OWINGS MILLS, Md. — John Harbaugh was coy when initially asked about the health of Ravens quarterback Matt Schaub on Wednesday.
The head coach was addressing reporters after a morning walk-through the 34-year-old quarterback attended. In addition to slamming his head on the ground in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to Miami, Schaub was also dealing with shoulder and knee soreness as the Ravens fell to 4-8 on the season.
“He’s doing good. He’s banged up a little bit, and he’s sore,” said Harbaugh while smiling. “He’s doing good. He’s doing well. Great guy — smile on his face. You saw him right out here.”
Harbaugh has expressed optimism that Schaub will be able to play in Sunday’s meeting with the Seattle Seahawks, but the head coach has left open the possibility of backup Jimmy Clausen playing in Week 14. Claimed off waivers from Chicago on Nov. 24, Clausen started in place of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler at Seattle on Sept. 27 and went 9-for-17 for 63 yards in a 26-0 loss.
Already decimated by injuries at wide receiver and tight end, the Ravens will be facing the NFL’s fourth-ranked pass defense. Seattle ranks 11th in the league in sacks, but Baltimore already lost starting center Jeremy Zuttah for the season last month and is waiting on the status of left tackle Eugene Monroe, who has missed the last two games with a lingering shoulder injury.
That doesn’t sound like a promising recipe for a banged-up Schaub.
“I usually don’t rate it, but it’s going to be, probably, just a tolerance issue and how well he moves around and stuff,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not going to practice him too much early in the week. It’s good to get Jimmy the reps anyway. Jimmy needs the reps more than Matt does. But if Matt can go, he will.
“Matt’s tough — he showed that in the game. He’s tough as nails. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see him play. Maybe we’ll play them both. We’ll just see how it goes.”
The Ravens are making contingency plans in case Schaub cannot play as they signed quarterback Bryn Renner to the practice squad. The 25-year-old represented the best available option to be ready to serve as a backup on short notice if Clausen is forced into starting action.
Renner spent the entire spring and preseason with the Ravens and began the year on the practice squad before being released in mid-September. The University of North Carolina product completed 43 of 65 passes for 409 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions in the 2015 preseason.
“Bryn knows the offense, and he’s talented and he’s conscientious,” Harbaugh said. “It seemed like a good fit for us in the situation that we’re in right now. It’s not a guy who we have to bring in and teach, and he’s got talent. We’re very fortunate that he was still available.”