With linebackers Brendon Ayanbadejo and Jameel McClain both listed as questionable for Sunday’s divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans, the Ravens have elected to boost depth at the position by promoting rookie Josh Bynes to the active roster.
To make room on the 53-man roster, Baltimore has waived offensive tackle D.J. Jones.
Ayanbadejo practiced this week on a limited basis after suffering a sprained quadriceps muscle in the Week 17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. His level of activity has been low during the portions of practice open to media. McClain was listed as a limited participant in practices on Thursday and Friday, but the starting inside linebacker expressed confidence that he would be able to play following Friday’s practice, even hopping around to show reporters how well his knee feels after suffering a sprained MCL in the regular-season finale.
All indications point to McClain playing while Ayanbadejo’s status remains in doubt, with the promotion of Bynes supporting that notion. In addition to his stellar play on special teams, Ayanbadejo is considered to be the Ravens’ best linebacker in pass coverage and plays in the nickel package. Coach John Harbaugh said both players would be game-time decisions in his press conference with the media following Friday’s practice.
Bynes originally signed with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie from Auburn prior to training camp. During his college career, he appeared in 43 games, posting 238 tackles (127 solo), seven interceptions, 19 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
The rookie linebacker was waived on Sept. 3 but was signed to the practice squad on Nov. 9. Bynes was promoted to the active roster for the Ravens’ Thanksgiving win over the San Francisco 49ers as linebackers Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe were dealing with injuries at the time.