Three Ravens starters miss practice

Three Baltimore Ravens players missed practice Wednesday, most notably running back Ray Rice.

Three days ago, Rice sustained a hip flexor strain in the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns and didn't return. Ravens coach John Harbaugh indicated earlier in the week that Rice may be held out of practice this week but wouldn't rule him out of Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

If Rice can't play, backup running back Bernard Pierce would start in his place. Pierce, a third-round draft pick in 2012, has never started an NFL game.

"We have all the confidence in the world in him," wide receiver Torrey Smith said of Pierce. "Just watch him play. He's a heck of a running back, and we're lucky to have those two guys on our team."

The other starters who didn't practice were wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who has been ruled out with a knee injury, and defensive lineman Chris Canty, who has a thigh injury. Linebacker Arthur Brown (chest), cornerback Chykie Brown (knee) and center Ryan Jensen (foot) also didn't practice.

Harbaugh said there are no long-term concerns with Canty, Arthur Brown and Chykie Brown.

Wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot) and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe) both returned to practice. Thompson hadn't practiced since hurting his foot in the preseason opener.