Webb Questionable, Pierce Probable
The Ravens will likely be at full strength when they open the season against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, but there is one big question going into the weekend.
Will cornerback Lardarius Webb play?
The team's top cornerback practiced the entire week along with the rest of the 53-man roster, but Webb is officially listed as questionable with a back injury. He was a full participant in every practice this week.
Webb did not talk with reporters at all during the week and Head Coach John Harbaugh was mum about his cornerback's status.
"Everybody is at their own spot in terms of what they need to do to get ready to play," Harbaugh said Friday.
The only other player listed on the injury report for Baltimore was running back Bernard Pierce, who suffered a concussion in the third preseason game. Pierce was a full participant in practice and he is probable to play.
"I'm good," Pierce said. "I would say the concussion last week was minor. I started practicing the week after and am full throttle now."
Pierce returned to practice after a few days of rest, but Webb's injury lingered much longer. Webb went down on the second day of training camp, and didn't practice for the rest of camp and missed all four preseason games.
The six-year veteran has plenty of game experience in his career, so missing the preseason contests wasn't as significant compared to younger players missing time.
"That certainly is an advantage, the fact that he is a veteran," Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said. "If [he] was a rookie with no training camp, you'd really be concerned.
"But at the same time, to tell you that we wouldn't have rather had him out there and had more time with him, that wouldn't be the truth either. So, well see how it goes. We'll see if everything fits on Sunday and go from there."
If Webb is out, they will have to count on young cornerbacks Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson. Recently signed veteran Derek Cox could also be in the mix.
Jackson was in line for the No. 3 corner jobs before he missed the last three preseason games because of an ankle injury. He's fully recovered from the injury and insisted that he's ready to take on a big role.
"Everything is obviously up to the coaches, but as far as ability I'm good to go," cornerback Asa Jackson told reporters this week. "I'm not really concerned about rust. I'm just going out there every day trying to do the best in practice, and do whatever they ask me. I've been feeling good the last couple days."
TE Daniels Ready To Go
Veteran tight end Owen Daniels was an injury concern coming into the week, but he stressed that he feels healthy after getting a couple weeks of rest during the preseason to let his fatigued legs recover. Daniels was not listed on the injury report.
"I'll be ready," Daniels said. "I'll be fresh and ready to help."
Daniels, 31, only played the first preseason game before heading to the sidelines. His snap count Sunday likely depends on the game plan and whether the Ravens rely on two tight end sets. He's a proven pass catcher and listed as the No. 2 tight end behind Dennis Pitta.
"I'm just trying to do everything I can to help, whether it's blocking in the run game or pass protection or moving the chains, catching the ball down the field, whatever it takes," Daniels said. "I don't know exactly how many reps I'm going to get in the game. I think it kind of depends on how much two tight end stuff we're doing.*" *
Bengals WR Jones Out
The Bengals aren't as fortunate on the injury front.
Cincinnati will be without starting wide receiver Marvin Jones because of a foot injury. Second-year receiver Mohamed Sanu will likely take the bulk of the snaps in Jones' absence.
"We're without Marvin, and that's what we have," Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis said. "We're pleased with where we are, and we have a big challenge ahead of us."
Cincinnati has also ruled out backup running back Max Burkhead because of a knee injury. Backup linebacker Sean Porter (hamstring) and wide receiver James Wright (concussion) are also listed as doubtful.
The Bengals had 12 of their 53 players listed on the injury report, but many of them are expected to be ready for Sunday. Cincinnati listed five players as probable, including linebacker Vontaze Burfict (hamstring), tight end Tyler Eifert (shoulder), running back Cedric Peerman (hip), offensive tackle Andre Smith (concussion) and offensive guard Mike Pollak (knee).
The only other question for Cincinnati is rookie cornerback Darqueze Dennard (hip), who is questionable. Dennard is currently listed as third-string on the depth chart.