The Ravens defense will likely get a key piece back in the lineup this weekend.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith practiced as a full participant all week and is on track to return after missing the last two games with a back injury. He is officially listed as questionable on the injury report, which is the classification that indicates he's most likely to play.
"He looks good," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We weren't sure early in the week if he was going to be able to go and he just responded well, and he looks good. It will mean a lot [to get him back]. It will help our defense."
Smith's back flared up after the Week 10 game against the Cleveland Browns, and he then practiced just one day over the next two weeks. The time off appears to have made a difference, and the Ravens are excited to have him back in the lineup for Sunday's matchup with the Miami Dolphins (7-4).
"We'll be, really, pretty much full strength out there," Harbaugh said. "That's a big plus for us."
Ravens Rule Out Three Players
While Smith will make his return, the Ravens know they'll be without a few other players.
Rookie offensive lineman Alex Lewis (ankle), running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh) and tight end Crockett Gillmore (thigh) have all been ruled out for the matchup.
Lewis is still recovering from a high ankle sprain he suffered against the Browns Nov. 10, and Gillmore hasn't played since Oct. 23. Taliaferro has missed the last two games with his injury.
Offensive lineman Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and wide receiver Kamar Aiken (thigh) are the only other Ravens on the injury report, and they are both listed as questionable to play. There is little doubt either of them will be ready to play Sunday.
Allen Dealing With Personal Issue, Doubtful To Play
Second-year running back Buck Allen is dealing with a personal issue, Harbaugh said, and he is doubtful to play. Allen didn't practice Thursday or Friday.
"He may not be able to play in the game," Harbaugh said. "We're just going to have to see about that and where he's at with it. We'll know more later."
If Allen can't play, the Ravens will go with Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon as their two running backs, and then have Kyle Juszczyk as the fullback. The team doesn't plan to make a roster move over the weekend to add an addition player at that position.
Dolphins Rule Out Starting Center
The Dolphins have been dealing with some injuries on their offensive line, and they have ruled out starting center Mike Pouncey (shoulder).
But it looks like Miami will get starting left tackle Branden Albert (wrist) and left guard Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) both back on the field. They practiced all week, were full participants Friday and are both officially questionable to play.
The other big uncertainty for the Dolphins is the status of wide receiver DeVante Parker (back), who didn't practice all week. He is officially listed as questionable, so his availability will likely come down to a game-time decision.
Miami has several other players listed as questionable, including linebacker Kiko Alonso (hamstring), right guard Jermon Bushrod (calf), running back Kenyan Drake (knee), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee/hand) and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (back). Cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) is doubtful to play.