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BALTIMORE — After 10 days to stew over a humbling 49-27 loss to Denver to begin the 2013 season, the Ravens will look to remove the bitter taste against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday afternoon.
Unveiling their Super Bowl XLVII championship banner prior to kickoff, the Ravens hope to improve to 11-0 against Cleveland in the John Harbaugh era as the head coach nor quarterback Joe Flacco has ever lost to the Browns. The Browns hope to reverse that trend under new head coach Rob Chudzinski, who lost his debut to the Miami Dolphins last week in Cleveland.
Less than an hour prior to kickoff, the Ravens announced that Flacco’s wife Dana gave birth to the couple’s second child, a baby boy. The sixth-year quarterback will still play against the Browns.
The Ravens will be without wide receiver and Pro Bowl return specialist Jacoby Jones, who is expected to be out for the next month or so with an MCL sprain sustained in Week 1. This leaves Baltimore’s return game in flux as general manager Ozzie Newsome re-signed wide receiver Tandon Doss and added former Kansas City returner Shaun Draughn to the 53-man roster earlier in the week.
It appears that Doss will be entrusted to handle a bulk of the return duties due to Draughn being listed as inactive prior to Sunday’s game. Cornerback Lardarius Webb and backup running back Bernard Pierce could also factor into the return game.
Defensive tackle Arthur Jones is active after missing more than two weeks of action due to an irregular heartbeat. He practiced on a limited basis all week.
Right tackle Michael Oher is active and will start, which isn’t surprising after he practiced fully all week. He suffered a sprained right ankle in the season opener, but the fifth-year lineman credited the extra days of rest following the Thursday game in Denver as a major reason why he was able to return for Week 2.
As expected, wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot), offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (foot), and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe) have been ruled out for Sunday’s game after being listed as doubtful. With Thompson and Jacoby Jones both inactive, the Ravens will have just four receivers active against Cleveland.
The Ravens will find several familiar faces on the opposing sideline as outside linebacker Paul Kruger returns to Baltimore to face his former team after inking a five-year, $41 million contract with the Browns back in March. Preseason standout Bobby Rainey is handling the Browns’ kickoff return duties after being waived by the Ravens at the end of August while Billy Cundiff is serving as the kicker for Cleveland. Former Ravens third-round pick Oniel Cousins is also a member of the Cleveland offensive line and struggled mightily last week against the Dolphins.
Cousins will start at right guard for the Browns in place of the injured Shawn Lauvao.
Baltimore will wear purple jerseys and white pants in this one while the Browns sport their white jerseys and white pants in Week 2. The referee for Sunday’s game is Bill Vinovich, who officiated the Ravens’ double-overtime win against Denver in January’s divisional round.
The Ravens lead the all-time regular-season series against the Browns by a 21-7 margin and are 11-3 against Cleveland in Baltimore.
Here are Sunday afternoon’s inactives:
WR Jacoby Jones
WR Deonte Thompson
DT Brandon Williams
OL Ryan Jensen
RB Shaun Draughn
DE DeAngelo Tyson
OL Jah Reid
QB Brian Hoyer
TE MarQueis Gray
OL Martin Wallace
RG Shawn Lauvao
DE Ahtyba Rubin
DE Armonty Bryant
LB Paul Hazel
Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the afternoon for updates and analysis as Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, and I bring live coverage from M&T Bank Stadium.