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Baltimore Ravens WR Steve Smith Sr. not ready to retire

By Todd Karpovich, The Sports Xchange   |   Dec. 31, 2015 at 12:09 AM
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. announced Wednesday that he changed his decision to retire and will be return for another season in 2016.

Smith, entering the final year of a three-year, $10.5 million deal and scheduled to make $3 million in 2016, said on Twitter: "Wit the blessing of My Family, Friends & Fans!! 2016 Let's give'em Hell."

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The Ravens expected Smith to come back after he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury on Nov. 1 against the San Diego Chargers. Smith had to be carried off the field with a towel over his face, unable to put any weight on his right leg.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Smith currently ranks No. 11 on the NFL's all-time receiving list with 13,392 yards and he could finish in the top five if he exceeds 1,195 yards in 2016, according to ESPN.com.

Smith, 36, the oldest receiver in the NFL, announced four months ago at training camp that he would retire at the end of the 2015 season.

Through the first eight weeks of his 15th NFL season and before the injury, Smith ranked eighth in the league in receiving yards (670) and 11th in receptions (46).

Smith, a 2001 third-round pick, spent 13 seasons with the Carolina Panthers and was a five-time Pro Bowler before he was released in March 2014 in a cost-cutting move. In his two seasons with the Ravens, Smith has caught 125 passes for 1,735 yards and nine touchdowns.

--Ravens coach John Harbaugh quickly dismissed any rumors that he might be a candidate for the head coaching position in Philadelphia after Chip Kelly was fired by the Eagles on Tuesday.

"No. It's not even part of the conversation," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh was the Eagles' special teams coordinator from 1998 to 2007 before taking the Ravens' head coaching job. Harbaugh's name was also mentioned as being on the "short list" to take over Southern Cal when that job became available in October. He also quickly quashed that rumor.

"I've been on a lot of short lists in my life," Harbaugh said at the time. "So, no. Obviously, no. This is what I'm doing. I love the Ravens, love being here, and that's not a consideration."

-- Quarterback Joe Flacco (knee) should be ready for 2016 training camp, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. Flacco tore his ACL and MCL on Nov. 22 against the St. Louis Rams. Flacco finished 10 games this season with 2,791 with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

"I guess you never say never, but everything I've been told is that he's going to be ready for training camp, 100 percent ready to go," Harbaugh said.

MEDICAL WATCH: Wide receiver Marlon Brown (back) was placed on injured reserve, making him the 20th Ravens player to land on the list. Brown had missed five consecutive games. He ends the season with 14 receptions for 112 yards after expecting to take hold as the team's No. 2 wide receiver. Instead, Brown's future with the franchise is uncertain.

"He's going to have to take the offseason and get it right - whatever that means," Harbaugh said. "There's no major blown-out back or anything like that, or we would've put him on IR whenever the injury happened. But, it was kind of like one of those things where we thought we could get him back, and they tried different things, and it just didn't really respond."

-- Right tackle Rick Wagner (knee) shook off a lingering injury and "probably played his best game of the year," against Pittsburgh, according to Harbaugh. Wagner will be available this week against the Bengals. "It seems like he has had all kinds of banged-up things," Harbaugh said. "His knee has been hyper-extended. He has had all the bumps and bruises, but this guy never, ever says he can't go. I don't know what it would take. Let's not find out."

NOTES: Wide receiver Kamar Aiken needs five catches to set the franchise's record for consecutive games (nine) with at least five receptions. He's currently tied with Derrick Mason (eight games in 2007).

"He's one of the hardest-working guys we have, one of the most consistent demeanors," Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said. "He comes out every day, and he just works; and he leads by example both in the classroom and on the field. He has had a chance to be productive."

--Defensive back Sheldon Price, who went undrafted out of UCLA, was promoted from the practice squad. Price spent most of his first two NFL seasons on the Colts practice squad. He appeared in two games before being waived with an ankle injury. He signed with the Ravens' practice squad on Oct. 20.

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