BALTIMORE — With pressure mounting on 11th-year head coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens will try to right their season against Pittsburgh.
An NFL Network report confirmed what many were already thinking with Baltimore dropping three of the last four games in its quest to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. A win gives the Ravens a 5-4 record entering the bye week and stabilizes their footing in the AFC North race, but a loss would drop them below .500 and require a major second-half run to even qualify for a wild-card spot.
In other words, Sunday could mark the beginning of the final stand for the Super Bowl-winning coach and others in the organization.
After missing practice time this week and being listed as questionable on the final injury report, cornerback Marlon Humphrey (thigh), inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (thigh), and safety Tony Jefferson (hamstring) are all active, an encouraging development as the Ravens try to slow the NFL’s fifth-ranked scoring offense. Humphrey had missed the last two weeks since sustaining a thigh injury in practice ahead of the New Orleans game while Mosley and Jefferson suffered their injuries during last Sunday’s loss at Carolina.
Baltimore will be without both starting offensive tackles as Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and James Hurst (back) were officially ruled out on Friday, but left guard Alex Lewis (neck) will make his return after a two-game absence. Rookie Bradley Bozeman (calf) is also active after not playing against the Panthers.
During pre-game warmups, second-year lineman Jermaine Eluemunor — promoted from the practice squad less than two weeks ago — lined up as the left tackle as he did last week when Stanley exited in the second half. As expected, Orlando Brown Jr. will make his third straight start at right tackle in place of the injured Hurst.
With the Ravens likely to use plenty of max protect in the absence of Stanley and Hurst, tight end Maxx Williams being a healthy scratch for a second straight week was a mild surprise. Rookie defensive end Zach Sieler is active for just the second time this season as Baltimore tries to slow Steelers running back James Conner, who has rushed for 367 yards in the last three games.
As expected, Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert (knee) is inactive after being listed as doubtful on the final injury report.
Sunday’s referee is Craig Wrolstad.
According to Weather.com, the Sunday forecast in Baltimore calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-50s with winds five to 10 miles per hour and no chance of precipitation.
The Ravens are wearing their alternate black jerseys with white pants while Pittsburgh dons white tops with gold pants.
Including the postseason, Sunday marks the 50th all-time meeting between these AFC North rivals with the Steelers enjoying a 27-22 advantage. However, the Ravens are aiming to complete their fourth season sweep of the Steelers after their 26-14 win at Heinz Field in Week 4.
Below are Sunday’s inactives:
QB Robert Griffin III
WR Jordan Lasley
LB Tim Williams
OT Ronnie Stanley
OT James Hurst
TE Maxx Williams
RB Ty Montgomery
OT Marcus Gilbert
QB Mason Rudolph
WR Justin Hunter
S Marcus Allen
CB Brian Allen
OT Zach Banner
DE L.T. Walton