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Ravens Get Key Pieces Back

Posted Dec 23, 2012

LB Dannell Ellerbe, G Marshal Yanda, TE Ed Dickson, WR Torrey Smith, RB Bernard Pierce are up.

Baltimore's banged-up roster is starting to get healthier.

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (ankle), tight end Ed Dickson (knee) and guard Marshal Yanda (ankle), who all sat out last week's game, will play Sunday versus the New York Giants.

Wide receiver Torrey Smith and running back Bernard Pierce, who both suffered concussions versus the Broncos, passed their baseline tests and will also play.

Ellerbe and Dickson had missed the past three games.

Ellerbe went down just as he was establishing himself as an integral piece of Baltimore's defense. He had 81 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble. His return adds much-needed help to the linebackers, who are still without Ray Lewis.

Dickson's receiving numbers are down this year, as he has 14 receptions for 152 yards, but his return will help with the team's blocking and add another vertical threat down the middle of the field. He had started every game but two before his knee injury.

Yanda's return puts the Ravens offensive line back in order, and means veteran Bobbie Williams is back to being inactive. The Pro Bowler has yet to give up a sack this season, and is perhaps the team's best lineman.

Pierce did not practice throughout the week and Smith was limited for two of the three days. Pierce has been averaging a healthy 4.4 yards per carry as Ray Rice's backup. Smith has averaged just 23 receiving yards in his last three games, but he is a key deep and big-play threat.

The Ravens will be without safety Bernard Pollard for a second straight game, meaning James Ihedigbo will start again. Outside linebacker Albert McClellan (thigh/shoulder) will miss his first game of the season and wide receiver Tandon Doss (ankle) is also out.

New York is missing talented defensive end Justin Tuck, who has three sacks this year. Their other inactives are wide receiver Ramses Barden, safety Kenny Phillips, safety Tyler Sash, tight end Travis Beckum, defensive end Adewale Ojomo and tight end Adrien Robinson.

Giants starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw (knee, foot) is active after sitting out last week's game against Atlanta.

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