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Ravens S Thomas respectfully gears up for return to Seattle

Wed Oct 16 4:27pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

Players: Russell Wilson

In this Sept. 8, 2019, file photo, Baltimore Ravens free safety Earl Thomas (29) intercepts a pass, as Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11), attempts to tackle, during the first half at an NFL football game, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Over the course of nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas picked off 28 passes, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times. Those are some of the memories the standout safety will take across the country before he faces former team on Sunday as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)


OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Over the course of nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Earl Thomas picked off 28 passes, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl six times.

Those are some of the memories the standout safety will take across the country before he faces his former team Sunday as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

''They gave me my first shot. I won so many games there, grew up as a young man there,'' Thomas said Wednesday. ''So I'm always going to respect that organization and always going to be a part of it.''

The 30-year-old Thomas started 125 games in Seattle, but his 2018 season began with a training camp holdout and effectively ended when he extended his middle finger toward the Seahawks bench while being carted off the field with a broken leg in Week 4.

Thomas, however, views his exit as the result of the team's desire to save salary cap space while retaining their linebackers.

''I feel like they were kind of trying to phase me out,'' Thomas said.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll has a different take on the circumstances surrounding Thomas' departure.

''I wish he could have played with us and we could have stayed together forever. But it didn't work out that way,'' Carroll said. ''We parted ways. That's it.''

After losing safety Eric Weddle to free agency, the Ravens were delighted to provide Thomas with a four-year, $55 million contract. The deal surprised him, not just monetarily but in who offered it.

''I thought maybe the Cowboys, to be totally honest,'' he recalled. ''I thought that's what the story was looking like until the money got funny.''

And so ended a successful run in Seattle that included seven playoff appearances, two Super Bowl games and a brutish defense nicknamed ''The Legion of Boom.''

''He went on and pursued another opportunity, got a great shot with the Ravens,'' Carroll said. ''Earl was an incredible competitor, and I loved coaching him. I think it will be fun playing against him.''

Seattle's loss has been a boon to the AFC North-leading Ravens (4-2). Thomas already has an interception and 19 tackles in addition to providing leadership in the locker room and on the field.

''He has taken to the whole thing,'' coach John Harbaugh said. ''He believes in what we're doing and how we're doing it, culture-wise and football-wise. I love being around him. I love his demeanor. I love his desire to be great, and I think it's rubbing off on the guys.''

Thomas has no idea what to expect from Seattle fans who cheered for him for the better part of the past decade.

''I thought about it late at night,'' he said. ''Hopefully they respect what I've done and I get a couple of cheers, not too many boos. Whatever happens, happens. But hopefully it's love.''

Thomas said he's feeling ''no emotions yet'' but can't guarantee it will stay that way when he walks into the stadium he used to call home.

''Maybe when I get to the visiting locker room and see how that feels, maybe it will add something to it,'' he said. ''But other than that, it's business as usual. I'm going out there to compete, make plays and try to help us win.''

Understanding that this game has to be meaningful for Thomas, Harbaugh made the newcomer one of the team captains on Sunday.

''I'm sure that he's excited and looking forward to it,'' Harbaugh said. ''He's got a lot of friends there and the fan base there, I think for anybody it would be a meaningful thing.''

Thomas will be part of an ever-changing secondary that is without injured starters Tony Jefferson, DeShon Elliott, Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith. Baltimore traded for two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters on Tuesday and signed safety Bennett Jackson from the New York Jets practice squad.

Both expect to be used Sunday against the Seahawks (5-1), who have the league's eighth-ranked pass offense behind quarterback Russell Wilson. Peters was expected to join the team on Thursday.

''To me, he's one of the top corners in the league,'' Harbaugh said of Peters. ''He fits in real well and gives us another weapon back there.''

Player Notes
Kareem Hunt Nov 16 10:13pm ET

Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt will 'absolutely' continue to play a big role in the passing game, according to Jake Trotter of ESPN.

Fantasy Spin: Hunt has 13 catches for 90 yards in two games for the Browns, and he has become a safety valve of sorts for quarterback Baker Mayfield. Throw in a handful of carries, and he is worth considering as a flex option in PPR formats.

From TheHuddle

Robby Anderson Nov 16 9:53pm ET

New York Jets WR Robby Anderson has 13 total receptions in five games since QB Sam Darnold returned from a bout with mono.

Fantasy Spin: He actually had a big performance in Darnold's first game back, but Anderson has just eight catches for 97 yards in the last four games combined. A Week 11 matchup with Washington looks good on paper, but he is a big-play dependent flex option, at best.

From TheHuddle

DeVante Parker Nov 16 9:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker's 'upside' may be limited in Week 11 because of the coverage skills of Buffalo Bills CB Tre'Davious White, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com.

Fantasy Spin: Parker had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Buffalo, but with Preston Williams sidelined, White and the Bills can focus all their attention on Parker. He is a touchdown-dependent WR3.

From TheHuddle

Blaine Gabbert Nov 16 9:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Blaine Gabbert (shoulder) won't be activated from the Reserve/Injured list this season, head coach Bruce Arians said Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Justin Evans Nov 16 9:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers S Justin Evans (foot) needs surgery on his foot and won't be activated from the Reserve/Injured list this season, head coach Bruce Arians said Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Jerry Hughes Nov 16 5:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills DE Jerry Hughes (groin) likely will be a game-time decision for the Week 11 game.

From TheHuddle

Obi Melifonwu Nov 16 5:53pm ET

New England Patriots S Obi Melifonwu (undisclosed) was placed on the practice squad Reserve/Injured list this week.

From TheHuddle

Allen Hurns Nov 16 5:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR Allen Hurns signed a two-year contract extension with the Dolphins Saturday, Nov. 16, worth $8 million, according to a source. The deal includes $3.27 million in guaranteed money.

From TheHuddle

Deon Cain Nov 16 5:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts practice squad WR Deon Cain and Chicago Bears practice squad RB Kerrith Whyte were signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers 53-man roster Saturday, Nov. 16. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed. The Steelers also waived LB Jayrone Elliott and RB Tony Brooks-James.

From TheHuddle

Bo Scarbrough Nov 16 5:13pm ET

Detroit Lions practice squad RB Bo Scarbrough was signed to the 53-man roster Saturday, Nov. 16. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived RB Paul Perkins.

From TheHuddle

John Kelly Nov 16 5:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams RB John Kelly was waived Saturday, Nov. 16.

From TheHuddle

Maxx Williams Nov 16 4:43pm ET

Arizona Cardinals TE Maxx Williams signed a two-year extension with the Cardinals Saturday, Nov. 16, that will run through the 2021 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Chung Nov 16 4:43pm ET

New England Patriots RB Damien Harris (hamstring) and SS Patrick Chung (chest, heel) have been ruled out of the team's Week 11 game.

From TheHuddle

Thomas Davis Nov 16 4:33pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers OT Sam Tevi (knee) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and has been ruled out for Week 11. WR Geremy Davis (hamstring) and RB Justin Jackson (calf) did not practice and are listed as doubtful. OT Russell Okung (groin) did not practice and is listed as questionable. S Roderic Teamer (groin) and LS Cole Mazza (illness) fully participated in practice but are listed as questionable. LB Drue Tranquill (calf) was limited during practice but is not on the injury report. LB Denzel Perryman (knee), DT Justin Jones (shoulder), OG Dan Feeney (shoulder), LB Thomas Davis (non-injury) and OT Trey Pipkins (toe) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Sammy Watkins Nov 16 4:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (groin) fully participated in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is not on the injury report for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Watkins has been targeted 27 times in three games since returning from injury and should have a solid role against the Los Angeles Chargers. He can be considered a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Frank Clark Nov 16 4:23pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs TE Blake Bell (ankle), DE Emmanuel Ogbah (pectoral) and DE Alex Okafor (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and have been ruled out for Week 11. CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) was limited during practice and is listed as questionable. OT Mitchell Schwartz (knee) was limited during practice but is not on the injury report. DE Frank Clark (neck), OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle), OT Cameron Erving (ankle), OT Eric Fisher (groin), DT Chris D. Jones (groin) and DT Derrick Nnadi (elbow) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

Damien Williams Nov 16 4:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams (non-injury) did not participate in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is listed as questionable for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Williams is not dealing with an injury, so he should have a good chance to play in Week 11. He can be considered a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues if he plays.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Mahomes Nov 16 4:13pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (knee) fully participated in practice Saturday, Nov. 16, and is not on the injury report for Week 11.

Fantasy Spin: Mahomes has thrown 18 touchdowns and one interception in eight games this season and continues to be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle