Fri­day’s in­jury re­port presents sober­ing re­al­ity

Sev­eral key play­ers might be out against Gi­ants; Cor­rea on spe­cial teams

Baltimore Sun - - NFL & RAVENS - By Jeff Zre­biec and Ed­ward Lee jeff.zre­biec@balt­sun.com ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jef­fzre­biec­sun twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun

It ap­pears the Ravens will be with­out at least two start­ing of­fen­sive line­men, their top wide re­ceiver, two of their best lineback­ers and their kick re­turner when they travel to face the New York Gi­ants on Sun­day.

Fri­day’s fi­nal in­jury re­port pre­sented the sober­ing re­al­ity for the beat-up Ravens as pass rusher Elvis Dumervil (foot) was ruled out for Sun­day’s game, and wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. (an­kle), left tackle Ron­nie Stan­ley (foot), right guard Mar­shal Yanda (shoul­der), in­side line­backer C.J. Mosley (ham­string) and kick re­turner Devin Hester Sr. (thigh) are doubt­ful to play.

“We’ll just see who can play on Sun­day and we’ll play with the guys who are ready to go,” coach John Har­baugh said. “The guys who are healthy enough to play will play. That’s how it al­ways is re­ally. We haven’t de­cided any­thing. I haven’t talked to [head ath­letic trainer Mark Smith] yet as far as that. I don’t have any an­nounce­ments ever to make on that.”

Dumervil, Smith, Yanda and Mosley didn’t prac­tice all week, and thus aren’t ex­pected to play. How­ever, the Ravens have ruled out only Dumervil. The vet­eran strong-side line­backer missed the first three games af­ter a slow re­cov­ery from off­sea­son foot surgery be­fore re­turn­ing against the Oak­land Raiders in Week 4. He made lit­tle im­pact in the past two games and did not look close to 100 per­cent healthy.

“It’s a con­cern. I thought he’d be back at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, so it’s a con­cern in that sense,” Har­baugh said. “I’ve not been told that he’s out for the year or any­thing like that. We’re def­i­nitely hop­ing to get him back sooner rather than later. When that will be, I’m hop­ing it will be sooner. We’ll see. It’s a strength is­sue in his foot and his an­kle. It’s got to be right. He went out there last week and that ex­plo­sive­ness re­ally wasn’t there. He wasn’t re­ally able to get into a tackle and push like he needs to. We re-ex­am­ined it and found that the strength is prob­a­bly not quite where it needs to be.”

Stan­ley re­turned to prac­tice Thurs­day and Fri­day, but his progress has been slow, and it ap­pears he’ll miss his third con­sec­u­tive game. Hester left Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice early and hasn’t been on the field since.

The Ravens also listed wide re­ceiver Mike Wal­lace (chest), right tackle Rick Wag­ner (thigh), line­backer Al­bert McClel­lan (calf ) and de­fen­sive backs Sha­reece Wright (back) and Ken­drick Lewis (thigh) as ques­tion­able. Wag­ner and Lewis re­turned to prac­tice Fri­day on a lim­ited ba­sis.

With Smith likely out, Bre­shad Per­ri­man, Ka­mar Aiken and rookie Chris Moore will play more snaps op­po­site Wal­lace. As­sum­ing Wag­ner plays and Yanda and Stan­ley don’t play, the of­fen­sive line will likely in­clude Alex Lewis and Wag­ner at the tackle spots, John Urschel and Ryan Jensen at guard, and Jeremy Zut­tah at cen­ter.

Rookie Matthew Judon will likely have an in­creased role with Dumervil out, and the Ravens can re­place Mosley by us­ing McClel­lan in­side more and re­ly­ing on hy­brid safety An­thony Levine Sr.. Moore, safety Lar­dar­ius Webb and rookie run­ning back Ken­neth Dixon seem to be the best bet to han­dle re­turn du­ties.

The Ravens could also pro­mote a player or two to­day from their prac­tice squad to give them ex­tra healthy bod­ies. In­side line­backer Pa­trick On­wua­sor, a rookie out of Portland State, is a prime can­di­date. Cor­rea in line for duty: A week af­ter line­backer Ka­malei Cor­rea was in­ac­tive for the first time in his ca­reer, Har­baugh said the rookie sec­on­dround pick will play Sun­day and oc­cupy a key role on spe­cial teams.

“His main fo­cus right now is spe­cial teams,” Har­baugh said. “That’s the thing he’s re­ally worked on. He strug­gled early. The sec­ond game, I think it was, he came back and played well. The third game he didn’t play well. Up and down. He sat af­ter that. Now, he’s go­ing to get back and have a chance to play on spe­cial teams this week.”

Cor­rea has had a dif­fi­cult go of it in his tran­si­tion to the NFL. How­ever, de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dean Pees and Har­baugh have praised him for his ef­fort in prac­tice this week.

“He’s very de­ter­mined,” Har­baugh said. “That’s re­ally what it boils down to. You have an op­por­tu­nity, you have to go out there and do some­thing with it to cre­ate for your­self the next op­por­tu­nity. That’s what he has to do. If I was to spec­ify on spe­cial teams, I think the cov­er­age part of it is im­por­tant.” Gill­more warm­ing up: Sun­day’s game at the Gi­ants car­ries a lit­tle more weight for Ravens tight end Crockett Gill­more be­cause child­hood friend and Colorado State team­mate We­ston Rich­burg is the start­ing cen­ter there. Rich­burg was a mem­ber of Gill­more’s wed­ding party in July, and the two talk reg­u­larly.

“Weal­ways have some­thing to say to each other,” said Gill­more who is com­ing off his best game of the sea­son against the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins. “He’s like a brother to me. He was in my wed­ding, and I’ve known him since I was 10 years old. We’ve been around each other a long time. We ob­vi­ously lived to­gether in col­lege. Just a very dear friend.” Dixon ea­ger to do more: Dixon of­fered a mixed re­view of his de­but in Sun­day’s loss. The fourth-round pick, who missed the first four games be­cause of a strained MCL in his left knee, was happy to ab­sorb sev­eral tack­les and come away un­scathed while rush­ing the ball three times for mi­nus-1 yard and catch­ing one pass for 6 yards. But he ac­knowl­edged that he was look­ing for more than just four of­fen­sive snaps.

“I don’t feel too good about it,” Dixon said. “I got in there and did what I was asked to do. Hope­fully, my work­load can in­crease this week­end, and I can get out there and do some spe­cial things.” End zone: Har­baugh said of­fen­sive line­man Billy Turner, whom the Ravens claimed off waivers from the Mi­ami Dol­phins on Wed­nes­day, will not be ready to play in time for Sun­day’s game. Turner is still learn­ing the team’s of­fense. “It is what it is,” Turner said. “I think it’s go­ing to go game plan to game plan, and I’ll catch up as we go.” … The Ravens hosted Jack Kirk­bride, a 5-year-old who has leukemia, at Fri­day’s prac­tice. Af­ter prac­tice, Jack took a hand­off from his fa­vorite player, Joe Flacco, and ran into the end zone as the Ravens of­fen­sive play­ers fol­lowed be­hind him to cel­e­brate. … The Gi­ants ruled out safeties Nat Berhe (con­cus­sion) and Dar­ian Thomp­son (foot), and of­fen­sive tackle Mar­shall Ne­w­house (calf ).

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