Outlook For Ravens On The Mend

Head Coach John Harbaugh said the No. 1 bye-week goal is to get healthy.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 at 10:51 am | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Ryan Mink

The Ravens’ top goal during the bye is to get healthy.

Baltimore has compiled a 3-1 record and reached the top of the AFC North despite an inordinate amount of bumps and bruises.

In a rare occurrence, all seven of the Ravens’ inactive players for Sunday night’s game against the New York Jets were injured. Every healthy player suited up.

Now, Baltimore could be looking at a rejuvenated team that is totally healthy after the bye and heading into its Oct. 16 showdown with the Houston Texans, who are tied for first in the AFC South.

“I am hopeful, heck yeah,” Harbaugh said.

“I’d probably be a little bit disappointed if we don’t get them all back. I don’t think you ever really know for sure with some of these things, but probably the No. 1 goal this week is to improve the health of our football team.”

With that in mind, here’s a review of who is on the mend:

G Ben Grubbs
Outlook: Grubbs has been out since the second week of the season, but says his injury is gradually getting better. The tough offensive guard, who had never missed a game in five previous seasons, practiced on a limited basis last Thursday, but was ruled out on a game-time decision by Harbaugh. “It’s been three weeks for a toe, so I think he’s got a pretty good chance,” Harbaugh said last Friday.

WR Lee Evans
Outlook: Evans has been dealing with the ankle for quite some time. It started at the end of the preseason, but the Ravens’ deep threat receiver still played against the Steelers in Week 1 and recorded two catches for 45 yards in Week 2′s loss in Tennessee. After that game, Evans said it was affecting his performance, and the Ravens opted to shut him down. Evans, who did not practice all last week, said the toe was making “good progress” with the rest. “I’m shooting for the Texans, no doubt,” he said.

CB Chris Carr
Outlook: Carr’s hamstring has been an ongoing issue. It flared up in training camp, which forced him to miss some practices. He gradually worked his way back, but felt it “grab” against the Pittsburgh Steelers and sat out the next game in Tennessee. He sought additional opinions, and there was no confirmed tear, so Carr got back to the field against the Rams. He made it through that game and the next week until he did not practice last Friday and was scratched after being listed as questionable.

CB Jimmy Smith
High ankle sprain
Outlook: Smith has been injured since the opening kickoff of the season. The Ravens’ first-round pick immediately went on crutches and Harbaugh said he would be out “a few weeks.” Smith graduated to a walking boot, and that came off last week. Smith has said he’s targeting the Texans as a return date.

S Tom Zbikowski
Outlook: Zbikowski suffered the concussion when playing against the New York Jets on Sunday night. Harbaugh didn’t have any further updates on his status on Monday afternoon. Depending on the severity, concussions can take less than a week or even multiple weeks.

LB Dannell Ellerbe
Outlook: Ellerbe suffered the injury in St. Louis while on special teams. He didn’t practice last week and didn’t play against the Jets after being listed as doubtful. The Ravens signed linebacker Prescott Burgess to step in for Ellerbe, but released Burgess Tuesday after adding cornerback Bryan McCann.

S Haruki Nakamura
PCL (knee)
Outlook: Nakamura injured his knee against the Rams on Sept. 25. Harbaugh first said the versatile defensive back would miss about a month. Nakamura thinks he’ll be back after the bye, saying there wasn’t much swelling in the knee right and that he’s already made a “ton of progress.”

WR/RS David Reed
Outlook: Harbaugh said Reed would be out probably three weeks after he took a hard hit in the Week 2 game in Tennessee. Reed, who is no longer wearing a sling on his arm, will have four weeks by the time the Texans come to M&T Bank Stadium.

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