The Ravens could get one of their key defensive players back for Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Defensive tackle Michael Pierce (ankle) returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis after missing Baltimore's 41-7 victory over the Houston Texans in Week 11. Pierce said the swelling in his ankle had gone down, and that he would see how it responded in practice this week.
The return of Pierce would give the Ravens their starting duo again, joining Pro Bowl defensive tackle Brandon Williams. Baltimore signed two veteran defensive tackles, Domata Peko and Justin Ellis, last week, and both played well against the Texans.
"They brought in a 14-year and a seven-year vet, and to see the way those guys played was awesome," Pierce said. "I definitely picked some things from their games."
Pierce's return would be well timed as the Ravens are about to face three-time Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley, who is coming off his best game of the season with 97 rushing yards against a strong Chicago Bears defense.
Starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) did not practice Thursday. Stanley has been a durable player, starting every game this season and performing at a Pro Bowl level.
Wide receiver Chris Moore (thumb) practiced on a limited basis. Four players missed practice for non-injury reasons: cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Jimmy Smith; safety Earl Thomas and right guard Marshal Yanda.
Rams WR Brandin Cooks Returns to Practice for Rams
Starting wide receiver Brandin Cooks (concussion) was a full participant in Thursday's practice, another step toward him returning to the lineup Monday after a two-game absence. Cooks has caught 27 passes for 402 yards and one touchdown this season.
The possible return of Cooks is important for the Rams, who could be without starting receiver Robert Woods (personal issue) for the second straight game. Woods (45 catches, 566 yards, no touchdowns) was placed on the inactive list this weekend and he was not at Wednesday's practice.
Los Angeles had one other offensive starter missing from Thursday's practice, right tackle Rob Havenstein (knee). Others absent were punter Johnny Hekker (illness), wide receiver Josh Reynolds (illness) and defensive back Darious Williams (ankle). Running back Malcolm Brown also missed practice (non-injury related).