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PITTSBURGH — Aiming to enter their bye week on a positive note while also burying their biggest rival even further, the Ravens travel to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon.
Baltimore has won three consecutive regular-season games in Pittsburgh and will try to avoid falling below the .500 mark this late in the season for the first time in the John Harbaugh era. Meanwhile, the Steelers are coming off their first win of the season last week and can improve to 2-4 with a victory over their bitter rivals.
Inside linebacker Jameel McClain will make his 2013 debut against Pittsburgh as he makes his return from a spinal cord contusion suffered on Dec. 9, 2012. With starter Josh Bynes out after undergoing surgery for an infection in his finger, McClain is expected to see plenty of defensive snaps along with rookie second-round pick Arthur Brown at the weakside inside linebacker position.
For the second straight week, the Ravens have listed former starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie as inactive, meaning they will use rookie tackle Rick Wagner once again if they want to line up in a jumbo formation with a tackle-eligible blocker. McKinnie has been dealing with knee swelling for the last couple weeks but has not been listed on the injury report.
With Pittsburgh unable to move the football via the ground all season and relying more on the passing game, the Ravens have listed defensive linemen Terrence Cody and DeAngelo Tyson as inactive. Cody practiced on a limited basis all week in coming back from a knee injury suffered last month but will ultimately miss his fourth straight game.
For the Steelers, rookie outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was not cleared after suffering a concussion last week and will be inactive for Week 7. He is expected to be replaced by Jason Worilds in the Pittsburgh starting defense.
A win on Sunday would give the Ravens their 14th in their last 16 games against the AFC North and improve Harbaugh’s record to 23-9 against division opponents. It would also give the Ravens a 2-0 record against the division this season with all other AFC North teams already sporting one loss on their division mark.
Sunday marks the 38th overall time these teams have played in the last 18 years with the Steelers owning the 19-15 edge in the regular season and a 3-0 mark against the Ravens in the postseason. Of the last 10 regular-season games played between these teams, eight have been decided by three points with the Ravens and Steelers each coming away with five wins over that span.
The Ravens will wear white jerseys with black pants while Pittsburgh dons black jerseys with gold pants on Sunday. This is the first time these teams have met in Pittsburgh and not played in prime time since the 2010 season.
The referee for Sunday’s game will be Bill Leavy.
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-50s for the 4:25 p.m. kickoff with winds up to 13 miles per hour. Unlike the many times these teams have locked up later in the season in Pittsburgh, the grass appeared to be in good shape — and actually looked green — at Heinz Field prior to kickoff.
Here are Sunday’s inactives:
LB Josh Bynes
DT Terrence Cody
OL Jah Reid
C Ryan Jensen
T Bryant McKinnie
WR Brandon Stokley
DE DeAngelo Tyson
LB Jarvis Jones
QB Landry Jones
WR Markus Wheaton
CB Curtis Brown
RB Isaac Redman
TE Richard Gordon
NT Hebron Fangupo
Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the afternoon for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio, Drew Forrester, and I bring live coverage from Heinz Field throughout the day.