Tag Archive | "Jimmy Smith"

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Most Important Individual Matchups in Super Bowl XLVII

Posted on 28 January 2013 by jeffreygilley

Super Bowl 47 is filled with many fantastic individual matchups. In this article, I will list what I consider to be the most important matchups as well as who has the edge in that matchup.

Ed Reed VS Colin Kaepernick

Ed Reed’s legacy is on the line in this game. Even without a Super Bowl ring, you could make an argument that Reed is the best safety to ever play the game. So, with a ring, would that even become an argument? That will be discussed no matter the outcome of the Super Bowl.

Kaepernick is not a one trick pony. He can make any throw and loves to throw the ball deep to Vernon Davis. Therefore, Ed Reed should have plenty of opportunities to make plays against a young quarterback.

Ed Reed has two weeks to prepare for this offense. Therefore, I give the advantage to Reed.

Edge: Ed Reed

Ray Lewis VS Frank Gore

Ray Lewis did not play against the 49ers last season. Because of his absence, the 49ers have not played against a linebacker with Ray’s instincts and intensity. While Ray has lost a step, Gore is not the type of player that can consistently break long runs. Therefore, Ray will be able to keep up with Gore.

These two players are simply too good to give the advantage to one player or another. Frank Gore has played against the Ravens twice, once in 2007 and the other in 2011. In those games, Gore has averaged only 45.5 yards rushing. But in those games, Gore’s offensive line was not as talented as it is this season.

Edge: Even

Justin Smith VS Kelechi Osemele

From watching the 49ers postseason games with an injured Justin Smith, it’s no secret that they have struggled to apply pressure. Aldon Smith has struggled mightily since Justin Smith’s injury but when the two are healthy, the two are a terrifying combination.

Justin Smith will be moved around but for the most part, will be matched up with Kelechi Osemele. Osemele played well at tackle but at this point in his career, is better at guard. Osemele is one of the bigger guards in the league and that should help him against Smith.

Osemele will also have to watch out for Aldon Smith, who runs a lot of stunts to the interior of the offensive line.

Despite Osemele’s talent, Smith is a veteran and giving him the edge is a no-brainer.

Edge: Justin Smith.

Bryant McKinnie and Michael Oher VS Aldon Smith

On August 25, the 49ers traveled to New Orleans to play the Saints. In that game, Aldon Smith recorded 1.5 sacks, which gave him 30.5 sacks for his career. This, in turn made him the fastest player to reach 30 sacks. Who did he pass on his way to that record you ask? Reggie White.

Obviously, Smith is doing something right. The supremely athletic linebacker/defensive end seems to play better on big stages and none is bigger than the Super Bowl. Oher should be able to hold his own but the much older McKinnie will have his hands full. On passing downs, expect to see Ray Rice or Vonta Leach in pass protection to help slow down Smith. Running some screens where Rice blocks and then releases on a pass route will also help slow down Smith.

Edge when against McKinnie: Aldon Smith
Edge when against Oher: even

Vonta Leach VS Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman

Of all the matchups in the Super Bowl, this might be the best. In 2011, Leach and Willis exchanged blows and Leach embarrassed Willis on one particular play.

Willis is widely considered the best linebacker in the NFL and Bowman is not far behind him. Expect this to be a back and forth battle for the entire game.

Edge: Even

Conclusion
There are many matchups that are evenly matched. Therefore, this game will come down to lesser-known players making big plays. For the 49ers, the two most likely players to play that role are LaMichael James and Delanie Walker. For the Ravens, Jimmy Smith and Tandon Doss are the most likely candidates.

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Changes for the Ravens and 49ers Since the First Harbaugh Bowl

Posted on 21 January 2013 by jeffreygilley

New England and Denver fans were wrong. The Ray Lewis retirement party did not start on January 12 or January 20. Instead, the Ravens will be playing the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl!!!

This will not be the first time the Harbaugh brothers have coached against each other. They played in Baltimore week twelve of the 2011 season, on Thanksgiving night.

The game was dominated by the Ravens’ front seven as they registered nine sacks. Alex Smith is still having nightmares courtesy of Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Corey Redding.

Things have changed on both sides of the ball for the Ravens and 49ers. Most of which, are similar.

Similar Changes:
1.Regression on defense
Last year’s game was advertised as a defensive battle and did not disappoint. However, both defenses have regressed. The 49ers defense was impenetrable in 2011, especially against the run.

This year’s 49ers defense is still great, but not dominant like last season. They are giving up almost three more points per game, and are a top five defense in only one category, which is rushing yards allowed per game.

The Ravens on the other hand have suffered a serious regression on defense, at least until the past few weeks. Still, the defense is not up to par with last season’s.

In addition to the injuries the team has suffered, players like Pernell McPhee, Jimmy Smith (when he has played), Terrence Cody, and Courtney UpShaw have not lived up to expectations.

2.Significant changes on offense
Remember when the Ravens replaced Tony Banks with Trent Dilfer in 2000? Well the 49ers have made a similar change from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick has only started nine games but is mature beyond his years. Not only is he a dynamic athlete, he can throw the ball with great velocity and accuracy.

Many Ravens fans rejoiced with the firing of Cam Cameron. After the Broncos game in week fifteen, the changes on offense did not look very promising. Flacco and Jim Caldwell responded the next week with one of the greatest games of Flacco’s career against the Giants.

Since Jim Caldwell took over, Flacco has completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,142 yards, has thrown 10 touchdowns, and ZERO interceptions. (I did not count the Bengals game since Flacco did not play for a majority of the game).

What I like about Caldwell’s offense is his ability to find mismatches and attack them. With Cam Cameron, he seemed conservative at times and did not have a good relationship with Joe Flacco. In contrast, Caldwell makes tremendous adjustments to find mismatches. Once that has happened, the offense has been dominant.

If the Ravens keep it close through the first half, the offense will eventually find favorable match-ups against a defense that Flacco had success against last season.

3.Both offensive lines have improved
As I said multiple times, the Ravens defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage the last time these two teams played. Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Corey Redding could do anything they wanted. Luckily for the 49ers, Redding is with the Colts, and Ngata and Suggs are not playing at 100 percent.

Despite the Ravens injuries, this should be a good battle with great individual matchups. Perhaps the best of which will be Mike Iupati against Haloti Ngata. Iupati is a young player but is already one of the best guards in the league. Despite Iupati’s talent, Ngata should win this battle more often than not.

Some question if the Ravens can handle the 49ers physical running attack. I guess they have forgotten the Ravens play in the AFC North. They will be able to handle this running game and should have success stopping Frank Gore.

Remember last year’s AFC Championship when Vince Wilfork dominated Matt Birk? Well the same can’t be said for last Sunday night. Birk played well but Kelechi Osemele played just as well.

He is bigger than Ben Grubbs, who left for New Orleans via free agency and also struggled against Wilfork. When Osemele was matched up with Wilfork, he more than held his own. Osemele should be matched up with Justin Smith for most of the game and will be able to hold his own physically.

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Our Ravens/Broncos “Pats on the Ass”

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Our Ravens/Broncos “Pats on the Ass”

Posted on 12 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

After every Baltimore Ravens victory, Ryan Chell and I take to the airwaves on “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net to offer “Pats on the Ass” to players who have done something to deserve the honor. This week, Luke Jones joined us as well.

We give pats to two defensive players, two offensive players and one “Wild Card”-either another offensive or defensive player, a Special Teams player or a coach. We offer a “Pat on Both Cheeks” to someone who stands out, our version of a “Player of the Game.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches each.

Here are our “Pats on the Ass” following the Ravens’ 38-35 double overtime win over the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Sunday in a AFC Divisional playoff.

Glenn Clark’s Pats…

5. Pernell McPhee

4. Ray Lewis

3. Ray Rice

2. Jacoby Jones

1. Justin Tucker (Pat on Both Cheeks)

(Ryan’s Pats on Page 2…)

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Most Important Players in the Ravens Playoff Run

Posted on 02 January 2013 by jeffreygilley

If the Ravens want to win the Super Bowl, these six players will have to step up big time.

Joe Flacco
Did you expect anyone else to be at the top of this list? Flacco wants a long term deal and thinks he is an elite quarterback. He has all the potential in the world but has not put it together yet. After all the injuries on defense this team has suffered, the passing of Art Model, and the knowledge of Ray Lewis’s retirement, Joe Flacco has a tremendous opportunity infront of him to become a leader on this team and earn a big contract.

Ray Lewis
Call me crazy, but the triceps injury Lewis suffered against the Cowboys might be a blessing in disguise. Lewis has lost a step but he is still playing well. His decline was more evident as the season went on so a break might be a good thing. He will have fresh legs and will be extremely motivated.

Ed Reed
Reed, like Lewis has lost a step but Reed has a way of making big time plays in big time games. He has had a lot of success against Tom Brady and Peyton Manning who he might face later in the playoffs. I have a feeling that Reed is going to intercept Luck multiple times this Sunday.

Ray Rice
Ray Rice will be running very hard for Ray Lewis. The two are very close and Rice will be motivated to play well for Ray. Rice is one of the best all purpose backs in the NFL and at times, can be unstoppable.

Michael Oher/Kelechi Osemele
They will face a tough test against Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney but Oher and Osemele have performed at a high level at times throughout the season. Expect to see a game plan much like the game against the Giants; a lot of quick passes to set up longer passes to Torrey Smith.

Jimmy Smith
The Raves have suffered a myriad of injuries in the defensive side of the ball. Smith, a former first round pick has the potential to become a shut down cornerback but injuries have hampered his development. When Smith was healthy at the end of last season, he played very well, especially against Andre Johnson in the playoffs. He has played on special teams for the last few games and has seen limited playing time not because of his performance but because the Ravens might be trying to get him back slowly. Smith’s addition to this list may be surprising but if he plays, he must play at a high level.

Honorable mention: Tandon Doss
What? Tandon Doss? Doss could be a player that breaks out in some way to give this team that extra piece. Over the past few weeks, Doss has seen more playing time and while he has not made much of an impact on offense, the Ravens love his potential. Doss has great hands and his strength has the ability to be a great slot receiver. Watch out for Doss, his addition to this list is pretty bold but Doss can make an impact.

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Bengals

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The Five Plays That Determined The Game: Ravens/Bengals

Posted on 01 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”

It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.

This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.

Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 23-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium…

(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)

Glenn Clark’s Plays…

5. Kevin Huber 51 yard punt downed by Jeromy Miles at Ravens’ 3 yard line (3rd quarter)

4. Ray Rice 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Joe Flacco incompletion intended for Dennis Pitta pushes Ravens back to Bengals 47 on 4th down (1st quarter)

3. Justin Tucker misses 45 yard field goal wide left (3rd quarter)

2. Michael Johnson sacks Tyrod Taylor at Ravens’ 1 yard line on 3rd down (2nd quarter)

1. Carlos Dunlap returns Tyrod Taylor interception intended for Ed Dickson 14 yards for touchdown (4th quarter)

(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)

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Our Ravens/Bengals “Slaps to the Head”

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Our Ravens/Bengals “Slaps to the Head”

Posted on 30 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

After Baltimore Ravens victories, Ryan Chell and I award players who made positive contributions with “Pats on the Ass” during the “Nasty Purple Postgame Show” on AM1570 WNST.net.

The Ravens fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 23-17 Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, meaning there were no Pats to be awarded.

So instead of offering “Pats on the Ass”, Ryan and I again offered “Slaps to the Head” postgame. A slap on the side of the head from a coach tends to come along with them saying something along the lines of “you’ve gotta do better than that.”

Same rules as there were with Pats. Two offensive players, two defensive players, and a Wild Card (Special Teams player, coach, or another Offensive or Defensive player). One player gets “two slaps” (or a slap on both sides of the head), it’s the opposite of a “Player of the Game” honor.” Ryan and I select five different players/coaches after each game.

Here are our five Ravens that have “gotta do better than that.”

Glenn Clark’s Slaps…

5. Tyrod Taylor

4. Chykie Brown

3. Terrence Cody

2. Bryant McKinnie

1. John Harbaugh (Two Slaps)

(Ryan’s Slaps on Page 2…)

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Pees hoping two recovering stars give Ravens defense boost down final stretch

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Pees hoping two recovering stars give Ravens defense boost down final stretch

Posted on 20 December 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ranked 26th in yards allowed and ravaged by injuries, the Ravens defense is heading in the wrong direction after allowing 65 points over its last two games.

But could the late-season returns of linebackers Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis provide the emotional spark and improvement the defense needs to put the Ravens in better position for a postseason run? The pair could be on the field together for the first time all season against the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon, which would certainly provide a spiritual boost for a team in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

Of course, Suggs returned to action this past Sunday against Denver — two weeks removed from a torn right biceps — but it was difficult to recognize his presence aside from his familiar No. 55 jersey lining up at the rush linebacker spot. Clearly laboring as he employed a four-point stance to keep his body weight off his upper right arm, Suggs appeared tentative at several points and removed himself from the game on a few occasions while appearing to be in pain on the sideline.

He finished with only one tackle, and the performance has left more questions than answers about his impact for the rest of the season.

“He’s coming back. He’s not back full, but he’s back, and he’s playing hard,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “I think if you ask him, I don’t think he would tell you that he’s playing at 100 percent like he has, but he certainly is giving us a great effort and giving us what we need in there.”

Even before the biceps injury, Suggs wasn’t making his normal impact after a remarkable recovery from a partially-torn Achilles tendon in less than six months. In seven games this season, Suggs has 20 tackles and only two sacks.

Meanwhile, it was just a few weeks ago when many were wondering if Lewis truly deserved to be an every-down linebacker whenever he’d make his return from triceps surgery, but a season-ending injury to Jameel McClain and an ankle injury to Dannell Ellerbe has left the Ravens bare at the inside linebacker position as Josh Bynes, Brendon Ayanbadejo, and Albert McClellan have manned the “Mike” and “Will” positions in the last two weeks.

The Ravens are not only hoping for the pick-me-up of Lewis’ impeccable on-field leadership, but they’re now desperate for him to bring an improved level of play to the middle of the field. With Baltimore electing to wait to place McClain on season-ending injured reserve, it’s apparent the organization is hoping to place Lewis on the 53-man roster by Saturday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

Lewis is just nine weeks removed from surgery, an incredible fact considering the normal recovery time for such an injury is a minimum of four months.

“I’d love to have him. I think it would be a great emotional lift, but more than that, we could use some bodies in there at linebacker,” said Pees with a chuckle. “We’ll just have to wait and see whatever they say is a go. We’d love to have him back.”

The Ravens hope to get back Ellerbe and strong safety Bernard Pollard from injuries this week, but the latter’s status appears to be in doubt after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Pollard aggravated a rib injury in the Ravens’ Week 14 loss against Washington and hasn’t practiced ever since.

Only two defensive starters from Week 1 have played in every game this season — cornerback Cary Williams and safety Ed Reed.

“I think if anybody can be fully healthy throughout a season, it’s going to be a great team,” defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said. “And with us, we definitely had an injury bug this year, but we had guys step up and make some plays for us. And hopefully, we can get some guys back and see what we can do there.”

As is the case with Suggs, it remains to be seen how well Lewis can hold up physically after such an abbreviated recovery time following surgery. Amazingly, Lewis ranks fifth on the team with 57 tackles despite playing in only six games this season.

The coaching staff isn’t exactly sure where Lewis is at physically due to the light nature of practices, but Lewis’ mental prowess has kept him as sharp while he continues to rebuild the strength in his right upper arm. Whether that can translate to success on the field is the question as Lewis struggled to shed blockers early in the season and has shown declining ability in pass coverage over the last few seasons.

“At this time in the year, I don’t think there are very many teams out there hitting like you do in training camp,” Pees said. “So, you don’t necessarily see the physical part, but the mental part, it’s not going to leave you after 17 years [with] missing a couple of weeks.”

Third corner carousel

With 2011 first-round pick Jimmy Smith making his return from sports hernia surgery this past Sunday, it was assumed the Ravens had solidified their nickel package with the second-year defensive back playing on the outside opposite Cary Williams while Corey Graham slid inside to the nickel spot to cover slot receivers.

Instead, Pees used a combination of Smith, veteran Chris Johnson, and special-teams standout Chykie Brown as the extra cornerback against the Broncos. Coach John Harbaugh acknowledged on Monday that Smith didn’t show as much speed as they anticipated he would. Smith is just over a month removed from the surgical procedure.

As a result, Smith took only 12 defensive snaps. Johnson took part in 20 defensive plays and Brown was on the field for nine defensive snaps. It’s not a good problem to have with the Giants’ ninth-ranked passing game coming to Baltimore on Sunday, and Pees would like to sure up the role sooner rather than later.

“I’d just like to see someone take the bull by the horns and take the job,” Pees said. “We are just going to have to make that decision at game time on who that is going to be, and who that’s going to be during the course of the game. The good news is that you do have two or three guys there, but yes I would like to see someone step up and take it.”

CONTINUE ON NEXT PAGE >>>

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Ravens remain in wait-and-see pattern with infirmary report

Posted on 17 December 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As the Ravens desperately seek to get healthier for their Week 16 meeting with the New York Giants, head coach John Harbaugh didn’t offer much of an idea on which players might be returning to action this Sunday.

Aside from the announcement of linebacker Jameel McClain’s season coming to an end, Harbaugh offered the typical wait-and-see approach he’s expressed to media as the Ravens have dealt with a plethora of injuries. Of the Ravens’ seven inactives for Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, five were starters, including strong safety Bernard Pollard and right guard Marshal Yanda.

“We’ll just see if they can practice and how much they can practice,” Harbaugh said. “We have some optimism with that. The guys that are out from last week, Marshal and Bernard, we’ll see how they go as the week goes along. Ed Dickson, the same. That’s really it on injury stuff.”

Yanda (ankle) and Pollard (chest) missed all three practices last week and were considered highly unlikely to play despite being listed as questionable on the final injury report. Dickson, who has now missed three straight games, was listed as doubtful despite practicing on a limited basis last week after two weeks in which he was completely sidelined with a hyperextended knee.

The Ravens added two names to the list of concerns as wide receiver Torrey Smith and backup running back Bernard Pierce sustained concussions against the Broncos. Their status will depend on symptoms subsiding and both player passing the baseline neurological test to clear them for contact.

“We’ll see as the week goes on how those guys progress from those things,” Harbaugh said. “Obviously, those things are unpredictable.”

Wide receiver Tandon Doss (ankle) and linebacker Albert McClellan (hamstring) also suffered minor injuries but are expected to be ready to play this week.

When asked how close Pollard was to being able to play against Denver, Harbaugh quickly squashed any notion that he’d speculate about his or any other players’ chances of returning to action this week.

“I’m not getting into all that,” Harbaugh said. “Close, not close? What difference does it make?”

In addition to Pollard, Yanda, and Dickson, the Ravens will hope to see the return of linebackers Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe this week.

Five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs returned to action two weeks after suffering a torn biceps in Week 13 against Pittsburgh, but he was limited to just 42 of the Ravens’ 77 defensive snaps. The 2011 Defensive Player of the Year appeared to be laboring at several different points, even taking himself out of the game on a couple occasions.

Suggs finished with only one tackle as he employed a four-point stance to take some of the weight off his injured right arm when lining up to rush the passer. The linebacker declined talking to media after the 17-point loss on Sunday.

“I thought he played well,” said Harbaugh, who took issue with a reporter’s observation that Suggs was playing with a lot of pain. “I thought he fought and battled out there. He has a lot of courage. He is a fighter. I like Terrell Suggs. He is a warrior.”

Second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith also made his return after being sidelined the last five games and undergoing sports hernia surgery on Nov. 15. However, he participated in only 12 snaps and surrendered a 14-yard reception to Denver wide receiver Eric Decker that set up the Broncos’ first touchdown of the game.

The defensive back did not offer a positive review of his play following Sunday’s loss as he shared duties in the nickel package with reserve corners Chris Johnson and Chykie Brown. Harbaugh shared in that assessment and didn’t commit to an increased workload for Smith against the Giants.

“He wasn’t 100 percent out there, and that’s something that you really don’t know until you get into the game,” Harbaugh said. “Unfortunately, he wasn’t as quick as I would have hoped he would be. We’ll just have to see how he does this week.”

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Ravens-Broncos: Inactives and pre-game notes

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Ravens-Broncos: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 16 December 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Knowing a win will clinch their second straight AFC North title, the Ravens face the tall order of knocking off the red-hot Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

A laundry list of injuries has depleted the defense as the Ravens try to beat opposing quarterback Peyton Manning for the first time since the 2001 season. Baltimore will be without inside linebackers Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe, and Ray Lewis as well as starting strong safety Bernard Pollard, who missed practice all week with a rib injury.

Ellerbe tested his injured ankle on the field prior to the inactives list being released, but he struggled particularly when trying to back-pedal as he would need to do dropping into pass coverage. The fourth-year linebacker hasn’t played since suffering the injury against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 25.

James Ihedigbo is expected to start at strong safety in place of Pollard while Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan, and Brendon Ayanbadejo will share inside linebacker duties.

The injuries are beginning to mount on the offensive side of the ball as well as tight end Ed Dickson will miss his third straight game with a knee injury and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda is out with a sprained ankle. Yanda missed practices all week and was still in a walking boot at the end of the week. Veteran Bobbie Williams will start at right guard, a position he’s played frequently over the course of his 13-year career.

On a positive note, Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs will return to action after suffering a torn right biceps in the loss to Pittsburgh two weeks ago. The 2011 Defensive Player of the Year was regarded as a game-time decision, but he practiced fully on Thursday and Friday. How effective he’ll be against the Broncos offensive line will be the real question on Sunday afternoon.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith is also active for the first time since undergoing sports hernia surgery on Nov. 15. He has missed the Ravens’ last five games but practice with full participation all week.

While the Ravens haven’t bested Manning in 11 years, the Broncos have never beaten the Ravens in Baltimore in five tries, with one of those coming in the first postseason game in the history of the Ravens.

The Ravens are wearing purple jerseys and white pants while Denver will be dressed in white tops and white pants in Baltimore.

Here are Sunday’s inactives …

BALTIMORE
S Bernard Pollard
LB Dannell Ellerbe
LB Jameel McClain
G Marshal Yanda
TE Ed Dickson
OL Ramon Harewood
WR Deonte Thompson

DENVER
QB Caleb Hanie
WR Andre Caldwell
CB Tracy Porter
RB Lance Ball
G Chris Kuper
TE Julius Thomas
NT Sealver Siliga

Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the day as Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, and I bring live updates and analysis from M&T Bank Stadium throughout the day.

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Dickson doubtful; Yanda, Pollard, six others questionable for Sunday

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Dickson doubtful; Yanda, Pollard, six others questionable for Sunday

Posted on 14 December 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It’s no secret that the Ravens have been ravaged by injuries throughout the season, and coach John Harbaugh wasn’t tipping his hand regarding numerous players’ status for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.

Eight players were listed as questionable, including linebackers Terrell Suggs and Dannell Ellerbe, guard Marshal Yanda, safety Bernard Pollard, defensive linemen Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee, cornerback Jimmy Smith, and fullback Vonta Leach. Tight end Ed Dickson was listed as doubtful after practicing on a limited basis all week while linebacker Jameel McClain had already been ruled out for Sunday’s game earlier in the week.

“The rest of the guys are going to be up in the air,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not something that we’re probably going to want to share, because there is no advantage to us to let anybody know whether guys are going to play or not. We’ve got an idea on some guys. We have a lesser idea on some other guys. It’s just not information that we are going to put out there. We’re just going to let it go until Sunday.”

Of the players listed as questionable, Yanda and Pollard are the biggest doubts to be available as neither have practiced all week. Yanda was still in a walking boot as of Friday afternoon, and Pollard aggravated the sore ribs with which he’s dealt since Week 2 of the regular season. It’s considered highly unlikely that either will play against the Broncos.

Suggs practiced fully for the second straight day and deemed himself a game-time decision when speaking to reporters on Friday. Meanwhile, Ellerbe returned to the practice field on Thursday and worked on a limited basis the last two days. The inside linebacker hasn’t played the last two games after suffering an ankle injury in Week 12.

“I’m looking forward to being out there [if I can],” Ellerbe said. “I’m going to work it before the game, and if I feel good, I’m going to go. If I can’t go, I’m not going to go out there and hurt the team.”

Linebacker Ray Lewis was on the field for practice on Friday, but he is not required to be listed on the injury report since he is not on the 53-man roster. The 37-year-old continues to work his way back from a torn triceps suffered on Oct. 14 and has been on injured reserve with the designation to return. The Ravens would be required to place Lewis on the active roster by 4 p.m. on Saturday for him to be eligible to return to game action against the Broncos.

Harbaugh was asked specifically if he could say anything about Suggs and Lewis after not disclosing specifics on injured players.

“No, I can’t, but thanks for asking,” Harbaugh replied.

With so many players banged up and practicing with varying degrees of participation, Harbaugh faces a difficult decision on Sunday to weigh the pros and cons of activating players who may be far less than 100 percent but might be able to offer help in limited situations.

“That’s going to be in consideration,” Harbaugh said. “Will we have enough healthy guys to get to 46 [active players on game day]? That’s a consideration. What you are talking about will come down to one or two guys at the end that we will have to make a decision [on].”

Harbaugh also announced McClain would be seeing a back specialist in Los Angeles to help determine his status moving forward. The team hopes to know more by Monday or Tuesday.

BALTIMORE
OUT: LB Jameel McClain (neck)
DOUBTFUL: TE Ed Dickson (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle), DT Arthur Jones (shoulder), FB Vonta Leach (ankle), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), S Bernard Pollard (chest), CB Jimmy Smith (abdomen), LB Terrell Suggs (biceps), G Marshal Yanda (ankle)
PROBABLE: CB Chykie Brown (knee), WR Jacoby Jones (ankle), RB Bernard Pierce (back), S Ed Reed (shoulder), RB Ray Rice (hip), WR Deonte Thompson (thigh), WR LaQuan Williams (thigh)

DENVER
QUESTIONABLE: G Chris Kuper (ankle), LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle)
PROBABLE: WR Trindon Holliday (knee), WR Demaryius Thomas (shoulder), WR Matthew Willis (knee)

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