OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Preparing for arguably the most important regular-season game in the history of the franchise, the Ravens returned to the practice field with several ailing players at their disposal.
Right guard Marshal Yanda (rib and thigh contusions) was not one of them as the Pro Bowl lineman was absent from the portion of practice open to the media, joining linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (concussion), defensive lineman Arthur Jones (undisclosed), and wide receiver Anquan Boldin (knee surgery) as absentees.
With Boldin already expected to miss Sunday’s game in Cincinnati, Yanda’s injury is the most concerning as the Ravens are faced with the possibility of using veteran Andre Gurode or rookie Jah Reid at right guard, which is neither player’s primary position. Gurode did play right guard early in his career with the Dallas Cowboys but earned five trips to the Pro Bowl at the center position.
Meanwhile, cornerback Cary Williams has been cleared for contact and return to the practice field after sustaining a concussion in last Saturday’s win, a positive development considering how equipped the Cincinnati Bengals are at the wide receiver position with A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson.
Defensive end Cory Redding (ankle) and kicker Billy Cundiff (left call) also returned to the practice field after both were sidelined in the 20-14 win over the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Eve. Redding emphatically told reporters prior to Wednesday’s practice that he plans to play on Sunday — the veteran made a similar statement last week — while Cundiff revealed he would try kicking in Wednesday’s practice.
“I want to get out there as soon as I possibly can,” Cundiff said. “That’s probably what led to more of the problems is that I played when I probably shouldn’t have. But hindsight’s 20/20. Right now, I’m going to [practice] today, see how it responds, and then base all of our judgments off of that. Instead of trying to add in some forecast of what it might be, let’s just kind of go off and see how it responds.”
Veteran Shayne Graham made both of his field goal attempts against the Browns, connecting from 48 and 43 yards, while taking Cundiff’s place.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh provided no new updates on injuries prior to Wednesday’s workout, simply saying everyone is “progressing” and receiving treatment for their various ailments.