BALTIMORE — The Ravens defense is as close to full strength as it’s been in quite some time.
That’s good news for a team tied for first place in the AFC North and vying for a return to the playoffs, but the red-hot Miami Dolphins are in town trying to extend their conference-best six-game winning streak on Sunday afternoon. Both teams entered Week 13 with a tenuous hold on postseason berths.
As expected, No. 1 cornerback Jimmy Smith is active and will start after missing the last two games with a back injury. His return coupled with the presence of outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil will give the league’s second-ranked defense its full assortment of starting players for the first time since Week 5.
There were no other surprises among the Ravens’ inactives as tight end Crockett Gillmore (hamstring), guard Alex Lewis, and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro were officially declared out on Friday. Running back Buck Allen is also inactive after being listed as doubtful with a non-football injury.
After being a healthy scratch last week, second-year outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith is active for Sunday’s game. However, rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa was deactivated for the second straight week, continuing a quiet season for the second-round pick.
The Ravens will use the same starting offensive line for the third straight game, the first time they’ve done that since the first three games of the 2016 season.
Despite early-morning reports that Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker would not play, the 2015 first-round pick is active. He tested out his back in an extensive pre-game workout around 10:30 a.m. and was deemed good to go by the Miami medical staff. His 6-foot-3 frame could lead to some interesting coverage decisions in the Ravens secondary.
Miami will welcome back left tackle Branden Albert (wrist) and left guard Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) to the starting lineup after both missed last week’s game against San Francisco. Veteran center Mike Pouncey (hip) was officially ruled out on Friday and hasn’t played since Week 10.
The Dolphins will also be without starting outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who is out with knee and hand injuries.
The Ravens and Dolphins will be meeting for the 12th time in the regular season with Miami holding a 6-5 advantage but Baltimore owning a 2-0 postseason edge. In the John Harbaugh era, the Ravens are 5-1 — including one playoff win — against the Dolphins. Miami seeks its first win in Baltimore since prevailing in a 24-13 final at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 19, 1997.
The forecast for Sunday’s game calls for mostly cloudy skies with temperatures reaching the high 40s and a calm breeze, according to Weather.com.
Though there is no precipitation in the forecast, the Ravens have re-sodded the middle portion of the field at M&T Bank Stadium from end zone to end zone. It will be interesting to see how the field holds up as the game progresses.
The referee for Sunday’s game will be Carl Cheffers.
The Ravens will be wearing purple jerseys with black pants while Miami dons its white tops with aqua pants.
Below are Sunday’s inactives:
CB Chris Lewis-Harris
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro
RB Buck Allen
LB Kamalei Correa
OL Ryan Jensen
G Alex Lewis
TE Crockett Gillmore
LB Jelani Jenkins
OT Bryce Harris
TE Thomas Duarte
WR Rashawn Scott
C Mike Pouncey
CB Jordan Lucas
CB Xavien Howard