BALTIMORE — Already facing the challenging task of taking on the defending AFC champions on Sunday night, the Ravens are now playing with heavy hearts upon learning of the death of wide receiver Torrey Smith’s younger brother in a motorcycle accident less than 24 hours ago.
The 23-year-old Smith left the team hotel downtown shortly after 1 a.m. to be with his grieving family in Virginia but returned to the team this afternoon and will play. The Ravens left the decision up to Smith about whether he would play against New England, but the young receiver reportedly told the team he wanted to play before leaving to be with his family.
With Smith electing to play, there were no surprises on the inactive list for the Ravens as safety Bernard Pollard (ribs), linebacker Jameel McClain (knee), cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee), defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee), and linebacker Paul Kruger were all listed as probable on Friday.
The Ravens are playing the Patriots for the seventh time in the regular season and have never defeated New England in six tries during the regular season. However, Baltimore owns a playoff victory in Foxborough following the 2009 season and, of course, fell to the Patriots in last January’s AFC Championship game. Sunday night marks the first meeting between the teams at M&T Bank Stadium since the 2007 season when the Patriots narrowly avoided an upset en route to a perfect 16-0 record in the regular season.
New England poses a major threat to the Ravens’ 11-game home winning streak as Baltimore has won 19 of its last 20 games played in their home stadium.
The Ravens will wear their purple jerseys with white pants while New England dons its white jerseys and dark blue pants.
Here are Sunday night’s inactives:
WR LaQuan Williams
CB Asa Jackson
OL Jah Reid
TE Billy Bajema
DE DeAngelo Tyson
LB Sergio Kindle
DT Bryan Hall
RB Shane Vereen
DB Alfonzo Dennard
OL Nick McDonald
DL Brandon Deaderick
TE Aaron Hernandez
DE Jake Bequette
DE Justin Francis
Follow WNST on Twitter for the latest updates and analysis as Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, and I report live from M&T Bank Stadium throughout the evening.