Steve Smith Returns To Practice
It appears that Steve Smith Sr. has a chance to play Sunday against the 49ers.
Smith returned to practice for the first time since suffering microfractures in his back on Oct. 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Smith was limited in practice. He appeared to be taking it slowly during the portion of practice open to the media, but still showed some occasional burst. Contact would seemingly be the biggest issue.
Last week, Head Coach John Harbaugh said it would be a pain tolerance issue and that Smith is in the "Hall of Fame of pain tolerance."
San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Tomsula said his team is preparing for Smith to play.
"I think you always expect him to play because you know his pain tolerance and what he can take," said 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith, who played alongside Steve Smith last year.
"But if he doesn't play, I wouldn't be surprised either because the injury he's dealing with isn't a joke. It's not a tweaked little hamstring or a pull. This is something pretty serious that he's dealing with. He can downplay it with his toughness, but I can only imagine the kind of pain that he's feeling right now."
Crockett Gillmore Is Back, Too
The Ravens could get another top offensive threat back, too.
Starting tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf) has missed the past two games, and both weeks of practice, with a calf injury suffered in the second half of the Week 3 game against Cincinnati.
Gillmore posted 10 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns before his injury, becoming one of Flacco's most trusted targets. Gillmore hadn't practiced at all since the injury, and was limited on Wednesday.
Nine Other Ravens Sit
While the Smith and Gillmore news is encouraging, the Ravens still aren't out of the woods when it comes to injuries.
Baltimore had a whopping nine players sit out of Wednesday's practice, not including running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot), who was placed on injured reserve:
- RB Justin Forsett (ankle)
- OLB Elvis Dumervil (groin)
- DE Chris Canty (calf)
- WR Darren Waller (concussion)
- CB Lardarius Webb (hamstring)
- WR Breshad Perriman (knee)
- S Terrence Brooks (thumb)
- WR Chris Givens (ankle)
- OG Marshal Yanda (ankle)
Harbaugh did not give any injury updates before Wednesday's practice when speaking with reporters.
If Forsett can't play Sunday, the Ravens would turn to rookie Javorius Allen as their starter with newly-signed rookie running back Raheem Mostert as their backup. On Monday, Harbaugh said Forsett doesn't have a high-ankle sprain and has a chance to play this week.
If Webb can't suit up, Baltimore could turn to veteran Kyle Arrington, rookie Tray Walker or recently promoted Asa Jackson or Charles James. There's also recently signed Shareece Wright, who started for two seasons in San Diego, if he can get up to speed in time. Webb dealt with a hamstring injury throughout training camp and the preseason.
If Dumervil is out, and with Jason Babin released on Tuesday, the Ravens would lean heavily on rookie Za'Darius Smith and likely move Albert McClellan to outside linebacker.
Forsett, Webb, Dumervil, Waller and Brooks were all banged up in Sunday's game against the Browns. Canty has missed the past three games and hasn't practiced since.
Key 49ers Missing From Practice
San Francisco is banged up this time of year as well.
Starting guard Alex Boone (shoulder) and starting left tackle Joe Haley (knee) both sat out Wednesday. Top two running backs, Carlos Hyde (foot) and Reggie Bush (calf), were also sidelined.
Linebackers Navarro Bowman and Ahmad Brooks sat, but for non-injury reasons.
Tight ends Vernon Davis (knee) and Vance McDonald (chest) were limited.