Three of Baltimore's key veterans – wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., running back Justin Forsett and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil – have made progress throughout the week and will be game-time decisions for Sunday's game in San Francisco.
Forsett and Dumervil returned to practice Friday after sitting out the rest of the week.
"I'm happy with the way they worked to prepare to get ready and get themselves as healthy as they can be," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We'll see."
Smith Says His Chances Are Low
Smith seemed down Friday afternoon talking about his chances of playing in Sunday's game, although he's listed as questionable.
"To be honest, my expectation of playing is really low," Smith said.
The Ravens' leading receiver and biggest playmaker suffered microfractures in his back Thursday, Oct. 1 in Pittsburgh. He was held out of practice last week, but still listed as doubtful to play against Cleveland. He ended up not dressing.
This week, Smith was a limited practice participant throughout the week. But he said his back still wasn't feeling up to par.
"I went out there Wednesday; it was alright," Smith said. "Thursday, I tried to open up a little bit, couldn't open up too much. I didn't really go too much today, so just trying to be smart. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do."
Head Coach John Harbaugh previously said it will be a pain tolerance issue and that Smith is in the "Hall of Fame of pain tolerance." Smith was asked whether he's feeling sore and tight.
"You all reported what I've got," Smith said. "It's a little bit beyond sore and tight. Sore and tight would be a hamstring."
If Smith isn't able to suit up, the Ravens could be even more short-handed at wide receiver than they were last week.
Newly acquired wideout Chris Givens (ankle) is questionable after just one game in Baltimore. He didn't practice Wednesday, was limited Thursday and a full participant on Friday. Rookie Darren Waller (concussion) has been ruled out along with first-round rookie Breshad Perriman (knee).
That leaves Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown and Jeremy Ross as the Ravens' only receivers who didn't appear on the injury report this week.
Forsett Made Progress Throughout Week
Fantasy owners may be able to take a deep breath as Forsett made progress with his injured ankle and is listed as questionable to play.
Forsett went down on the Ravens' final regular-season drive last Sunday when a defender rolled up on his ankle. It wasn't a high-ankle sprain, however.
Forsett said he's been doing rehab 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including waking up in the middle of the night for extra icing and stretching therapy. He was limited at practice Friday after sitting out the two previous days.
"I feel good, I feel a lot better than I did earlier in the week," Forsett said Friday. "It's been progressing every day. As far as Sunday, it's still a work in progress. Hopefully we get more progress in the ankle before that day."
The Ravens would have just rookie Javorius Allen and recently signed undrafted rookie Raheem Mostert if Forsett doesn't suit up. Forsett and the ground game have been humming the past two weeks after a slow start.
Dumervil Will Evaluate Soreness
One of the Ravens' most durable players will be a down-to-the-wire decision for Sunday.
Dumervil was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday, but returned on a limited basis Friday and is listed as questionable to play. He injured his groin during the first half of Sunday's game against Cleveland and did not return.
"We're going to find out tomorrow after practice to see if there's soreness," Dumervil said Friday. "You try to move around. I guess the biggest question is tomorrow to see if it's really sore or not."
Dumervil has missed just one game over the past four seasons and just six in his nine-year career.
The Ravens were forced to manufacture more pass rushing without Dumervil on the field for the second half of their game against the Browns. That left the secondary more vulnerable and quarterback Josh McCown had a huge second half to finish with 457 passing yards.
Dumervil is the Ravens' best pass rusher, especially without Terrell Suggs (Achilles) on the field. If Dumervil can't play, Courtney Upshaw, rookie Za'Darius Smith and Albert McClellan will be the team's only outside linebackers. They have three sacks between them this season.
Ravens Thin In Secondary
The Ravens may have a new starting cornerback against the 49ers as cornerback Lardarius Webb (thigh) is doubtful to play.
While the secondary has largely struggled this year, Webb was off to a good start. Now rookie fourth-round pick Tray Walker, newly-signed Shareece Wright, Kyle Arrington, and promoted practice squad players Asa Jackson and Charles James look to be in the mix for the spot opposite Jimmy Smith.
Webb missed time due to a hamstring injury in training camp and the preseason. He didn't play in any of Baltimore's preseason games, yet suited up Week 1 in Denver. Webb did not participate in any practices this week after suffering the injury last Sunday.
Baltimore is especially thin because safety Terrence Brooks (thumb) has also been ruled out.
Gillmore Confident He Can Return To Form
Tight end Crockett Gillmore has missed the past two-and-a-half games since injuring his calf against the Bengals, but he has also progressed this week.
Gillmore didn't practice at all the past two weeks. He was limited throughout this week and is listed as questionable to play.
"Yes, I progress every day," Gillmore said Thursday. "There's not going to be a day I'm sitting around not doing something. So, I'm always getting better."
Rookie tight ends Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle have done well filling in for Gillmore while he's been out, but Gillmore is still the starter and one of the offense's most dangerous weapons. He still ranks third on the team in receiving yards (151) and has two touchdowns and 10 catches.
Gillmore was asked whether he thinks he can immediately return to form once he's back on the field.
"That's the way I practice [and] the way I go to work every day," he said. "There's not going to be any difference."
Yanda Questionable, Daryl Smith Probable
This should speak to the toughness of guard Marshal Yanda.
Yanda missed Wednesday and Thursday's practices and was limited on Friday due to an ankle injury. He's listed as questionable to play and nobody in Baltimore is talking, or seemingly worried, about it.
Yanda, who signed a four-year contract extension Friday, has only missed two starts since 2010.
It seems the Ravens want to give Smith some extra time off to rest the veteran's body. Smith didn't practice the first two days this week, but was a full participant on Friday. He was listed with the non-injury related designation.
49ers' Hyde Ailing, O-Line Healthier
San Francisco got good news on a pair of offensive lineman, but the running backs behind them are banged up.
Star 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (foot) reportedly left practice early on Thursday and is questionable to play. Hyde has rushed for 375 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and three touchdowns this year. He's been their featured offensive weapon.
Backup running back and jack-of-all-trades Reggie Bush (calf) is doubtful. If neither Hyde or Bush can suit up, Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne would be the next man up.
San Francisco starting tight end Vernon Davis (knee) is also questionable, as well as wide receiver Bruce Ellington (calf) and rookie pass rusher Eli Harold.
The 49ers got good news on their offensive line, however, as starting left tackle Joe Staley (knee) and left guard Alex Boone (shoulder) are both probable to play. Inside linebacker Navarro Bowman (NIR) and tight end Vance McDonald (chest) are also probable.