By Daniel Benjamin
The Baltimore Ravens will be without top cornerback Jimmy Smith for their Week 15 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Smith hasn’t been on the football field since injuring his ankle in the first quarter of Monday’s night loss to the New England Patriots. The 28-year-old didn’t even make an appearance in the locker room of the Ravens’ training facility this week, and coach John Harbaugh really didn’t shed any light on Smith’s projected availability in the coming weeks.
“He has [made progress], but I just don’t want to get into all of the injury stuff,” Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “I probably won’t say much for the rest of the year unless it’s an obvious thing. The other guys are getting ready to play this week, and going forward, we’ll just have to see where we’re at.”
Sunday will mark the third full game that Smith will sit out. He also missed some time against the New York Giants after suffering a concussion in the game. In games that Smith has missed two or more quarters, the Ravens have given up at least 260 yards passing. Furthermore, without Smith on the field, the Ravens have allowed opposing quarterbacks to register a 99.7 rating with an average of 12.6 yards per completion.
Former starter Shareece Wright is expected to take Smith’s place in the starting lineup. Wright has struggled this year, giving up six touchdowns in nine games.Overall, he has been credited with 43 tackles and five pass defensed.
Alex Lewis and Crockett Gillmore Could Return
Rookie offensive lineman Alex Lewis and tight end Crockett Gillmore both practiced all week and could play against Philadelphia. Lewis missed the last four games with a high ankle sprain and Gillmore has missed six games because of a nagging hamstring issue.
It is unclear what role either Lewis or Gillmore will play as others have produced while they were out. Lewis can’t return as the starting left guard as Marshal Yanda has taken over the spot due to his ailing shoulder. He could replace Vlad Ducasse at right guard or he may start the game on the bench, filling in where needed as he can also play tackle.
Gillmore is somewhat in the same predicament as Darren Waller and Nick Boyle have emerged during his absence.
Eagles injury report
The Eagles put three players on injured reserve this week, and will be without running back Darren Sproles (concussion) along with starting tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee). Sproles was concussed when Washington Redskins safety Deshazor Everett nailed him prior to Sproles fielding a punt in last week’s game. Sproles is a big weapon for the Eagles on offense and special teams. The 33-year-old has 366 rushing yards to go along with 400 receiving yards and 243 return yards this year. Reserve running back Kenjon Barner will take Sproles’ spot as punt returner against the Ravens.
Vaitai started the first six games following right tackle Lane Johnson’s 10-game suspension was upheld in October. However, he has been out since injuring his MCL against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 21. Allen Barbre had been manning the right tackle slot, but he suffered a hamstring injury against the Redskins. Barbre did not practice all week and is listed a questionable for the game. If Barbre is unable to go, rookie Isaac Seumalo will likely be next up, as offensive lineman Matt Tobin was one of the three players placed on injured reserve earlier this week.
Tight end Brent Celek (stinger), wide receivers Dorian Green-Beckham (abdomen) and Jordan Matthews (ankle), and linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill (illness) are listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Matthew leads the team with 65 receptions while Green-Beckham has hauled in 33 catches.
Baltimore may also be without slot cornerback Jerraud Powers. Powers suffered a concussion against the Patriots, but has participated in practice all week, albeit in a limited role. He is listed as questionable for the game as he has yet to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol. If Powers were to miss the game against the Eagles, the Ravens may be forced to move safety Lardarius Webb or Matt Elam to the nickel role.
- TE Crockett Gillmore (thigh). Full Participant In Practice. Questionable.
- DB/LB Anthony Levine (toe). Full Participant In Practice. Questionable.
- G/T Alex Lewis (ankle). Full Participant In Practice. Questionable.
- CB Jerraud Powers (concussion). Limited Participant In Practice. Questionable.
- CB Jimmy Smith (concussion). Did Not Participate In Practice. Out.