The Ravens will likely be without top cornerback Jimmy Smith for the second-straight game.
Smith missed the entire week of practice with a back injury and is officially listed as doubtful on the injury report. Head Coach John Harbaugh didn't completely rule Smith out for the weekend, but the fact that he didn't practice at all is not a good sign.
"If he gets healthy enough, he'll play in the game even without the practice," Harbaugh said. "If it clears up and he can go, he'll play. If it doesn't – if he can't be close to 100 percent we'll just have to wait until next week, but we're confident in the guys we have as well."
The back injury has limited Smith to just one practice the last two weeks. Back problems can be difficult to predict in terms of a recovery time, but Harbaugh expressed some optimism about Smith's long-term status.
"I think [the medical staff] have a better handle on exactly what it is right now specifically. They have a good handle on it," Harbaugh said. "It's more muscular. That's good news."
The sixth-year cornerback is one of the most valuable players on Baltimore's roster, and his absence was clearly felt in the loss to Dallas last week.
Shareece Wright replaced Smith in the starting lineup last week, joining rookie Tavon Young and veteran slot corner Jerraud Powers. That will likely be the lineup again Sunday if Smith can't play.
Playing without Smith is certainly a tough blow, but the good news is that the Ravens won't have to worry about covering All-Pro receiver A.J. Green because the Bengals ruled him out with a hamstring injury.
Dumervil Could Return After Full Week Of Practice
Veteran outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil looks like he may be ready to make his return to game action.
After missing the last five games because of a lingering foot problem, Dumervil was a full participant all week in practice and is officially listed as questionable to play.
"He looked good in practice," Harbaugh said. "Again, it's going to be up to the medical people to determine that. It's always been a medical issue. It's good to see him out there at practice taking a good number of reps – didn't take every rep, but took a good number of reps in the rotation."
The foot problem has bothered Dumervil going back to last season, and it's limited him to just two games this season. Dumervil admits that he didn't feel like himself in those games (Weeks 4-5), so he needed to take additional time to recover.
Dumervil and the Ravens hope that having the last six weeks to recover will make a big difference when he does get clearance to return for game action.
Taliaferro, Lewis Ruled Out, Gillmore Doubtful
The Ravens have ruled out offensive guard Alex Lewis (ankle) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh) after they both missed the entire week of practice.
Lewis' absence comes as no surprise because he's dealing with a high ankle sprain that is expected to sideline him until late in the season. With Taliaferro, the Ravens thought he would be able to practice earlier in the week but the injury lingered longer than expected.
Tight end Crockett Gillmore is also unlikely to play after missing Friday's practice and getting designated as doubtful. Gillmore has missed three-straight games with a thigh injury, but he returned to practice as a limited participant Wednesday and Thursday, before getting sidelined Friday. It's unclear if he had a setback or if skipping Friday's practice was part of the plan.
Gillmore's injury could open the door for the Ravens to activate Nick Boyle, who is eligible to return after serving a 10-game suspension. Boyle practiced all week and the Ravens would have to move him to the 53-man roster by Saturday at 4 p.m. if he's going to play Sunday.
"He came back in really good shape – very impressive shape," Harbaugh said. "It looks like he's been working really hard, but there is a process of knocking off the rust for sure. … As far as the game, we'll just have to see. We have to talk it out and decide what we want to do."
The Ravens could also decide to wait until next week to either move Boyle to the active roster or release him.
The only other players listed on Baltimore's injury report were defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (shoulder), guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (back/hand). They were all full participants Friday and are officially questionable to play.
Bengals Rule Out Green, Two Others Doubtful
In addition to ruling out Green, the Bengals have two others who are doubtful to play.
Starting safety Shawn Williams (hamstring) and reserve tight end C.J. Uzomah (calf) are both doubtful after missing the entire week of practice.
Linebacker Clark Harris (groin) and safety Derron Smith (thigh) are also both questionable to play.