The Ravens and Steelers are in store for an interesting weekend on the injury front.
Both teams have key players whose status is uncertain for Sunday's matchup at M&T Bank Stadium, and it could likely come down to some game-time decisions.
Roethlisberger Questionable To Play
The most significant question is surrounding Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He had surgery to repair a torn meniscus just over two weeks ago, and the expected recovery time was initially reported to be four to six weeks.
But he was throwing passes just before the bye and was a limited participant throughout this entire week. He is officially listed as questionable on the final injury report.
Roethlisberger and Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin have given few clues about his status for the weekend, but multiple reports have said that the 34-year-old quarterback will play.
"Roethlisberger will start at quarterback Sunday for the Steelers barring any setback between now and their game in Baltimore," wrote Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Ravens have prepared all week to face Roethlisberger. Head Coach John Harbaugh and several players have said they would plan to face the rival quarterback. Terrell Suggs put it best when he told reporters, "Don't fall for it."
"He is going to act like, 'I am not playing; I don't know. I did individuals today; I threw a little bit. I still don't know,'" Suggs said. "Then he is going to walk his big [butt] on out there."
Roethlisberger is the only major injury question for the Steelers. They did rule out backup center Cody Wallace (knee).
S. Smith Returns To Practice, Listed As Questionable
Veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr. returned to practice as a limited participant Thursday, which was his first time back on the practice field since suffering an ankle injury in a Week 5 loss to the Redskins.
Smith is listed as questionable to play after being a full participant in Friday's light practice session.
The Ravens would love to get Smith back in the lineup, as he's been one of the team's best playmakers again this season. He has 27 catches for 310 yards and a touchdown this year. If Smith can't play, then Kamar Aiken would likely get the start.
Smith did not talk with the media this week, and Harbaugh gave no clear indication about his status.
"When everybody says the player is ready to go we put him out there," Harbaugh said. "That's how we do it."
Mosley Expects To Return
Linebacker C.J. Mosley is expected to be back in the middle of the defense after missing the last two games with a pulled hamstring. He is officially listed as questionable, but he was optimistic about playing when talking with reporters earlier in the week.
"I had to sit out my two games, so I'm definitely ready to get back – it's the best time against the Steelers," he said.
Getting Mosley back is critical for a number of reasons. He's one of the team's best overall players, and he's also a leader of defense who makes calls for the rest of the unit.
While Mosley will likely play, rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa has been ruled out because of a thigh injury. Correa has mostly played special teams this year, but he did see increased snaps on defense against the New York Jets in Week 7 as the Ravens were down a couple of linebackers.
Suggs Expected Back, Dumervil Out Again
Terrell Suggs plans to play through a torn biceps and is expected to return Sunday. He suffered the injury in Week 6 against the New York Giants and missed the next week against the Jets.
He was a full participant in practice all week and plans to be suited up against his rivals.
"It is most definitely a pain tolerance thing," Suggs said last week. "But it is also a win tolerance thing – how much you want to win and how much you want to play."
While Suggs will return, fellow veteran pass rusher Elvis Dumervil has been officially ruled out with his foot problem. The injury has lingered throughout the season and Dumervil did not practice at all during the week.
Offensive Line Expected To Be Back To Full Strength
The offensive line is expected to be back to full strength for the first time since Week 3. That's also the last time the Ravens won a game.
Rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot) and veteran right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) were both full participants in practice all week. They are listed as questionable to play.
"We're excited about it," Yanda said. "Everybody is working hard out there. [We're] just putting together a good game plan and getting ready to go out and have a good game on Sunday. That's what it's all about. We're taking those steps toward Sunday, and everybody's really excited."
Gillmore Ruled Out
Tight end Crockett Gillmore has been ruled out with a thigh injury.
With Gillmore out, second-year tight end Darren Waller is expected to take on a larger role on offense. He has mostly been a special teamer since returning from a four-game suspension, but that will likely change this week.
"It is an opportunity for me, and you can't let the production of the group drop," Waller said. "I'm just trying to contribute in any way I can. Whenever I get a shot, I'm going to be ready for it because everybody is going to be amped up for this game."
Webb, Young Practice Fully All Week
Safety Lardarius Webb (thigh) and cornerback Tavon Young (concussion) were both full participants in practice all week and are expected to be back on the field.
Young will likely be back in the starting lineup while cornerback Shareece Wright continues to deal with a thigh problem. Wright missed practice Thursday and Friday after being a limited participant Wednesday, and he is doubtful to play.
If Wright is out, Young, Jerraud Powers and Will Davis could see more snaps.