Dannell Ellerbe Out, Pernell McPhee Returns


The Ravens defense lost one starter, but will get another back in uniform.

Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is inactive, but defensive end Pernell McPhee is up for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This will be the first game McPhee (thigh) has played since Week 6.

Ellerbe (ankle, knee and finger) did not practice all week and told reporters that he was going to be a game-time decision. The team's second leading tackler has been playing with the thumb injury for the last several weeks, but he suffered the ankle injury last week against the Chargers.

Ellerbe moved into a starting role when Ray Lewis went down with a torn triceps muscle, but with Ellerbe out, the Ravens will likely turn to Brendon Ayanbadejo and Josh Bynes to fill his spot.

With McPhee's return to the lineup, the Ravens will likely rotate him at defensive end along with Arthur Jones. It is unknown which player will get the start. McPhee could help the pass rush, which has come on strong in recent weeks and has 12 sacks in the last three games.

Offensively, the Ravens will be without tight end Ed Dickson, who is inactive with a knee injury. Dickson suffered the injury in last Sunday's game and wasn't able to practice all week. Veteran tight end Billy Bajema is up in his place.

The other inactives for the Ravens are cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring), offensive lineman Ramon Harewood, wide receiver Deonte Thompson, cornerback Jimmy Smith (sports hernia) and defensive tackle Bryan Hall.

For the Steelers, starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is out with rib and shoulder injuries, meaning veteran Charlie Batch will start in his place. Batch started last week against the Browns and threw for 199 yards and three interceptions in the 20-14 loss. 

The Steelers are also without starting linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who was ruled out with an ankle injury.  Woodley will be replaced by Jason Worilds, who leads the team with five sacks. Worilds had two sacks last week against the Browns after Woodley went down with the injury.

The Steelers do get some key pieces back this week, as safety Troy Polamalu returns to the lineup for the first time since Week 5 and wide receiver Antonio Brown is back after missing the last three games.

The other inactives for the Steelers are running back Rashard Mendenhall, cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, right tackle Mike Adams, wide receiver Jericho Cotchery and quarterback Byron Leftwich.

Scratching Mendenhall came after the Steelers demoted him to the No. 3 running back on the depth chart behind Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman this week.

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