OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The status of outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil and tight end Dennis Pitta will remain a mystery into the weekend as the Ravens make final preparations for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Dumervil’s status appears bleaker, however, after he was listed as doubtful on the final injury report of the week and missed his third straight day of practice on Friday. The rush specialist was deemed a game-time decision by coach John Harbaugh, who added that the veteran linebacker missing an entire week of practice wouldn’t prevent him from playing if he improved over the weekend.
Dumervil injured his left ankle late in the first half of the Thanksgiving win over the Pittsburgh Steelers but returned early in the third quarter to finish the game. Harbaugh said Monday that the Ravens would likely have to “nurse some things” when asked about Dumervil, but he also added that he expected all players banged up in the Pittsburgh game to be able to play Sunday against Minnesota.
“Earlier in the week, we felt like he was going to make it,” Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “He’s not a guy who has to practice to play. If he goes out there and feels like he can go, he will. If he doesn’t, he won’t.”
Dumervil leads the Ravens with 9 1/2 sacks and hasn’t missed a game since sitting out two with the Denver Broncos during the 2011 season.
Harbaugh would not disclose Friday whether Pitta would be making his 2013 season debut against the Vikings, but all signs point to that being the case after Pitta took part in full practices this week. The Ravens have brought him along slowly and have resisted the urge to push Pitta too fast as he works his way back from a serious hip injury suffered in late July.
“It felt good all week,” said Pitta, who added that the decision to play is ultimately up to him and how he feels. “It’s nice to get back in and go through full practices and stuff. We’ll see.”
With a wintry mix in the forecast for Sunday’s game against the Vikings, Harbaugh acknowledged the weather could be a factor in determining whether Pitta plays if the footing on the M&T Bank Stadium turf would be treacherous due to snow or sleet.
The Ravens will have until 4 p.m. on Saturday to move Pitta to the 53-man roster for him to be eligible to play against the Vikings. The expectation is that Pitta would play a limited number of snaps in his return to game action, but he was not listed on the final injury report since he was not on the 53-man roster as of Friday afternoon.
“It’s going to be how he gets through the week, how the doctors still have to look at it and make sure he’s going to be sound,” Harbaugh said. “If they feel good about it, then he should be OK. He’s got a reasonable chance. We just have to see.”
The Ravens listed defensive end Chris Canty, cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson, and wide receiver Brandon Stokley as questionable after each player worked on a limited basis in practices this week. Canty and Webb are expected to take their normal places in the starting defense.
Rookie safety Brynden Trawick remains sidelined with an ankle injury and was officially ruled out. Trawick figures to be a likely candidate to be placed on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for Pitta.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith is probable after he completed the concussion protocol and was cleared earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, the Vikings ruled out quarterback Christian Ponder, tight end Kyle Rudolph, and cornerback Josh Robinson. Ponder hasn’t been cleared from the concussion he suffered against Chicago last Sunday, meaning backup Matt Cassel will start against the Ravens.
All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is questionable with a groin injury, but he practiced on a limited basis Friday and is fully expected to play.
The referee for Sunday’s game will be Pete Morelli.
Sunday’s forecast calls for temperatures to be in the low 30s with an 80 percent chance of snow.
Here is the final injury report of the week:
OUT: S Brynden Trawick (ankle)
DOUBTFUL: LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Chris Canty (shoulder), CB Asa Jackson (thigh), WR Brandon Stokley (knee), CB Lardarius Webb (abs)
PROBABLE: CB Jimmy Smith (concussion)
OUT: QB Christian Ponder (concussion), CB Josh Robinson (chest), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Larry Dean (knee), RB Adrian Peterson (groin), S Jamarca Sanford (ankle)
PROBABLE: DE Jared Allen (finger), RB Matt Asiata (shoulder), DT Fred Evans (knee), DT Sharif Floyd (illness), LB Chad Greenway (wrist), DE Everson Griffen (toe), S Andrew Sendejo (toe)