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Marlon Humphrey, James Hurst Both Inactive for Ravens

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Ravens starting right tackle James Hurst (back) and starting cornerback Marlon Humphrey (thigh) and are both inactive for Sunday’s game against the Saints.

Hurst was added to the injury report Saturday, and his absence leaves the Ravens without two starters on their offensive line, with left guard Alex Smith (neck) also out.

Smith and Hurst will presumably be replaced by two rookies – Bradley Bozeman at left guard and Orlando Brown Jr. at right tackle. Bozeman and Brown would be making their first career starts, putting extra pressure on the offensive line to open holes in the running game and protect quarterback Joe Flacco. Hurst and Smith had started every previous game.

Hurst had played 70 straight games, never missing a game during his five seasons, but was oddly added to the injury report following Saturday’s walk-through with a back injury.

The Ravens’ offensive line depth will be thin, with Hroniss Grasu the only lineman dressing behind starters Ronnie Stanley, Bozeman, Matt Skura, Marshal Yanda and Brown.[period]

Humphrey is inactive after suffering a thigh injury during practice this week. Humphrey has been the Ravens’ top cornerback this season, according to Pro Football Focus, with a 73.5 grade. That ranks 18th best among NFL corners.

The loss of Humphrey could be particularly challenging against Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who has the best passer rating in the NFL (122.3) and just broke the all-time passing record. Brees is adept at probing for weaknesses in the opposing defense, and the Saints are averaging 36 points per game, tops in the NFL.

Jimmy Smith will presumably replace Humphrey as the starter opposite Brandon Carr and slot corner Tavon Young. Versatile linebacker/defensive back Anthony Levine will likely play more snaps, and punt returner/cornerback Cyrus Jones could also see defensive action if necessary. The Ravens are also without another cornerback, Anthony Averett (hamstring) who is inactive and missing his fifth straight game.

Also inactive for the Ravens are quarterback Robert Griffin III and wide receiver Jordan Lasley. Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser is active after being a healthy scratch last week.

The Saints are also banged up on their offensive line, as starting left guard Andrus Peat is inactive. Starting Pro Bowl right guard Larry Warford (back) will play, however, though he’s dealing with a back injury.

Also inactive for the Saints are defensive back J.T. Gray, center Will Clap, defensive lineman Mitchell Loewen, offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod, defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth and defensive end Trey Hendrickson.

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