OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the final injury report being released prior to Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Texans, the story remained the same in terms of who to expect on the practice field.
Linebackers Jameel McClain and Brendon Ayanbadejo were limited in practice on Friday and are questionable for Sunday’s game. Ayanbadejo was limited all week while McClain practiced fully on Wednesday before using more caution on Thursday and Friday.
“It’s going to come down to a game-day decision,” coach John Harbaugh said. “They both practiced to different degrees, and we’ll just have to see how they are on Sunday right before the game. We are optimistic about both guys.”
McClain is expected to play and was bouncing around in the locker room to show reporters how healthy his knee felt. The inside linebacker suffered a sprained MCL in the Week 17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I’m ready to go out there and play, and I’m preparing myself to fullest of my capacity,” McClain said. My knee feels better, of course.”
Ayanbadejo’s status remains more of a mystery after he was not available to speak to reporters following Friday’s practice. His sprained quadriceps kept him out of practices during the bye week, and he appeared to be very limited in activity during the portions of practice open to the media this week.
Both linebackers benefited from an extra week to recuperate for the injuries sustained in the regular-season finale. Ayanbadejo would have almost certainly been unavailable for wild-card weekend while McClain’s status would have been very cloudy.
Fortunately for the Ravens, they didn’t have to worry about that problem.
“Time off helps everybody,” McClain said. “Everybody gets a chance to heal up all their little nicks and wounds, and then we get to go out there and play.”
Houston listed 18 players as probable on its final injury report, including quarterback T.J. Yates, wide receiver Andre Johnson, and cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
QUESTIONABLE: LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (thigh), LB Jameel McClain (knee)
PROBABLE: WR Anquan Boldin (knee), LB Dannell Ellerbe (head), CB Jimmy Smith (head), G Marshal Yanda (chest), S Tom Zbikowski (head)
PROBABLE: LB Mister Alexander (shoulder), CB Jason Allen (thumb), LB Bryan Braman (neck), G Mike Brisiel (ankle), DE Tim Bulman (calf), FB James Casey (knee/foot), NT Shaun Cody (knee), TE Owen Daniels (hand/knee), TE Joel Dreessen (knee), WR Andre Johnson (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (hip), CB Sherrick McManis (ankle), C Chris Myers (knee), S Troy Nolan (ankle), LB Brooks Reed (knee), RB Ben Tate (shoulder), T Eric Winston (calf), QB T.J. Yates (left shoulder)