos despite expressing optimism he could play. It’s possible Jernigan could return this week. … RB Lorenzo Taliaferro took to Twitter to express some optimism about getting back on the field this week. Taliaferro suffered an MCL sprain about midway through training camp. “If he’s optimistic, I’m optimistic,” Harbaugh said. Taliaferro would back up starter Justin Forsett if available. … WR Breshad Perriman continues to be the biggest question mark on the roster. He injured his knee on the first day of training camp and has not played since. His status this week against Oakland is also uncertain. With each week, concern grows over whether he will play at all this season.


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