The benefit of playing on short rest against the Cleveland Browns last week was that the Ravens had a few extra days to recover before starting their preparation for the Dallas Cowboys.
Some key players returned to action as the Ravens took the practice field Wednesday, and the Ravens hope they can suit up for Sunday's matchup at AT&T Stadium.
Dumervil Back In Action
Veteran outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil practiced as a full participant after being sidelined the last month. He has been hampered by a foot injury the entire season and has missed the last four games because of the issue.
"I've made a tremendous amount of progress the past few weeks," Dumervil said. "Really feel good."
The injury has limited Dumervil to just two games this year, and he was largely ineffective in those contests. Dumervil wasn't himself when he played in those Week 4-5 games, and he didn't register any stats.
Baltimore then opted to put Dumervil back on the sidelines to give him more time to recover, and he's spent the last several weeks trying to get back in the lineup. He didn't give any clear indication about whether he will play Sunday, but he did express some optimism.
"That's something you have got to ask Coach Harbs. I really don't know. I'm just going out there and really working on my craft," Dumervil said. "Whatever they ask me to do, I'll be ready. That's all I can tell you."
In addition to getting Dumervil back, rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa (thigh) also returned as a full participant.
Yanda A Full Participant
Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda has missed three of the last four games with a shoulder injury, but the extended layoff may have gone a long way for him.
He practiced as a full participant, which is a good sign for an offensive line dealing with multiple injuries. Left guard Alex Lewis (ankle) will be sidelined for about six weeks because of a high ankle sprain, so the interior offensive line is already shorthanded.
Yanda is the team's best lineman, so the Ravens certainly want him on the field even if he's still dealing with some lingering issues with the injury. He didn't say whether he will be ready to go Sunday.
"You take it one day at a time," he said. "I'm working towards trying to get back out there whenever I can, and I feel like the team as a whole, we're taking steps in the right direction to have a good performance Sunday."
Yanda didn't get into any specifics about the injury, but the fact that he has missed three games gives an indication of its severity. The veteran had only missed two games the previous seven years, and he's widely regarded as one of Baltimore's toughest players.
"I'm not going to go into it a bunch, but obviously no matter what,I try to be there for the team," Yanda said. "I'm a team guy and if I can play at a high level and help the team, I'm going to be out there no matter what. It's one of those things that I pride myself in and I feel like I owe it to the team. I owe it to the guys in this locker room to be out there if I can."
If Yanda can't play, then Vladimir Ducasse or Ryan Jensen would be the natural fit to fill in at right guard.
J. Smith Misses Practice With Back Issue
Cornerback Jimmy Smith is one of Baltimore's most important defenders, and his absence on the practice field was somewhat surprising.
Smith missed practice because of a back problem, but Head Coach John Harbaugh does not expect the injury to keep Smith from playing Sunday.
"I don't anticipate it being a concern," Harbaugh said. "He should be out there Sunday. I expect him to practice this week."
While Smith was out, cornerback Shareece Wright returned as a full participant after a thigh problem sidelined him the last three games.
The other players on the injury report were inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (thigh) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh), who were both limited participants.
Claiborne Misses Practice For Dallas
The Cowboys have some injury problems of their own after a physical game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Starting left tackle Tyron Smith (back/hip), cornerback Morris Claiborne (groin) and safety Barry Church (forearm) all missed practice.
The big injury news for Dallas was certainly around quarterback Tony Romo, who practiced as a full participant after missing the last eight games with a back injury. Romo is expected to be in uniform Sunday, but he and the Cowboys have said he will back up rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.