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Who's Playing, Who's Not At Browns


The absence of quarterback Joe Flacco from Wednesday's practice sent Baltimore into a temporary stir.

It turned out that he was just at home resting because of a stomach virus that he picked up from his son. Flacco was back practicing less than 24 hours later and he's officially listed as probable on the injury report.

"I feel better," Flacco said after Thursday's practice. "Just a little virus. I didn't want to get the whole team sick, and get something running through here."

Missing a Wednesday practice would typically be a big loss from a game-planning standpoint, but the Ravens had some additional preparation time this week because they played last Thursday.

"I don't think it's that big of an issue," Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak said. "The good news is, this week we actually got an extra day. So, he's really not missing anything from a preparation stand point."

Flacco has started 98 consecutive games and that streak is expected to continue Sunday.

Pierce Questionable With Thigh Injury

Running back Bernard Pierce was added to the injury report Thursday because of a thigh injury that occurred this week.  Pierce was a limited participant in practice Thursday and a full participant Friday, and he is officially listed as questionable. 

Having Pierce sidelined Sunday would be a significant blow to the Ravens. He's the starting running back andis coming off a game where he carries 22 times for 96 yards.

If Pierce is out or limited Sunday, then the Ravens will turn to veteran Justin Forsett and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro. Forsett already leads the Ravens with 126 rushing yards this year, and Taliaferro led the NFL in rushing during the preseason. Taliaferro has yet to carry the ball in the regular season.

Defensive Lineman Jernigan Out

The most significant injury for the Ravens is to rookie defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan, who is doubtful with a knee injury.

Jernigan did not practice at all this week and The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson is reporting that the rookie could "miss a game or two.” The hope is for Jernigan to rehab the knee without needing surgery during the season, Wilson reported.

With Jernigan doubtful, the Ravens will likely have defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi make his debut. The Ravens claimed him off waivers last week after he was cut by the Bengals, and he was inactive against Pittsburgh.

With two weeks of practice to learn the defense, Bilikudi now feels like he's ready to play if the Ravens need him.

"I know I can contribute on this defense and for the team," he said Friday. "Whenever they call my name, whatever I have to go out there to make plays, that's what I'm here to do."

Webb, Jackson Both Probable

The secondary could get veteran cornerback Lardarius Webb back on the field this week after a back injury kept him out the first two weeks.

Webb was a full participant in practice for the third straight week and he is officially listed as probable. He talked with reporters this week and stressed that the decision on his return isup to Head Coach John Harbaugh.

"I'm just waiting for clearance. Harbs will let me know when it's time," Webb said. "When he feels like I'm healthy and ready to play a full game, he'll put me back out there."

Webb injured his back the second day of training camp, and he returned to practice leading up to the regular-season opener. He has used the last three weeks to get back into football shape, and build up his endurance for when he returns to game action.

"It's kind of my mini training camp, I would say," Webb said. "I can't wait to get back out with the boys. They're playing awesome."

In addition to Webb's return, the Ravens also expect cornerback Asa Jackson to play this week. Jackson left last week's game in the first half because of a concussion, but he was a full participant in practice all week and is officially listed as probable.

If Webb and Jackson are both able to play, then that would be the healthiest the Ravens secondary has been all year.

Monroe Says He'll Be Ready

The other injury concern for the Ravens is left tackle Eugene Monroe (knee), who missed practice Wednesday. He returned as a full participant Thursday and Friday and is listed as probable.

When asked by a reporter if he would be ready to play Sunday, Monroe simply said, "Yeah."

Monroe's backup at left tackle is currently undrafted rookie James Hurst. If Monroe were to be out Sunday, the Ravens could insert Hurst into the starting lineup, or shuffle other pieces by putting a more experienced player like Kelechi Osemele at left tackle.

Browns Without Top Running Back

The Browns are dealing with some injury problems of their own, as starting running back Ben Tate (knee) has officially been ruled out. With Tate out, rookie running back and Baltimore native Terrance West is expected to start. West is off to a strong start in his NFL career, and he's coming off a 100-yard game last week against the Saints.

The other injury concerns are tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder) and linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder). Cameron was a Pro Bowler last year for the Browns, and he would be a significant loss for their offense. The other players listed on Cleveland's injury report are all probable, including wide receiver Travis Benjamin (knee), defensive linemen Desmond Bryant (wrist) and John Hughes (hamstring), offensive lineman Paul McQuistan (ankle), cornerback Buster Skrine (thumb) and punter Spencer Lancing (shoulder).

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