OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Entering the week with optimism over the chance of linebacker Ray Lewis possibly returning to play against the Denver Broncos, the Ravens will be without fellow inside linebacker Jameel McClain for Sunday’s game.
McClain suffered a neck injury in the third quarter of the 31-28 loss to the Washington Redskins and didn’t return. Coach John Harbaugh said McClain would be OK during his Monday press conference but said the fifth-year linebacker would not be ready in time to play this Sunday. He was officially ruled out for Sunday’s game on Wednesday’s injury report.
“Jameel McClain will not make it to the game,” Harbaugh said. “We’re talking a look at the neck [and] back. There’s nothing major there, but he will not make it to this game. We’re going to do some more tests and things like that just to see down the road where he’ll be.”
With McClain out and Dannell Ellerbe’s status in question against the Broncos, the possibility of Lewis returning becomes more of a necessity, but the 37-year-old linebacker was absent from the portion of practice open to media on Wednesday, joining Ellerbe (ankle) and McClain as non-participants. Lewis is eligible to come off the injured reserve list this week, and it has been reported by several outlets over the last few weeks that he was targeting a Week 15 return against Peyton Manning and Denver. He wasn’t listed on Wednesday’s injury report, because the team is not required to include him since he isn’t part of the active roster.
Lewis hasn’t played since suffering a right torn triceps against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 14 and has spent the last eight weeks on IR with the designation to return. Should the Ravens be without Lewis and Ellerbe for Sunday’s game, they would be faced with the combination of Brendon Ayanbadejo, Albert McClellan, and Josh Bynes playing the inside linebacker spots.
In addition to the trio of linebackers, the Ravens were also without right guard Marshal Yanda (ankle), fullback Vonta Leach (ankle), safety Bernard Pollard (ribs), and defensive linemen Pernell McPhee (groin) and Arthur Jones (right shoulder bruise) during Wednesday’s workout.
Of those players, Yanda’s status is the most concerning after he suffered a “somewhat serious” ankle sprain in overtime against Washington that left him in a walking boot and on crutches following the game. He was noncommittal when asked about his status against the Broncos.
“There’s nothing to announce on any other guys today,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll know more by the end of the week in terms of how much they are going to be able to practice and stuff like that. I’d say that they all have a chance to get there. Some have a higher chance than others, but I’m not going to get into those percentages today.”
On a positive note, tight end Ed Dickson (knee) returned to the practice field on a limited basis for the first time since being injured against the San Diego Chargers in Week 12. Linebacker Terrell Suggs (torn right biceps) was also practicing on Wednesday after missing Sunday’s game against the Redskins.
Dickson described himself as “day to day” after missing the last two games with a hyperextended knee.
“I’m living in the treatment center getting it ready,” Dickson said. “I don’t want to be out there at 50 percent. That’s not going to help the team. They need a 100-percent me.”
Cornerback Jimmy Smith practiced full for the first time since undergoing sports hernia surgery last month. He practiced on a limited basis all last week before sitting out against Washington.
To replace suspended rookie cornerback Asa Jackson on the 53-man roster, the Ravens promoted safety Omar Brown from the practice squad and signed outside linebacker D.J. Bryant to take Brown’s place on the developmental unit.
Bryant played his college football at James Madison and graduated from Randallstown High School.
Here is Wednesday’s full injury report, which doesn’t include Lewis since he has yet to be placed back on the 53-man roster …
OUT: LB Jameel McClain (neck)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle), DT Arthur Jones (shoulder), FB Vonta Leach (ankle), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), S Bernard Pollard (chest), G Marshal Yanda (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: TE Ed Dickson (knee), RB Bernard Pierce (back), RB Ray Rice (hip), LB Terrell Suggs (biceps)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Jacoby Jones (ankle), S Ed Reed (shoulder), CB Jimmy Smith (abdomen), WR Deonte Thompson (thigh), WR LaQuan Williams (thigh)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: G Chris Kuper (ankle), LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Trindon Holliday (knee), WR Demaryius Thomas (shoulder), WR Matthew Willis (knee)