Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Brown All Out
It's not just Ben Roethlisberger who will miss Sunday's divisional clash.
The Steelers officially ruled out two other prominent players in safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle).
Roethlisberger didn't practice all week after sustaining rib and shoulder injuries Monday night against Kansas City. Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin told the Baltimore media that he was out, but did not officially list him that way on Wednesday or Thursday.
That led to suspicion amongst a couple of Ravens player (namely outside linebacker Terrell Suggs) that Roethlisberger could actually suit up.
But now it's official. He can't play Sunday against the Ravens.
Polamalu was reportedly targeting a return against the Ravens after sitting out the past five games. The seven-time Pro Bowler did not make enough progress, however, to make it back in time.
Polamalu has given Baltimore fits over the years, including a decisive interception return for a touchdown in the 2008 AFC championship and a sack strip that sparked a comeback against Baltimore in the 2010 regular season.
Brown was named the Steelers' most valuable player last season, and was off to a strong start this year before suffering an ankle injury two weeks ago against the New York Giants.
The shifty receiver and punt returner leads the Steelers in yards after catch, as he is a big part of their quick release offense.
Pittsburgh also ruled out tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle). Starting safety Ryan Clark (concussion) and running back Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) are both probable. Mendenhall has played in just one full game this season, and is expected to share the load with fellow running backs Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer.
Ngata Had A 'Great Week'
It appears that the extra rest for defensive tackle Haloti Ngata paid off.
After suiting up but resting on the sideline during last Sunday's game against Oakland , Ngata feels good with a week full of limited practice and is listed as probable for Sunday.
"It was a great week. I was able to practice all week and felt good," Ngata told reporters.
Ngata has missed at least one practice every week since injuring his shoulder on Oct. 14 against Dallas. He dressed for that game, but did not play because the Ravens built a quick, big lead.
"That helped a lot," Ngata said. "I didn't have to re-tweak it or anything and I feel good."
A healthy three-time Pro Bowler would be a big boost for the Ravens, especially to their run defense that ranks 26th in the NFL (132.0). Ngata provides good pass rush up the middle and has three sacks this season.
McPhee Doubtful For Ravens
Defensive end Pernell McPhee told reporters he feels like he's 100 percent, but he may be further from playing than he let on.
McPhee (thigh) is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game after not practicing on Friday. McPhee was limited Wednesday and Thursday.
The second-year defensive end, who has just 16 tackles and a half sack in seven games, seemed optimistic after his Thursday practice. He said he felt his quickness had returned and coaches told him he looked good.
"The first time I went out to practice yesterday and I didn't have on a knee brace and I felt very comfortable going out running the drills, during one-on-one drills, doing individual drills," McPhee said.
Cody Having Arm Issues
Terrence Cody (arm) was added to the injury report as a limited practice participant Thursday and did not practice Friday. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game.
The third-year defensive tackle hadn't previously suffered any arm issues this season. He has 16 tackles this year and has yet to miss a game since early in his rookie season.
Rookie safety Christian Thompson, who has been active for seven games on special teams, is also questionable. He was added to the injury report on Thursday with a thigh injury, and was held out of Friday's practice.
Guards Marshal Yanda and Bobbie Williams, who both are rebounding from ankle injuries, were limited in practice for the second straight day but are listed as probable.
They are joined on the probable list by safety Sean Considine (knee/chest), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (finger), wide receiver Jacoby Jones (ankle), safety Bernard Pollard (chest), safety Ed Reed (shoulder/leg/neck), running back Ray Rice (toe), wide receiver Torrey Smith (chest) , linebacker Terrell Suggs (ankle) and linebacker Courtney Upshaw (shoulder).
Smith's Injury Classified As Sports Hernia
Head Coach John Harbaugh confirmed that cornerback Jimmy Smith's injury is more a sports hernia rather than just a groin injury.
Smith has been ruled out for Sunday's game after having surgery Thursday morning.
Harbaugh said it's a similar injury to what wide receiver Torrey Smith played through last year, but it's in a little different position and the "details were a little different."
"Yes, disappointed. It's one of those things that just kind of comes on," Harbaugh said on Friday.
"It looks like, by all accounts, [the surgery] went really, really well, and the timeframe – it's hard to say exactly what it is – but by the end of the season there is a really, really good chance he will be back playing."