Marlon Humphrey Suffered Injury in Practice
Ravens starting cornerback Marlon Humphrey is questionable for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints after suffering a thigh injury during practice this week. Humphrey did not participate in Friday's walk-through.
"Something did happen in practice, he's getting worked on, we'll just see how it goes at this point," Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
Humphrey has been the Ravens' top cornerback this season, according to Pro Football Focus, with a 73.5 grade. That ranks 18th best among NFL corners.
If Humphrey cannot play, Jimmy Smith will presumably replace Humphrey as the starter opposite Brandon Carr and slot corner Tavon Young. Versatile linebacker/defensive back Anthony Levine would likely play more snaps, and punt returner/cornerback Cyrus Jones could also see defensive action if necessary. Fourth-round rookie cornerback Anthony Averett (hamstring) could also return to the field for the first time since Week 2.
The loss of Humphrey could be particularly challenging against Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who has the best passer rating in the NFL (122.3) and just broke the all-time passing record. Brees is adept at probing for weaknesses in the opposing defense, and the Saints are averaging 36 points per game, tops in the NFL.
"If he's there, he's there. If he's not, he's not," Harbaugh said. "It's not something you give too much thought to. That's how the league works."
Ravens Not Tipping Their Hand on Alex Lewis
Aside from Humphrey, the Ravens' top injury concern is starting left guard Alex Lewis, who suffered a neck injury Week 6 against Tennessee. Lewis did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.
"We'll wait till Sunday. No updates," Harbaugh said.
If Lewis does not play, rookie Bradley Bozeman could replace Lewis, or the Ravens may start rookie Orlando Brown Jr. at right tackle, moving versatile James Hurst to left guard. Hurst started all 16 games at left guard last season.
"Yes, very pleased with those guys," Harbaugh said, speaking of Bozeman and Brown. "It's two-fold. We're not showing our hand. On the other side of the coin, it's really not a big deal."
Cornerbacks Anthony Averett and Anthony Levine Are Questionable; Two Saints Are Out
Averett was limited all week, but Levine was a full participant in Friday's practice.
For the Saints, starting left guard Andres Peat (head) and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth (ankle) are out, while offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod (non-injury related) and guard Larry Warford (back) are questionable.