By Samuel Njoku
There will be huge playoff implications for both teams when the Patriots and Ravens meet on Sunday afternoon. With it being so late in the year, there are bound to be nagging injuries for both teams. The Ravens will be dealing with a few injuries that can have a major impact on the upcoming game.
It’s been a tough year for starting quarterbacks as far as injuries are concerned. Robert Griffin III has been shelved for the season. Aaron Rodgers is finding difficult to return from a fractured collarbone. Jay Cutler just returned last week after suffering a high ankle sprain. And now there’s Joe Flacco. The reigning Super Bowl MVP injured his knee after last week’s game against the Detroit Lions. DeAndre Levy, inadvertently or not, hit Flacco low and caused what has been described as a mild MCL sprain. He’s practiced on a limited basis throughout the week and has worn a special knee brace during that time. The Ravens QB is listed as questionable for the game but there is no way that Flacco will miss this game. He’s never missed a start in his entire 6 year career. Flacco will wear the knee brace he’s used in practice when he plays the Patriots on Sunday. Whether the brace will effect his play on the field remains to be seen.
Though Flacco’s injury will get most of the attention leading up to Sunday’s game, there is a more intriguing injury development for a prominent Ravens player. Ravens RB Ray Rice has also been limited all week with a thigh injury leaving his status for the game in question. Rice suffered a hip injury earlier this season and has been dealing with it for most of the year. Whether the hip injury is linked with his current thigh injury is a question that John Harbaugh has no intention of giving the answer to.
“I’m not going to get into all of that,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s on the injury report – that’s what it is.
Though Rice has struggled mightily this season, he’s got a appealing match up against a Patriots defense that is ranked 31st against the run. Baltimore will be better with him in the game. He’ll be a game-time decision for the game.
On defense, the Ravens will want to make it a habit of getting to Tom Brady early and often. That may be a challenge without Elvis Dumervil who is now dealing with an ankle injury. He played against the Lions after missing the game against the Vikings but was limited in practice on Friday. He’s another player who will be a game-time decision.
CB Asa Jackson (thigh)
LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle) QB Joe Flacco (knee) LB Albert McClellan (neck) RB Ray Rice (thigh)
TE Dallas Clark (illness) S Brynden Trawick (ankle)
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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. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.