OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After not practicing all week as he continues to deal with an injured left ankle, veteran wide receiver Lee Evans has been ruled out on Sunday when the Ravens take on the St. Louis.
Evans missed all three practices this week after lacking explosion while running routes last week against Tennessee. Coach John Harbaugh suggested earlier in the week that Evans might need to miss time if he’s unable to produce on the field because of the injury.
The 30-year-old receiver has dealt with the injury since the Saturday after the third preseason game when he watched practice while wearing a walking boot on his left foot. Evans said extended rest this week had made the ankle feel better prior to the release of the injury report on Friday afternoon.
“Right now, we’ve gotten as much rest on it as we possibly can,” said Evans, who had expressed hope of being a game-time decision against the Rams. “We’ll just have to see how it reacts and let the coaches make the decision.”
Rookie Torrey Smith will step into a starting role despite struggling in the early stages of his NFL career. Fellow rookies LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss figure to receive a few opportunities as well, but the Ravens are likely to use plenty of two tight end sets.
Left guard Ben Grubbs missed practice again on Friday, but the Ravens have listed him as questionable on the official injury report for Sunday. The swelling in the right toe is still a concern, as Grubbs was only able to fit his fit into a regular-sized shoe a few days ago.
“If the opportunity presents itself and I’m able to play, I would like to play, but that’s not my decision,” said Grubbs, who believed missing practice for two weeks would not prevent him from playing should he feel better by Sunday. “Ultimately, it’s coach Harbaugh’s decision, so I’ll leave everything up to him.”
Harbaugh said Grubbs had an MRI on Thursday that came back with encouraging results and has “a chance” to play.
If Grubbs misses his second straight game, the Ravens will choose between Mark LeVoir and Andre Gurode to take his place on the left side next to Bryant McKinnie. LeVoir struggled against the Titans, but Harbaugh said Gurode was not comfortable enough to the left guard position to justify putting him on the field last week.
Gurode played right guard in 2003 and 2004 with the Cowboys, but this has been his first experience on the left side after earning trips to five Pro Bowls as a center in Dallas. That transition coupled with his arrival only a week before the regular-season opener has created a substantial game of catchup for the 32-year-old lineman.
“Overall, it was a good week of preparation,” said Gurode, who compared switching from center to guard to a right-hander being asked to suddenly become a southpaw. “I feel a little bit more comfortable.”
Cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) was also listed as questionable after practicing all week on a limited basis. After the defensive back expressed his intent to play against the Rams on Thursday, Harbaugh was feeling good about Carr’s chances to play.
“I’m fairly optimistic, but I think, with hamstrings, you’re never certain.”
Without any surprise, cornerback Jimmy Smith and wide receiver David Reed were both ruled out and are not expected to return until after the Ravens’ Week 5 bye.
OUT – WR Lee Evans (ankle) CB Jimmy Smith (ankle), WR David Reed (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE – G Ben Grubbs (toe), CB Chris Carr (thigh)
PROBABLE – C Matt Birk (knee), DE Cory Redding (toe), DT Terrence Cody (head)
DOUBTFUL – WR Danny Amendola (elbow)
QUESTIONABLE – RB Steven Jackson (quad), DE CJ Ah You (wrist), LB Ben Leber (groin), RB Carnell Williams (hamstring)
PROBABLE – TE Michaeel Hoomanawanui (calf), WR Greg Salas (ribs)