Trying to stay on pace in the playoff race and keep their AFC North title hopes alive, the Ravens travel to Ford Field in Detroit to take on the Lions, who are pressed with high stakes of their own in a tight NFC North division battle with Chicago and Green Bay.
A win puts the Ravens back into a tie with Miami, who entered Monday as the No. 6 seed in the conference by way of an 8-6 record, but Baltimore holds the head-to-head tiebreaker due to a Week 5 win over the Dolphins. With Cincinnati falling in Pittsburgh on Sunday night, the Ravens also know they can win their third straight division title if they’re able to win their final three games to close out the regular season.
As expected, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is active and will play against the Lions after missing his first game of the season last week against Minnesota. The rush specialist suffered a left ankle injury in the Thanksgiving night win over the Steelers and will be expected to provide pressure on Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and a potent passing attack.
Veteran tight end Dallas Clark is active this week after sitting out against Minnesota in Dennis Pitta’s return to action. Second-year wideout Deonte Thompson continues to be inactive despite the season-ending injury suffered by veteran slot receiver Brandon Stokley last week.
Lions running back Reggie Bush is active and will make the start after missing last week’s game due to a calf injury suffered in pre-game warmups in Philadelphia. The veteran provides a dangerous pass-catching option out of the backfield for Stafford to complement All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Detroit defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is also active despite being listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week while nursing a shoulder injury.
The Lions will be short in the secondary Monday night as starting cornerback Chris Houston is out with a toe injury and backup corner Darius Slay is also inactive. Jonte Green will start in Houston’s place against the Ravens.
The Ravens are playing indoors for the first time since prevailing in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, and it’s a welcome development for a team that’s played in harsh weather conditions over the last six weeks that have brought major challenges to both the passing and kicking games. Baltimore is also playing its first Monday night game since last year’s season opener against the Bengals.
Baltimore leads the all-time series against the Lions by a 2-1 margin but lost its only other appearance at Ford Field in 2005, a 35-17 final that included a franchise-record 21 penalties and two player ejections. The Ravens won the last meeting between these teams in 2009 in a convincing 48-3 final at M&T Bank Stadium.
The referee for Monday night’s game will be Carl Cheffers.
The Ravens will be wearing white jerseys with black pants while Detroit dons its blue jerseys with silver pants.
Here are Monday night’s inactives:
S Brynden Trawick
S Omar Brown
RB Bernard Scott
C Ryan Jensen
WR Deonte Thompson
OLB John Simon
DT Brandon Williams
CB Chris Houston
CB Darius Slay
QB Kellen Moore
RB Mikel Leshoure
G Rodney Austin
G Leroy Harris
OT Jason Fox
Follow WNST on Twitter throughout the evening for updates and analysis as Nestor Aparicio brings live coverage from Ford Field in Detroit.