Harbaugh Doesn't Know for Sure When Woodhead Will Return
Don't count your running backs before they hatch.
Ravens fans are clamoring to see running back Danny Woodhead back on the field as soon as possible, which would be this Sunday in Green Bay. Head Coach John Harbaugh didn't rule it out when speaking with reporters Monday, but he also didn't give the green light yet.
Harbaugh was asked Monday whether Woodhead will be activated to the 53-man roster this week.
"I don't know for sure," Harbaugh said. "He's going to try to practice tomorrow and throughout the week. We'll just have to see how he comes along during the week of practice. We'll see what happens. It's kind of hard to predict."
Woodhead went down with a hamstring injury at the end of the Ravens' first offensive drive of the season, after catching three passes for 33 yards. He will have been out for 10 weeks this Sunday.
Woodhead began practicing two weeks ago as soon as he was eligible, and has been gradually ramping up his work. The last thing the Ravens want is a setback.
Last week, Woodhead said he was feeling good, but "understands there’s a process."
Overall, the Ravens are looking much healthier now after their bye than at any point since the start of the season, particularly on offense.
Running back Terrance West could return after missing four games because of a calf injury. Jeremy Maclin has been dealing with hand and shoulder injuries for more than a month. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley has also been nursing a sore shoulder.
Wide receiver Michael Campanaro has been sidelined the past two weeks with a shoulder injury. Tight end Nick Boyle missed the most recent game because of a banged-up toe.
The Ravens had 15 players on their injury report before the Week 9 game in Tennessee. That number could significantly drop this week, giving optimism that the offense can improve in the second half of the season.
"We finally have a chance to be full strength," Harbaugh said. "I am excited about that. We need guys on the field. We need our guys out there making plays, and our guys want to be out there making plays. Yes, I am more excited now probably than any point in time all year in that way."
Harbs: Terrell Suggs Will Be Remembered Among Ravens Greats
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is 35 years old and still leads the Ravens with 5.5 sacks this year.
He's still graded among the top players at his position, per Pro Football Focus, and has the third-most sacks in the league among active players (120).
When people think about Baltimore's defense, two players jump to the forefront with linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed.
But what about Suggs? Will he be remembered in that same light when his playing days are over?
"I do think Terrell Suggs will be in the same hall, so to speak," Harbaugh said. "I feel like Terrell will be in the same hall as Ray and Ed and the guys that came before that – Jonathan [Ogden], [Michael] McCrary, [Peter] Boulware, off the top of my head. Those guys, I think he will be in that same group."
Ravens Have to String Together Wins to Make Playoffs
Ravens fans got plenty of time to look at the schedule ahead over the bye in an effort to try to plot out Baltimore's potential path to the playoffs.
The Ravens have four more home games against teams with a combined 14-23 record (Texans, Lions, Colts, Bengals) and three road games versus teams with a record of 12-15 (Packers, Steelers, Browns).
Baltimore likely needs five or six more wins to reach the playoffs.
The AFC is full of four-win teams that are still very much in the playoff picture, including the Ravens, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. The Buffalo Bills, who currently have the leg up on the sixth and final playoff spot, have dropped back-to-back games to fall to 5-4.
According to ESPN's Power Football Index, the Ravens have a 50-50 shot at making the playoffs, which is the best of the group.
"There's going to be weeks that you're not going to win, but you have to string together some wins at some point in time," Harbaugh said.
"That's the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs, winning your division or not. You have to string together a run of wins, and sometimes they don't have to be pretty, as we all know here. You watch games yesterday and you see the same thing: just find a way to win."
At the same time, Harbaugh seemed to caution against marking down wins or losses ahead. This year, like seasons before, have shown that the NFL is a tricky business to predict. Harbaugh said that's because "everybody is good."
"So many times you'll see teams go in there expected to win big, and they get beat. Or teams that aren't expected and they win. You just can't predict this league," he said. "I feel like every week we're going to go win. There's never a game where I don't feel like we're going to go in there and win. And it doesn't have to be close.
"So, it's no different for the next seven games. That's how we feel; we're confident. We believe in our guys, and our players believe in themselves, and now let's go do it. It lays out in a way that we expect to get the job done."
Harbaugh Sees Improvement in Packers QB Brett Hundley
The Ravens won't face one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Aaron Rodgers, but his replacement is definitely improving.
Brett Hundley has started the past three games with Rodgers sidelined by a fractured collar bone, and his quarterback rating has gone up each week.
The third-year quarterback out of UCLA played his best game Sunday in a 23-16 road win over the division rival Chicago Bears. He completed 18 of 25 passes (72 percent) for 212 yards and one touchdown and didn't throw an interception.
It was the Packers' first win since Rodgers went down in Week 5.
"He looks like he's plugging right in to the offense," Harbaugh said. "He runs the Green Bay offense that they've been running for a number of years, and he's running the offense in his way. He looks like he's getting better every week."