Ravens running back Gus Edwards practiced Wednesday for the first time in more than a year, taking another step forward in his recovery from a season-ending knee injury.
Edwards, who began the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, was eligible to practice this week after missing the first four weeks of the season. After designating him to return, the Ravens now have 21 days to activate Edwards to the 53-man roster, place him on season-ending injured reserve or release him.
Edwards, one of the NFL’s most effective running backs in his first three years, tore his ACL before the Ravens’ 2021 season opener. Coach John Harbaugh said in August that Edwards is “kind of a patient rehabber” but is “recovering well.” He had no apparent limp as he jogged through drills in the portion of practice open to reporters.
“Gus looked good,” Harbaugh said after practice Wednesday. “He is there. He has done very well with his rehab. He worked really hard and I thought he had a good day. So this is obviously just the first day in quite a while. We’ll see where it goes, but it was definitely a good start.”
The best defenders J. K. Dobbins and Justice Hill (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Hill is unlikely to be available for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals after suffering the injury in Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills, but Dobbins’ day off was planned, Harbaugh said.
Dobbins and Edwards combined for 1,528 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in 2020, a year before both suffered season-ending knee injuries. Hill, meanwhile, is averaging 6.6 yards per carry this season.
“The sky’s the limit with our offense with those guys in the backfield,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said, adding that Edwards looked “awesome” in his return. “We’ll just have to see. “
Also missing Wednesday was top Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot). After practice, Harbaugh said he was “hopeful” that Bateman, whose injury is a “day-to-day issue,” would be able to play Sunday.
Left tackle Patrick Mekari (ankle), who missed all of last week’s practice and Sunday’s game, returned to the field Wednesday. Justin Houston (groin) remains sidelined, however, as does fellow outside linebacker Tyus Bowser (Achilles), who could be slated to return from the reserve/PUP list this week. Defensive lineman Calais Campbell and cornerback Marcus Peters were also out Wednesday, possibly on rest days.
Starting right tackle La’el Collins (rest) and backup tight end Devin Osiassi (ankle) missed Wednesday’s practice for Cincinnati. Starting wide receiver Ty Higgins (ankle), starting tight end Hayden Hurst (groin) and starting kicker Evan McPherson (groin) were limited.
This story will be updated.