OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After receiving much praise for its performance in a convincing season-opening win over Pittsburgh, the Ravens offensive line may be without one of its key members in Tennessee on Sunday.
Starting left guard Ben Grubbs was absent for the third straight day during the portion of practice open to the media, further diminishing his chances of playing as he continues to deal with a right toe injury. The former Auburn product has not missed a game in his career as he begins his fifth season.
Should Grubbs not be able to play, former Cowboys center Andre Gurode would likely get the start at left guard and is listed as Grubbs’ backup on the depth chart. Prior to switching to center in Dallas where he became a five-time Pro Bowl selection, Gurode started 28 games at guard in 2003 and 2004 with the Cowboys.
Cornerbacks Chris Carr (hamstring) and Jimmy Smith (high ankle sprain) were also missing from the open portion of practice. Smith will not play, and doubts continue about Carr’s status after he aggravated the left hamstring injury he’s dealt with for over a month. Assuming both cornerbacks are sidelined for Sunday, veteran Domonique Foxworth will again see an increased workload behind expected starters Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb.
The Ravens once again played their customary “jersey swap” for Friday’s practice as a number of defensive players exchange jerseys — probably to mess with the media more than anything. However, a few offensive players joined the act as quarterback Joe Flacco exchanged his red no-contact jersey with receiver Anquan Boldin.
And, what was perhaps the funniest scene in Owings Mills all week, running back Ray Rice offered his jersey to rookie tackle Jah Reid, who exerted quite a bit of effort to fit the pint-sized running back’s jersey over his massive frame.
Sunday’s game will be officiated by Clete Blakeman’s crew.