The status of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Brandon Williams (knee), who missed Wednesday’s practice, will be an important storyline this week as the Ravens prepare to face the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Williams was a late addition to the injury report last week and missed Sundays’ 40-25 loss to the Cleveland Browns. His presence was missed, as the Browns rushed for 193 yards and averaged 6.7 yards per carry, led by Nick Chubb with 165 yards and three touchdowns.
Talking about the Ravens’ defensive issues Wednesday, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee said he expected Williams back in the lineup Sunday.
“We'll fix it,” McPhee said. “We get Big Baby (Williams) back this week. We're going to study film together this afternoon, and we're going to try to fix it.”
Tight end Mark Andrews (foot) also sat out Wednesday, but he didn’t practice until Friday last week and still played against the Browns.
Jimmy Smith (knee) still hasn’t returned to practice after missing the last three games, and safety Earl Thomas missed practice for non-injury reasons.
Safety and key special teams contributor Brynden Trawick returned to practice on limited basis Wednesday after missing the past two games with an elbow injury.
Steelers Starting Inside Linebacker Returns
There was some positive news for the Steelers at practice Wednesday when starting inside linebacker Vince Williams returned after missing the past two games (hamstring). Williams was listed as a full practice participant.
Six Steelers did not practice due to injury – wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (toe); running backs James Conner (ankle) and Roosevelt Nix (knee); tight end Vance McDonald (shoulder); linebacker Anthony Chickillo (foot); and defensive tackle Cameron Heyward (quadricep).
McDonald missed Pittsburgh’s 27-3 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, but the Steelers got more creative offensively in his absence, using the Wildcat formation in several packages. The Steelers will hope that Conner and Smith-Schuster, two important weapons who played Monday, get healthier as the week progresses.
Two Steelers missed practice for non-injury reasons – linebacker Mark Barron and center Maurkice Pouncey.