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Who's Playing, Who's Not vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Posted Sep 29, 2017

Defensive tackle Brandon Williams (foot) has been ruled out, as well as tight end Maxx Williams (ankle). Tight end Benjamin Watson (calf) is questionable.


Ravens Won’t Have Brandon Williams to Stop Le’Veon Bell

The Ravens’ run defense took another hit Friday as defensive tackle Brandon Williams has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That means Baltimore will go against one of the NFL’s most talented running backs, Le’Veon Bell, without two of its starting defensive linemen.

Defensive end Brent Urban was lost for the season last week because of a Lisfranc foot injury. Williams is still dealing with a foot injury suffered in Week 2.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said Williams is “progressing well,” and that fans will know he’s back or getting close to being back when he’s practicing. Williams worked out on an exercise bike this week, but did not practice.

“It’s not going to be half the season or anything like that,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a matter of weeks from when he got hurt. I’ll have my fingers crossed in the upcoming week or two, and hope that he’ll be back.”

That leaves Michael Pierce, Carl Davis, Willie Henry and undrafted rookie Patrick Ricard as the team’s available defensive tackles. Bronson Kaufusi and Chris Wormley are the two defensive ends.

Baltimore was thrilled with its defensive line depth heading into the season, and it’s going to be put to the test.

Bell has gotten off to a slow start this season by his own high standards. His 180 rushing yards ranks 13th in the NFL. It could be attributed to the fact that he missed all of training camp and the preseason because of a holdout.

But it seems Bell may be warming up. He averaged 4.1 yards per carry in Chicago last week and also caught six passes for 37 yards. Regardless of the stats, he’s an extremely dangerous weapon who has topped 1,000 total yards in three of his four previous seasons.

The Ravens have limited Bell at times, but in the rivals’ Christmas meeting last year, he ran 20 times for 122 yards and scored two touchdowns.

Baltimore's run defense held its own in Jacksonville last week without Williams. Although the team gave up 44 points, the Ravens held Leonard Fournette to just 59 yards on 17 carries (3.5 per rush) and Chris Ivory to just 17 yards on six carries (2.8).

Benjamin Watson Makes Progress, Questionable to Play

After giving Ravens fans a scare this week, tight end Benjamin Watson has made progress and practiced fully on Friday.

Watson sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday due to a calf injury. He’s listed as questionable to play.

Watson leads the Ravens in receptions (11), receiving yards (103) and first downs (nine). He’s been a valuable resource for quarterback Joe Flacco as the team’s top three receivers have combined for 11 receptions so far this season.

The Ravens need as many tight ends as they can get since Maxx Williams (ankle) has been ruled out for the second straight week.

Baltimore also ruled out cornerback Jaylen Hill (thigh) for the fourth straight week.

Steelers Got Healthy at the Right Time

While the Ravens continue to deal with injuries, the Steelers have gotten healthy just in time to face their rivals.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt and rookie first-round outside linebacker T.J. Watt both look like they will return to the field. They were full practice participants all week.

Tuitt missed two games because of a biceps injury and Watt, who already has two sacks, an interception and pass deflection, sat out last week because of a groin injury.

The Steelers didn’t rule anyone out, and have no players listed as doubtful.

Five players are questionable: safety Sean Davis (ankle), guard Ramon Foster (thumb), tackle Marcus Gilbert (hamstring), linebacker James Harrison (illness) and safety Mike Mitchell (hamstring).

Check out the full injury report here.

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

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