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BALTIMORE — Playing their only home game in the month of October, the Ravens face arguably their toughest opponent at M&T Bank Stadium this season as the Green Bay Packers come to town for the first time since 2005.
Despite 11 players being listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week, the Ravens find themselves healthier now than they’ve been at any point since the start of the season as wide receiver Jacoby Jones makes his return to action for the first time since suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee in the season opener. It will be interesting to see how the Pro Bowl return specialist factors into the offensive game plan as well as on special teams after a layoff of more than a month.
The Ravens will have a new left tackle as the newly-acquired Eugene Monroe will make his debut for his new team after being acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars less than two weeks ago. The eighth overall pick of the 2009 draft will replace Bryant McKinnie in the starting lineup as McKinnie was ruled inactive, a sign that the Ravens are confident that Monroe has firmly grasped the Baltimore offense.
Wide receiver Marlon Brown (hamstring) is active and will play after missing last week’s game while veteran Brandon Stokley was the only wide receiver declared inactive after he practiced on a limited basis with the groin injury all week.
Defensive tackle Terrence Cody was ruled inactive for the third straight game since injuring his knee in the first quarter of the Week 3 win over the Houston Texans on Sept. 22. Defensive tackle Marcus Spears is also inactive for the second straight week as he continues to recover from a knee injury, but he wouldn’t have figured to factor into the defensive plan very much with the Packers’ propensity to throw the football.
As expected, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is active and will start after being limited with a hip injury in practices this past week.
Meanwhile, the Packers are banged up significantly on the defensive side of the ball as starting linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones and No. 3 cornerback Casey Hayward were ruled out for Sunday’s game earlier in the week. The absence of Matthews is a major blow to the Packers’ pass rush that will try to aid the league’s 26th-ranked pass defense.
Weather could be a factor in Sunday’s game as the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-60s with a chance of light rain and drizzle in the early afternoon. The footing on the turf at M&T Bank Stadium did not appear to create too many problems during pre-game warmups.
Sunday marks the fifth all-time meeting in the regular season between these teams as the Packers hold a 3-1 edge and won the last game in 2009. The Packers lost their only other game played at M&T Bank Stadium, a 48-3 thrashing on Dec. 19, 2005 with former Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller getting the best of future Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
The Ravens are wearing black jerseys with white pants for Sunday’s game while Green Bay dons its white tops with gold pants.
Gene Steratore and his crew will officiate Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Packers.
Here are Sunday’s inactives:
DT Terrence Cody
OL Jah Reid
OL Ryan Jensen
OT Bryant McKinnie
WR Brandon Stokley
LB John Simon
DT Marcus Spears
CB Jarrett Bush
CB Casey Hayward
RB James Starks
LB Clay Matthews
LB Brad Jones
OL Greg Van Roten
DE Josh Boyd
Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the afternoon for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio and I bring live coverage from Baltimore throughout the day.