By Samuel Njoku
The Ravens will be one week removed from their slugfest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Players will tell you that everyone is banged up following a game against Pittsburgh. Now Baltimore will turn their attention towards San Diego as some players will be nursing injuries from the week before.
Chris Johnson, CB, (thigh): Doubtful
Signed just a few days prior to the game against Pittsburgh, Chris Johnson suffered a hamstring injury against the Steelers. The injury is unfortunate as Johnson played well in his first game in a Ravens uniform. If he is indeed unable to play, Baltimore has taken another big hit in the secondary. Because of this, it appears Corey Graham will get the start with Chykie Brown coming in on nickel packages. Expect Graham to play inside corner when Chykie is on the field as he is the better player at that position.
Though Johnson may not play this week, Harbaugh likes what he sees from the newly acquired corner.
“To me it became evident [that he could play against Pittsburgh] the second that we signed him because I knew he was going to have to play,” Coach Harbaugh said. “It was the fact that he was in the kind of shape in the workout that we thought he was going to be able to do it.”
Pernell McPhee, DE, (thigh): Questionable
McPhee has slowly moved up the injury report ladder on a weekly basis. Last week he was doubtful to play against Pittsburgh. This week he is more of a game-time decision. Baltimore could really use McPhee against a Chargers squad who loves to throw the football. They’ve been able to get a decent pass rush against opponents without him, but a team can never have enough pass rushers on the field.
When asked, Harbaugh stated that he felt “confident” that McPhee could play against San Diego on Sunday. McPhee reiterated those sentiments on Friday.
“I feel like I could go out and compete,” McPhee told reporters on Friday. “But it’s all coach’s decision. He’s going to make the best decision. He knows where I’m at and I know where I’m at. If it boils down to it and I’m one of the guys that need to be out there Sunday, he knows the right decision to make.
McPhee told reporters he was 100% last week, but this statement seems to be more accurate than anything else. He’s close to being able to compete, but it would come as no surprise if they held him back for one more week just to be cautious.
Dennis Pitta, TE, (head): Probable
Dennis Pitta didn’t finish the game against Pittsburgh after suffering a mild concussion early in the first quarter. Many wondered if Pitta would be able to play against San Diego. It appears as though those questions have been answered as the dependable tight end has been listed as probable for Sunday’s game. Harbaugh told reporters on Friday that he has passed his baseline tests and should be a go against the Chargers.
Pitta was asked if he felt any hesitance of returning to the field given the risk for a second concussion. He didn’t seem too concerned about the possibility.
“It’s part of the risk of playing football,” said Pitta. “I’ve taken a couple big hits the last few weeks, and had they been worse I might be a little more concerned about it. But I’ve felt good all week and really had no issues.”
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at SamuelN870@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.