OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After John Harbaugh said on Monday he expected all players to be available against the Houston Texans on Sunday, Wednesday’s practice strongly supported the Ravens coach’s optimistic outlook.
All players were present and working during the portion of practice open to the media, with linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps) appearing to be working on a limited basis. Linebacker Jameel McClain (knee) was moving well during the special teams portion of practice reporters were allowed to watch. Ayanbadejo’s sprained quadriceps muscle is considered to be the more concerning ailment that could affect his status in the divisional round.
“Jameel and Brendon continue to rehab and are making good progress,” Harbaugh said before Wednesday’s practice. “Again, we’ll have to see how it goes, but we do anticipate them playing on Sunday.”
Cornerback Jimmy Smith, safety Tom Zbikowski, and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe were all practicing after passing concussion tests, allowing them to take part in contact. Smith and Zbikowski sustained concussions against Cincinnati in Week 17 while Ellerbe suffered his against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16, which forced him to miss the regular-season finale.
“The three guys who had the concussion issues have all been cleared as we anticipated, so they’re good to go.”
Wednesday only added to the growing tough-as-nails reputation of Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda, who revealed to reporters he underwent emergency compartment syndrome surgery on his leg on Christmas Eve night following the Ravens’ 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. While most concern previously centered around the contusion he suffered after taking a knee to the ribcage, Yanda underwent the procedure after taking a leg whip to the calf area.
Amazingly enough, Yanda was able to play — and perform at a high level — the following week against Cincinnati to close the regular season as the Ravens clinched their first AFC North title since 2006.
“It’s over with now,” Yanda said. “I got the stitches out. Your muscle swells up. They had to do emergency surgery that night and slit the muscle open to relieve the pressure.”
Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and Terrell Suggs right here.