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Who's Practicing, Who's Not vs. Oakland Raiders

Posted Oct 4, 2017

Defensive tackle Brandon Williams continues to miss time. Cornerback Jimmy Smith was absent from practice, but undrafted rookie Jaylen Hill returned. Tight ends Benjamin Watson and Maxx Williams were also sidelined.

B. Williams Continues to Miss Practice

Starting defensive tackle Brandon Williams wasn’t on the practice field Wednesday as the Ravens began their preparations for the Oakland Raiders.

The anchor of the defensive line has missed the last two games with a foot injury, and the Ravens have not provided a clear timetable for when he will return to action.

“It’s one of those injuries that is just a little bit unpredictable,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “We’re very hopeful it’ll be soon. When he starts practicing, you’ll know he’s close.”

Williams hasn’t practiced since suffering the injury, and his absence has been felt in back-to-back losses.

Without Williams gobbling up blockers in the middle of the defense, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns last week. Jacksonville took down the Ravens 44-7 the previous week in London. The Ravens also have just one sack since Williams has been sidelined.

Baltimore turned to young defensive linemen Carl Davis and Willie Henry to replace Williams in the lineup, and fellow starter Michael Pierce has also taken on a larger share of the workload.

The Ravens will have to rely on those young payers again this week if Williams is unable to return.

Smith, Webb Miss Practice, Hill Returns

Cornerback Jimmy Smith missed Wednesday’s practice with an Achilles issue, which came as a bit of a surprise. 

Smith did take a smaller percentage of the workload compared to previous weeks, as he was on the field for 53 of the 76 defensive snaps. Rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey has been biting into Smith’s snap count week by week, so it’s unknown if that change in playing time resulted from the Achilles issue, or was just part of the game plan.

Veteran defensive back Lardarius Webb also missed practice with a thigh problem.

The good news for the Ravens in the secondary was that undrafted rookie cornerback Jaylen Hill (hamstring) returned to action for the first time since the preseason. He was one of the big surprises of the preseason and training camp, and earned his way onto the 53-man roster after a stellar summer.

But he hadn’t practiced since the regular season began, and Harbaugh admitted this week that his injury status has been frustrating.

“I won’t sit here and say I’m not a little frustrated with it, in all honesty,” Harbaugh said Monday. “It was one of the ones that we expected him to be back by now. But, it’s just a little slow healing, I guess.”

Hill was a limited participant in practice, and the Ravens will likely have to see how the hamstring responds to his first practice in about a month.

“Man, it feels incredible to be back there doing what I love to do with my brothers,” Hill said. “I feel like this happened for a reason for me to pay more attention to my body."

Watson, M. Williams Both Miss Practice

The tight end group was short-handed again as Benjamin Watson (calf) and Maxx Williams (ankle) both didn’t practice.

Williams has missed the last two games with his injury. Watson hasn’t missed a game yet, and the Ravens are being cautious with him in practice during the week. He only practiced one day last week before playing Sunday against Pittsburgh.

The Ravens want to make sure the 36-year-old tight end is available on gameday, as he leads the team with 14 catches for 146 yards.

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (hand) was also listed on the injury report as a full participant.

Crabtree Practices for Raiders

The biggest injury news of the week is coming from Oakland, as the Raiders have already ruled out starting quarterback Derek Carr because of a back injury. Veteran EJ Manuel will start in Carr’s place.

The Raiders also may be without wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who is dealing with a lung bruise. Crabtree was a limited participant in practice after missing last week’s game with the injury. The veteran receiver has 13 catches for 170 yards and three scores this year.

Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio said he’s optimistic about getting Crabtree back in the lineup this week.  Crabtree also practiced early last week before getting ruled out for the game.

The Raiders who didn’t practice were cornerback Gareon Conley (shin), defensive end Mario Edwards (back) and guard Gabe Jackson (foot).

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