Ray Rice Will Be Game-Time Decision
Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice (hip) did not practice all week, and the decision on whether to play him against the Houston Texans is expected to come down to the wire.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said it will be a "game-time decision" on Rice, who is officially listed as doubtful on the injury report.
"We'll keep our fingers crossed, although we're prepared for it to go either way," Harbaugh said.
Rice suffered a hip flexor strain in the fourth quarter of last week's game against the Browns while trying to make a cut upfield. He left the game and did not return.
The fact that Rice did not practice all week was not surprising, as Harbaugh said Monday that his plan was to rest the star running back. As a veteran player, the Ravens have confidence to play Rice even thoughhe did not take the practice field at all.
"There's no question he can do it," Harbaugh said. "When guys like that don't play because they haven't practiced, it's because they're not ready physically. It's not because we have some kind of rule around here like that. It has to do with how ready a guy is to play."
If Rice is not able to go, then second-year running back Bernard Pierce will get the start and recently-signed back Shaun Draughn will be in reserve. Pierce took over the ground game last week when Rice was injured, and he finished with 19 carries for 57 yards.
Coaches and teammates have expressed confidence in Pierce, who said that he's not treating this game any different.
"It's just another game," Pierce said. "You can't really get hyped up and think it's more than that. It's just another game that we have to play."
Canty, Brown And Williams All Doubtful
Veteran defensive lineman Chris Canty (groin) also did not practice all week and he is listed as doubtful on the injury report.
Canty suffered the injury in the first half of last week's game and did not return. Like Rice, Harbaugh said Canty could play without any practice time.
"I've been in this situation before," Canty said. "I'm just trying to get in the best physical condition I can so that I can have an opportunity to help my football team win."
Canty told reporters Thursday that he had a good feeling about being able to play.
"I'm very optimistic," Canty said. "It feels pretty good, so we're going to continue to go about the process and hopefully be able to participate on Sunday."
In addition to Rice and Canty, linebacker Arthur Brown (chest), defensive tackle Brandon Williams (toe) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (foot) are all doubtful. Brown suffered his injury last week, while Thompson and Williams are coming back from injuries they suffered in the preseason.
Cornerback Chykie Brown (knee) is listed as questionable after a knee injury he suffered last week against Cleveland. Brown was a limited participant in practice Thursday and Friday.
Reed Listed As Questionable, Texans Report
Ed Reed's status is very much up in the air after being a limited participant all week during practice. Reed is listed as questionable on the injury report.
The veteran safety is working his way back from offseason hip surgery, and he told reporters this week that he's not completely healthy.
"I've still got some work to do, man," Reed said. "I deal with this tightness and soreness in there. It's still there, so I've got a lot of work to do."
This will be Reed's first game back in Baltimore since signing with the Texans this offseason, and his former teammates expect him out on the field. Cornerback Lardarius Webb said there was "no way" Reed would miss the game.
Despite the homecoming, Reed insists he does not have any extra incentive to play this weekend.
"I'm preparing for the long haul," Reed said. "I have to make sure my health is No.1."
Tight end Garrett Graham (hip/groin) is also listed as questionable for Houston.
Brown Ruled Out
On Saturday the Texans ruled out starting left tackle Duane Brown because of a toe injury.
Brown, an All-Pro, was initially listed as questionable on the team's final injury report before being declared out. Brown did not practice all week and was also wearing a walking boot around the team's facility, according to The Houston Chronicle.
With Brown out, Ryan Harris will likely get the starting nod.