Although the Ravens have 12 players on their injury report this week, it was good news for a few of the bigger-name players ahead of Sunday's game against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rookie Hayden Hurst Returns to Practice
First-round rookie tight end Hayden Hurst was on the field and practicing for the first time during the regular season since having surgery on a stress fracture in his foot on Aug. 24. He practiced on a limited basis.
While the Ravens have been thrilled with the production they’ve gotten out of third-round tight end Mark Andrews (eight catches, 107 yards, one touchdown) so far, Hurst’s return will only bolster the unit.
Before his injury, Hurst stood out in Ravens practices and preseason games, developing a quick chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco and showing that he’ll be a chain-moving and big-play force who is also a factor in the blocking game.
C.J. Mosley Is Back on the Field
After bouncing in an out of practice last week, three-time Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley is back on the field at the start of Steelers Week.
Mosley is the Ravens’ most important player dealing with an injury, and his presence Sunday would make a huge difference against Pittsburgh’s dangerous run game and tight ends. He was limited on Wednesday.
Mosley surprised many people by practicing on a limited basis last Thursday, just one week after suffering a knee bone bruise. He did not practice on Friday and did not play against the Denver Broncos, although Head Coach John Harbaugh said he was “close.”
Asked whether he’s motivated any more to return this week because it’s Steelers Week, Mosley said, “It’s definitely motivation for me, but it’s a long season.”
“We play them again,” he added. “If things don’t go the right way, then it is what it is. It’s just taking it day-to-day.”
Michael Pierce Suits up in Pads
Nose tackle Michael Pierce did not practice at all last week because of a foot injury that held him out of the win over the Broncos, but was back on the field Wednesday on a limited basis.
Even though it appears Le’Veon Bell won’t play this week as his holdout continues, the Ravens still need all the help they can get in the trenches to stop James Conner and Pittsburgh’s strong rushing attack.
Pierce said there are no hurdles to cross this week with his health.
“It’s just pain. We’re going to try it out today,” he said. “We’re in pads, so that will be a good thing to do to get out early in the week and see what I can handle come Sunday.”
The same question posed to Mosley was directed to Pierce. Any more desire to play considering it’s the Steelers?
“You never want to miss Steelers Week,” Pierce said. “Sizz [Terrell Suggs] always says, ‘This is a game unlike any other.’ Knowing our history, it’s where legends are made.”
Eight Ravens Did Not Practice
The Ravens have a lengthy list of players who did not practice Wednesday for a variety of reasons.
Those who sat out were wide receiver John Brown (not injury related, NIR), cornerback Anthony Averett (hamstring), cornerback Brandon Carr (knee), defensive tackle Willie Henry (abdomen), quarterback Lamar Jackson (illness), tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot), linebacker Terrell Suggs (knee) and safety Eric Weddle (NIR).
Steelers' JuJu Smith-Schuster Doesn't Practice
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't practice Wednesday for non-injury related reasons, but the headliner of the Steelers' injury report was wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster sat out because of a listed abdominal injury. The Steelers' leading receiver in catches and yards did not leave Monday night's game against the Buccaneers early.
Steelers tackle Ramon Foster (NIR) and cornerback Mike Hilton (elbow) also did not practice.