OWINGS MILLS, Md. — An extensive list of injury concerns appeared to improve for the Ravens on Thursday as Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs practiced full for the first time since suffering a torn biceps on Dec. 2.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees expressed optimism over how Suggs has looked in practices but did not address whether the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year would be returning to game action this week after he sat out the Ravens’ 31-28 loss to Washington last Sunday. Suggs suffered the right arm injury in the home loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago.
The five-time Pro Bowl linebacker cited the wet conditions at FedEx Field and the option running game as reasons why he and coach John Harbaugh decided he wouldn’t play last week.
“It was a must-win game. There was just too much on the line to chance it, especially with my arm,” said Suggs, who described himself as a game-time decision for the second straight week. “I thought I would hinder the team by playing last week. It feels good this week, and we’ll just have to see come Sunday.”
Linebackers Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe and defensive lineman Arthur Jones were all present and participating during Thursday’s workout.
Jones (shoulder) and Ellerbe (ankle) did not participate in Wednesday’s practice while Lewis wasn’t present during the portion of practice viewed by media members. Because he is not on the 53-man roster and remains on injured reserve with the designation to return, Lewis is not required to be listed on the injury report.
Ellerbe hasn’t played in the Ravens’ last two games since suffering an ankle injury in Week 12 while Lewis has been sidelined since tearing his right triceps against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 14. The 37-year-old Lewis is eligible to play in Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, and several reports have said Lewis is targeting a return this week, which would be just over eight weeks removed from surgery.
“That’s totally up to the trainers, John [Harbaugh], and the organization,” Pees said. “Whoever is out there is who we coach up. Whoever shows up on Sunday is who we’re going to coach up. As coaches, we’re out of the loop.”
The Ravens were still without right guard Marshal Yanda (ankle), fullback Vonta Leach (ankle), defensive end Pernell McPhee (chest), and safety Bernard Pollard (chest), who were all absent from practice for the second straight day.
Tight end Ed Dickson (knee) was again practicing on Thursday after working on a limited basis a day earlier. Dickson injured his knee against the San Diego Chargers and has been sidelined for each of the last two games.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith was practicing again on Thursday and was listed as a full participant for the second straight day, which is a good indication that he’s on track to make his return after missing the last five games. The 2011 first-round pick underwent sports hernia surgery on Nov. 15.
Linebacker Jameel McClain (neck) wasn’t present for Thursday’s workout and has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game.
In stark contrast to the Ravens’ infirmary list, the Broncos once again had a favorable injury report as no players from their 53-man roster were listed as non-participants.
OUT: LB Jameel McClain (neck)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: FB Vonta Leach (ankle), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), S Bernard Pollard (chest), G Marshal Yanda (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle), DT Arthur Jones (shoulder), TE Ed Dickson (knee), RB Bernard Pierce (back), RB Ray Rice (hip)
FULL PARTICIPATION: CB Chykie Brown (knee), WR Jacoby Jones (ankle), S Ed Reed (shoulder), CB Jimmy Smith (abdomen), WR Deonte Thompson (thigh), LB Terrell Suggs (biceps), WR LaQuan Williams (thigh)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: G Chris Kuper (ankle), LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Trindon Holliday (knee), WR Demaryius Thomas (shoulder), WR Matthew Willis (knee)