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Ravens have prepared for Rams' no-huddle offense

Furor over the

New York Giants

' questionable tactic of faking injuries notwithstanding, the

Ravens

are concentrating their defensive efforts on neutralizing the

St. Louis Rams

' no-huddle offense.

"It's going to be interesting," seven-time

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free safety

Ed Reed

said. "Playing last week helped us out a lot. It's not like we haven't been practicing for it, because we have. But it's just going to be a little bit more up-tempo, which requires everybody's attention."

In Monday night's 28-16 loss to the Giants, St. Louis went to the hurry-up style 11 times, all in the first half. That philosophy contributed to the Rams' second field goal of the game from

Josh Brown

, helping trim New York's lead to 7-6.

Quarterback

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Sam Bradford
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completed 3 of 5 passes for 46 yards, including a 26-yard strike to tight end

Lance Kendricks

and a 17-yard throw to wide receiver

Brandon Gibson

. Running back

Cadillac Williams

— playing in place of the injured

Steven Jackson

(strained left quad) — gained 13 yards on five carries, and

Jerious Norwood

added another 2 yards on one attempt.

While those numbers might not seem terribly productive, the no-huddle offense was effective enough to elicit the Giants' comical response of having at least two players fall to the turf with injuries at the same time.

And St. Louis' lack of hesitation to quicken the pace of play has become a much-discussed topic in the Ravens' meeting rooms.

"The no-huddle stuff, we're spending a great deal of time on that," defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said. "Communication is going to have to be on point. That's really one of our biggest concerns right now. You watched the game — half the time in those first couple of drives, they weren't even lined up. We're working like heck on that right now."

The Rams' usage of the no-huddle offense relies heavily on Bradford, the

NFL

's Offensive Rookie of the Year who set league rookie passing records in completions (354) and attempts (590) last season.

Bradford must get the call quickly from the offensive coaches, relay the call to his teammates, and line up the unit in a matter of seconds.

Bradford said the objective is to catch opposing defenses trying to substitute personnel or sending in the wrong package.

"It just forces the defense to think faster, make their calls faster," he said. "You know, they don't have as much time to react to what we're doing. They don't have as much time to get their calls in. It forces them, for the most part, to play with one personnel group. It doesn't allow them to sub much. I feel like if we do get a drive going in the no-huddle mode, sometimes we can wear out defenses. We may have to go 10 or 12 plays at a very quick tempo, and it's tough on those big guys. And when they can't sub, it makes it even harder."

In the Ravens, however, Bradford & Co. will meet a battle-tested, veteran defense that is accustomed to matching wits with the likes of the

New England Patriots

'

Tom Brady

and the

Indianapolis Colts

'

Peyton Manning

. That's why outside linebacker

Terrell Suggs

sounded indifferent about potentially seeing the no-huddle offense.

"We've just got to get our calls faster and be dialed in with what they're doing," Suggs said. "It's happening fast for them, too. They pretty much know what they're doing, and we've just got to know what we're doing and just execute. It's going to be different."

End zone:

The Ravens ruled out starting wide receiver

Lee Evans

(left ankle) for Sunday. Evans did not practice this week, and he joins wide receiver

David Reed

(left shoulder strain) and rookie cornerback

Jimmy Smith

(high left

ankle sprain

) as three players who will sit out Sunday's game. Rookie

Torrey Smith

could make his first career start in Evans' place. … Despite missing three consecutive practices, starting left guard

Ben Grubbs

is listed as questionable. Grubbs did not play in Sunday's loss to the

Tennessee Titans

after straining ligaments in his toe. Cornerback

Chris Carr

, who was limited all week by a left hamstring injury, is also questionable. … Three starters in center

Matt Birk

(left knee), defensive end

Cory Redding

(toe) and nose tackle

Terrence Cody

are probable. Birk practiced fully for the second straight day, while Redding and Cody were limited for the second consecutive day. … For the Rams, running back Steven Jackson (strained left quad) is listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis for the second straight day. Starting outside linebacker

Ben Leber

(groin) is questionable as are running back Carnell Williams (hamstring) and defensive end

C.J. Ah You

(wrist). … Starting wide receiver

Danny Amendola

(dislocated left

elbow

) is listed as doubtful even though he has not practiced this week. ... Tight end

Michael Hoomanawanui

(calf) and rookie wide receiver

Greg Salas

(ribs) are both probable. … Grubbs underwent an MRI on his injured toe Thursday, but results were negative, coach

John Harbaugh

said. "It's still sore," Grubbs said. "It's still a day-to-day thing. Every morning, I hope I wake up feeling a little bit better, but I guess because of the size of the joint, it takes forever for the swelling to go out. Right now, I think that's what's causing most of my pain, just the inflammation." … Rookie

LaQuan Williams

might return a few kicks Sunday, but it appears for now that

Lardarius Webb

will add kick returns to his plate that already includes starting at cornerback and returning punts. "Webby's in great shape, and he did it in the first game of the year, and we anticipate using him however we can use him throughout the game on defense and special teams," special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said during his weekly briefing Thursday. "I don't think that's going to change. And just like with all the games, we have a number of guys that can do a number of things."

Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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