The bye week went a long way in getting the Ravens closer to full strength.
Several key players practiced Wednesday after missing time with injuries, including linebackers C.J. Mosley (hamstring) and Terrell Suggs (biceps), right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder), cornerback Shareece Wright (thigh) and left tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot).
Notable players still missing from practice were wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (ankle) and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot). Even though the Ravens still have the key veterans working through injuries, they are definitely much healthier than when they took the field against the New York Jets in Week 7.
Mosley Returns, Ready To Play In A Game
Mosley's return is a big boost for the defense after he missed the last two games with the hamstring issue. Mosley had never missed a game before this injury, and his absence left a void in the middle of the defense.
Mosley is a leader of the unit and he indicated that he expects to play this 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.
Mosley was limited in practice as the Ravens work him back to full speed. Wright was also a limited participant.
"With a hamstring, there's nothing you can do, you just have to be patient with it because if you pull it again, it makes the wait even longer," Mosley said. "On the field I just had to let it go, and it felt good."
Yanda, Suggs Both Full Participants
Suggs and Yanda, two of Baltimore's veteran leaders, were both full participants Wednesday. Yanda missed the last two games and Suggs missed the matchup with the Jets.
The perennial Pro Bowlers are vital for the Ravens, and the fact that they practiced fully is a good sign in terms of their availability for Sunday. Suggs has made it clear he has no intentions of missing the rivalry game.
"Your greatest opponents always bring the best out of you," Suggs said last week. "It is a good opportunity to come back and play against those guys."
Yanda also indicated that he'll return to the lineup after giving his shoulder time to recover.
"That was the plan after the Redskins game to take this approach," he said. "Just progressing after we made the plan three weeks ago and doing good so far."
Stanley Full Participant Again
Yanda isn't the only key piece expected to the return on the offensive line Sunday.
The Ravens are hopeful that their No. 6 overall pick is back in the lineup after a foot injury held him out last month. Baltimore lost all four games that Stanley missed.
Stanley was a full participant in practice Wednesday, but that doesn't necessarily guarantee he will play. He was also a full participant all week leading up to the Jets game, but was then a surprise scratch on gameday.
The other players who were full participants in practice were cornerback Tavon Young (concussion) and safety Lardarius Webb (thigh).
Roethlisberger Limited In Practice
The Ravens are fully preparing to see Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the field Sunday. Suggs told reporters "do not fall for that," when asked about the possibility of Roethlisberger missing the game because of a knee injury.
Roethlisberger was a limited participant in practice just two weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The Steelers have not made an announcement either way regarding their starting quarterback's status for this weekend.
"We're going to take it one day at a time," Roethlisberger said. "I don't know anything new. We'll go out today and see how it feels."
If Roethlisberger can't play, Landry Jones would get the start.
The Steelers don't have other major injury concerns. Backup center Cody Wallace (knee) missed practice and running back De'Angelo Williams (knee) was limited. Wide receivers Antonio Brown (hip) and Markus Wheaton (shoulder), left tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and defensive end Cameron Heyward (hamstring) were all full participants.