Dumervil might return for Sunday
LB hasn’t played since Oct. 9; cornerback Smith likely out
The Ravens might get back strongside linebacker Elvis Dumervil for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but it appears that their defense will still be without top cornerback Jimmy Smith. Smith didn’t practice all week because of a back injury and he was listed as doubtful on the game’s final injury report.
The Ravens have not had a player who was listed as doubtful play this season, though coach John Harbaugh wasn’t ready Friday to rule out Smith, who was sidelined for Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Smith declined to speak to reporters when approached at his locker after Friday’s practice.
“If he gets healthy enough, he’ll play in the game even without the practice,” Harbaugh said. “I think they have a better handle on exactly what [the injury] is right now. Specifically, they have a good handle on it. It’s more muscular. That’s good news. If it clears up and he can go, he’ll play. If it doesn’t, if he can’t be close to 100 percent, we’ll just have to wait till next week. We’re confident in the guys we have as well.”
With Smith out last week, cornerbacks Tavon Young, Jerraud Powers and Shareece Wright struggled to deal with the Cowboys passing game. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 301 yards and three touchdown passes, all to Dez Bryant, who probably benefited the most from Smith’s absence.
With star receiver A.J. Green and versatile running back Giovani Bernard both injured, the Bengals don’t have the offensive weapons that the Cowboys possess.
The Ravens could also benefit from Dumervil’s return. The veteran pass rusher was a full participant in practice all week and appears in line to play in his first game since Oct. 9 against the Washington Redskins. Dumervil, who has been limited to two games this year as he recovers from offseason foot surgery, is questionable for Sunday.
“I think he looked good in practice,” Harbaugh said. “Again, it’s going to be up to the medical people to determine that. It’s always been a medical issue. It’s good to see him out there at practice, taking a good number of reps. He didn’t take every rep, but he took a good number of reps in the rotation, so we’ll just have to see when the time comes, whether he gets cleared to go.”
The Ravens did rule out rookie guard Alex Lewis, who will miss his second consecutive game with a high ankle sprain, and reserve running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh).
Like Smith, tight end Crockett Gillmore (thigh) is doubtful to play Sunday. He didn’t practice Friday and is expected to miss his fourth consecutive game. Defensive linemen Timmy Jernigan (shoulder) and Brandon Williams (back, hand), and guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) are questionable but expected to play. No Green, as expected: Green (strained hamstring) was ruled out for Sunday’s games, and his absence could be significant, given his past success against the Ravens. In eight meetings, Green has caught 41 passes for 726 yards, and his six touchdowns are tied for most against an opponent. In Cincinnati’s last visit to Baltimore, Elvis Dumervil, who has been recovering from offseason foot surgery, was a full participant in practice this week. He has played two games this year. Sept. 27, 2015, he finished with 10 receptions for a career-high 227 yards and two scores.
“Whenever you don’t have one of the best receivers in the league on the field, it always helps,” Wright said. “So it’s good. We can’t complain about that.”
The Bengals, who also lost Bernard (39 catches for 336 yards and one touchdown) to a torn ACL, hope wideouts Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd spark the passing attack.
“It’s part of professional sports and a team,” Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said in a conference call with Baltimore-area reporters Wednesday. “The next man moves up and gets going. Everybody has to adjust. Everybody has to pick up the slack and get going.”
For the Bengals, starting safety Shawn Williams (hamstring) and tight end C.J. Uzomah (calf ) are doubtful to play. Long snapper Clark Harris (groin) and safety Derron Smith (thigh) are questionable. Boyle decision pending: Gillmore’s expected absence increases the likelihood that the Ravens will activate blocking tight end Nick Boyle and have him make his 2016 regularseason debut Sunday. They have until 4 p.m. today to make that move for Boyle to be eligible to play against the Bengals.
Boyle was suspended for the first 10 games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He returned to practice Monday.
“He came back in really good shape, very impressive shape,” Harbaugh said. “It looks like he’s been working really hard. But there is a process of knocking off the rust for sure. It’s been10 weeks, 11 weeks since he’s been in a football practice. ... As far as the game, we’ll just have to see. Wehave to talk it out and decide what we want to do.”
The Ravens have struggled to find a blocking tight end with Gillmore hurt and Boyle suspended. End zone: Wide receiver-kick returner Michael Campanaro remains on the Ravens’ practice squad, but Harbaugh said the River Hill alumnus has been impressive in practices. “Michael really looks good out there. He came back in phenomenal shape,” he said. “He stayed completely healthy. He’s worked out here. I’m pretty excited about Michael right now. We just have to see if the opportunity presents itself to get him out there sometime. I know he’s hoping for the very near future. We’ll just have to see what happens.” … The Ravens will be wearing their black jerseys for Sunday’s game, according to the team’s website. … The Ravens will host their 21st annual Family Food & Funds Drive, sponsored by Giant Food, before Sunday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium. Volunteers with the Maryland Food Bank and M&T Bank will be outside the stadium gates from 11 a.m. until kickoff at 1 p.m., accepting monetary and nonperishable food donations.
Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith grabs Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. on Nov. 10. Smith sat out Sunday’s game against the Cowboys with a back injury, and he could be sidelined again this week.