Ravens Like B. Williams’ Chances to Play
The Ravens should have the big man back in the middle of their defense this week.
After missing the last four games with a foot injury, defensive tackle Brandon Williams practiced fully all week and the Ravens are optimistic about getting him back Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. He is officially listed as questionable on the injury report.
“I do like his chances to play,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s going to have to get out there, and just before the game, make sure he’s OK. We don’t want to put him out there if he’s not right before the game. So far in practice, I’d say so far, so good.”
His return would go a long way for Baltimore’s defense, as he’s a premier run stuffer who can gobble up blockers and push the pocket.
In addition to Williams’ potential return, the Ravens may also have Carl Davis back in the lineup. He missed the Bears game with a thigh injury, but he was a full participant all week in practice and is listed as questionable.
*Receiving Corps Banged up *
Baltimore’s receiving corps has been hampered this week as four receivers are dealing with injuries.
Breshad Perriman didn’t practice all week because of a concussion and he has been ruled out for Sunday. Veterans Mike Wallace (back) and Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) were both limited in practice and are listed as questionable. Chris Matthews (thigh) was added to the injury report Thursday, didn’t practice Friday and he is doubtful to play.
The call on which receivers will play will likely come down to a game-time decision Sunday.
“We’ll just see how it plays out,” Harbaugh said. “Everybody has practiced, so, we have enough guys to play. We’ll just have to work out the math on it: who can play, who can’t go.
“We’ll just have to find the 46 guys that can suit up and play for us. But, we’re pretty hopeful for those guys. They seem to be doing well and making good progress. It’s just something you can’t really predict.”
Wallace told reporters Thursday that he “should be fine for Sunday.” The biggest question is Maclin, who missed last week’s game after being limited in practice. He didn’t give reporters much of an indication about his status, and just said that he’ll lean on the doctors for their recommendation.
All of the injuries forced the Ravens to re-sign wide receiver Griff Whalen, who spent training camp in Baltimore. Whalen, Michael Campanaro and Chris Moore are the team’s only fully healthy receivers.
Ravens Rule Out M. Williams, T. West
The Ravens have 16 players listed on this week’s injury report, and have ruled out five of them. In addition to Perriman, tight end Maxx Williams (ankle), right guard Matt Skura (knee), running back Terrance West (calf) and outside linebacker Tim Williams (thigh) have all been ruled out.
Maxx Williams has been dealing with the ankle injury for most of the season. He returned last week, but re-injured the ankle on the play where he fumbled.
This will be the second game in a row that West, Skura and Tim Williams miss.
Watson, Smith and Webb Return to Practice
The Ravens had some key veterans back on the field Friday as defensive backs Jimmy Smith (Achilles) and Lardarius Webb (knee) and tight end Benjamin Watson (knee) all returned to action.
They are all listed as questionable to play.
The Ravens have limited practice reps for Smith and Watson this year as they’ve dealt with injuries, but neither have missed a game. Smith played close to a full workload last week after being limited with the Achilles issue.
Diggs, Bradford Ruled Out for Minnesota
The Vikings have some significant injury concerns of their own*. *They ruled out top receiver Stefon Diggs and starting quarterback Sam Bradford.
Diggs, who has 395 receiving yards and four touchdowns this year, will miss his second-straight game with a groin injury. Bradford is dealing with a knee injury that he suffered in Minnesota’s season opener.
Case Keenum will get the start at quarterback for the Vikings. Previous starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater returned to practice this week after missing the last year and a half with a knee injury, but he’s not yet ready for game action.
The Vikings also ruled out guard Nick Easton because of a calf injury.