OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Making final preparations to begin a critical three-game stretch to close the 2013 regular season, the Ravens appear to be in good shape for Monday’s trip to Detroit to take on the 7-6 Lions.
Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (ankle) practiced for the second straight day on Saturday and is considered a good bet to play despite being listed as questionable on the final injury report. The 29-year-old missed last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings with a left ankle injury suffered on Thanksgiving night against Pittsburgh but practiced on a limited basis to close this week.
Every player on the 53-man roster practiced over the last two days of the week leading into their first meeting against Detroit since 2009 as the Ravens appear as healthy as they’ve been all season with three regular-season games remaining.
“I’d say so. It probably is,” coach John Harbaugh said. “If you look at the course of the season [and] even last year, this is probably as healthy as we’ve been.”
The Ravens would like to have Dumervil back to boost a pass rush that’s failed to record a sack since the Week 12 win over the New York Jets on Nov. 24. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has only been sacked 15 times this season, but the Baltimore defense would like to disrupt the league’s third-ranked passing game as much as possible with Dumervil providing speed off the opposite edge to rush linebacker Terrell Suggs.
The Baltimore defense is now tied for ninth in the NFL with 37 sacks after a two-game drought as Dumervil and Suggs have combined for 18 1/2 this season. Baltimore has pointed to the pocket prowess of Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger two weeks ago and the poor field conditions last Sunday to explain why the sacks haven’t come over the last two games.
“Obviously, we’d like to get sacks,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “I think you’d be surprised, though, how many times we actually hit the quarterback. When you watch the film, we may not be getting a sack if the ball is coming out quick, and there’s no way a guy can do that. He can’t get there in time if the ball is coming out quick. But you’re also getting what you want by the ball coming out quick. We’re getting quite a few hits.
“Elvis has been out, and that’s been a little bit of a factor, but the truth is the ball is coming out a lot quicker in these last two games. That’s smart football by their part.”
Cornerback Lardarius Webb (abs) was listed as probable and rookie safety Brynden Trawick (ankle) is questionable for Monday night’s game after both practiced on a limited basis all week. Webb was never considered to be in danger of missing the Detroit game, but Trawick is more of a question mark after missing the last two contests due to a high ankle sprain.
Meanwhile, the Lions are dealing with injuries in their secondary as cornerbacks Chris Houston (toe) and Darius Slay (knee) were both designated as doubtful after missing practices all week. With Houston unlikely to go, Detroit will likely start Jonte Green in his place opposite other starting corner Rashean Mathis. Starting free safety Louis Delmas also missed two practices this week with a knee issue despite being listed as probable on the final injury report.
Running back Reggie Bush (calf) and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) were both listed as questionable, but they are expected to play after practicing on Friday and Saturday.
All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson is probable after being limited in practices all week.
The referee for Monday night’s game will be Carl Cheffers.
With strong ties to the state of Michigan, Harbaugh handled a slew of ticket requests for Monday night’s game but provided the stipulation that friends receiving tickets must wear purple in lieu of Lions blue. Harbaugh admitted that the requests got “a little more expensive” than he initially planned in his first trip to Detroit as the Ravens coach.
“There will be some purple there,” said Harbaugh, referencing the Lions’ instructions to have all fans wear Honolulu blue for Monday’s game. “You can count on that.”
Here is the final injury report of the week:
QUESTIONABLE: LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle), S Brynden Trawick (ankle)
PROBABLE: CB Lardarius Webb (abs)
DOUBTFUL: CB Chris Houston (toe), CB Darius Slay (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder), RB Reggie Bush (calf)
PROBABLE: S Louis Delmas (knee), WR Calvin Johnson (knee), DE Isreal Idonije (knee), T LaAdrian Waddle (elbow), S John Wendling (illness)