The Star Democrat

Ravens get back CB Jimmy Smith, OLB Pernell McPhee, place S Tony Jefferson on reserve/COVID-19 list

- BY JONAS SHAFFER

The Ravens activated cornerback Jimmy Smith and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee off the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, but sidelined practice squad safety Tony Jefferson.

With the return of Smith and McPhee, the Ravens have eight active-roster players on the reserve/ COVID-19 list, notably quarterbac­k Tyler Huntley, defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, outside linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Chris Westry. The team’s recent coronaviru­s outbreak has thinned the defense’s depth in recent weeks.

McPhee, a strong run defender, hasn’t played since Nov. 11 because of a knee injury, but Smith’s arrival should help a secondary that played much of Sunday’s 41-21 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals without any of its top five outside cornerback­s. The status of starting cornerback Anthony Averett, who was knocked out of Sunday’s game with a ribs injury, is uncertain heading into a crucial Week 17 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Jefferson, who rejoined the Ravens on Dec. 13, had a team-high-tying nine tackles and a sack in Cincinnati and was one of the Ravens’ highest-rated players, according to Pro Football Focus. He finished with 47 defensive snaps Sunday, the 10th most on the team.

Under the NFL’s updated COVID-19 protocols, fully vaccinated players who test positive can clear protocol within one day if they register two negative tests and are asymptomat­ic. Players who are not vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days.

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