Who’s Playing, Who’s Not vs. Jaguars

CB Jimmy Smith is probable; WR Lee Evans and G Ben Grubbs are both out.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Ryan Mink, Week 7 at Jaguars

Jimmy Smith could be making his long-awaited debut on Monday Night Football.

After injuring his ankle on the opening kickoff against the Pittsburgh Steelers and not practicing since, Smith made progress throughout the past week.

He started practicing on a limited basis on Thursday, but was a full participant on Friday and Saturday. Smith is now listed as “probable” to face the Jaguars, meaning there’s a 75 percent chance he’ll play.

“I’m optimistic,” Smith said. “Like I said before, I don’t really know what the coaches are going to do with it. I think everything is improving.”

The first-round pick was sidelined for more than a month. He said he had never had an injury like that before in his entire football career. It’s something he said he had to adapt to.

If Smith were to play, he would help bolster the Ravens’ secondary that has been shorthanded for much of the season.

But with Cary Williams, Lardarius Webb and the rest of the secondary playing so well,

Head Coach John Harbaugh said playing it safe and giving Smith a little more time to get his feet under him, is part of the decision-making process come game day.

“But, the other side of the coin is you want to get a young guy out there playing,”

Harbaugh said. “And he needs to play, too. He hasn’t played much; he played very little in the preseason. I think that’s going to be tough for him. So, both of those things go through our mind.”

Carr Is Questionable, Progressing

Harbaugh said the progress of Smith and cornerback Chris Carr was “very encouraging.”

“I was a little bit, pleasantly surprised with Chris and his progress,” he said.

Carr was a limited practice participant throughout the week and is listed as questionable to play against the Jaguars.

He has been recuperating from a nagging hamstring injury on and off since the preseason. The veteran said he’s feeling better, but he’s not going to play unless he’s 100 percent.

“I’m preparing like I’m going to play on Monday,” Carr told reporters Friday. “If I’m up for this game then I’m going to be ready. There’s going to be no 90 percent anymore.”

Evans and Grubbs Still Ruled Out

Wide receiver Lee Evans and guard Ben Grubbs will miss their fourth straight games with their ankle and toe injuries, respectively.

Neither veteran practiced throughout the week.

Harbaugh said it’s still a process of getting the swelling and bruising out of Grubbs’ toe. They’re waiting for his toe to respond to the treatment.

Evans confirmed this week that his injury wouldn’t need surgery and that he would return at some point this season. It’s just taking a while.

“Probably slower than any of us imagined those guys would be,” Harbaugh said.

“We just have to keep fighting in there and try to get them back. I think there’s going to be one day that we’re going to walk in here and those guys are going to go through a full practice, and they’re going to feel good, and they’ll be ready to go. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.”

Zbikowski Still Not Cleared For Contact

Safety Tom Zbikowski suffered a concussion against the New York Jets and still hasn’t been cleared for contact.

He has been practicing on a limited basis but obviously not hitting anybody. Zbikowski is listed as doubtful to play against the Jaguars.

Harbaugh said Zbikowski is going to get another test on Saturday, and will have two more days to recover. Zbikowski said he hasn’t really been feeling too many effects from it and felt good Saturday, but that “certain things set it off.”

“It’s a brain injury,” Zbikowski said. “It’s not a hamstring injury or something like that. It’s something I’m taking pretty good precaution with before I get out there.”

Keep Eye On Jaguars’ Offensive Line

Jacksonville may get back starting left tackle Eugene Monroe after he missed one game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Monroe (shoulder) is listed as probable. Starting right tackle Eben Britton (back) is doubtful, however.

Starting strong safety Courtney Greene (hamstring) has been ruled out. Safety Dawan Landry (thigh) is listed as probable, as is defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (knee).

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