By Samuel Njoku

The Battle of the Beltway will ensue on Sunday as the Redskins and Ravens meet in Washington for the first time in 4 years. Baltimore, who is still reeling from their tough loss to Pittsburgh, will look to keep pace with the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots as the chase for the #2 seed continues. The Ravens have a few banged up players on defense that could affect them mightily on Sunday. 

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 11:  Dannell Ellerbe #59 and  Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens lines up against the Indianapolis Colts offense at M&T Bank Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Dannell Ellerbe, LB, (ankle): Out

For the second straight week, Dannell Ellerbe will not play on Sunday. Ellerbe was sorely missed last week as Charlie Batch stunned the Ravens partially due to the ineffectiveness of pass coverage from the linebackers. A second straight absence will make things difficult as RG3 has an area of the field to target on Sunday. Ellerbe hasn’t practiced all week and it is unknown whether he will be available for next week’s crucial game against the Denver Broncos. For the time being, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Josh Bynes will split playing time as they fill his roster spot.

Ed Dickson, TE, (knee): Out

Dickson injured his knee in the game against the Chargers. He will miss his second straight meeting as well as he continues to battle the injury. Harbaugh eluded that Dickson was close to returning. That makes him further along than Ellerbe. The Ravens will use Billy Bajema to take his spot. Bajema will be used primarily as a blocker as his receiving skills are lacking.

Terrell Suggs, LB/DE, (arm): Questionable

Suggs practiced somewhat this week after suffering a torn biceps in the game against the Steelers. There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the injury leading some to believe that he can play with the injury for the remainder of the season. Suggs shed light on the injury earlier this week.

“I really believe that if everything fares out, how I’m feeling, and we do a good job throughout the week, then I will be lining up,” Suggs stated. “If not, then I miss the Washington game and hopefully I can be back for the Denver one [next week].

Harbaugh told reporters that Suggs arm has held up pretty well this week in practice. He will be a game-time decision but it would take something serious to keep Suggs away from the football field. Expect T-Sizzle out on the football field on Sunday. If he’s unavailable, Courtney Upshaw will get extended playing time.

Jimmy Smith, CB, (abs/groin): Doubtful 

The Ravens got Jimmy Smith back on the practice field this week. It appears as though he is still about a week away from returning to action. He was listed as Doubtful in this week’s injury report. Expect Corey Graham to fill in for Smith for the 4th straight week. Graham has done a great job filling in the starting spot. It isn’t inconceivable to think that he won’t leave the position even if Smith is healthy enough to go. The Ravens may also get Chris Johnson back who played well in his first game before suffering a hamstring injury. He’s listed as Questionable.

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 since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at His work can be found on You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.


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