OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Preparing to face the NFL’s top rushing attack in a pivotal AFC North showdown, the Ravens don’t know if their best defensive lineman will be available to help slow the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night.
Still in the concussion protocol and missing his third straight practice on Friday, six-time Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell was officially listed as questionable to play in Week 12, a concerning development for a defense line that’s leaned heavily on the 35-year-old. Campbell played 43 of 59 defensive snaps in last Sunday’s 16-13 win over Chicago and was on the field for the Bears’ entire final drive. Pro Football Focus has graded the 6-foot-8, 300-pound Campbell as the NFL’s fourth-best interior defensive lineman in his 14th season, which has been so critical with defensive end Derek Wolfe missing the entire campaign due to a back injury.
To have a good chance to be cleared in time for a game, a player typically advances to the point in the protocol when he’s permitted to log some limited practice time by the end of the week, but head coach John Harbaugh said Campbell is making progress in his recovery and wouldn’t need to practice in order to play against the Browns. That’s assuming he’s cleared to play since every individual is different when it comes to head injuries.
“He’s been playing all year, so he probably could use the rest anyway,” said Harbaugh about Campbell not practicing all week. “He knows what we’re doing, and technique is not going to be a problem. It’s been encouraging with Calais. Of course, you have to go through the process, and you never can predict that exactly.”
Nose tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder) was also designated as questionable after returning to practice on a limited basis this week. Sidelined for each of the last three games, Williams being available would be even more important if Campbell isn’t able to play on Sunday night.
The Ravens listed eight other players as questionable to play against the Browns, a list including cornerbacks Anthony Averett (hamstring), Tavon Young (foot/knee), Chris Westry (thigh), and Jimmy Smith (neck). Young and Westry returned to practice on a limited basis Friday, but the latter didn’t appear to be doing much and was only on the field for a brief time during the portion of practice open to media. Averett was limited on Thursday and Friday and appears to have a solid shot to return after sitting out against the Bears, but Smith wasn’t able to log any practice time all week. Should the Ravens need reinforcements in the secondary, Kevon Seymour would appear to be the top candidate for a promotion from a practice squad that also includes cornerbacks Mazzi Wilkins and Kevin Toliver.
Wide receiver Marquise Brown (thigh), fullback Patrick Ricard (hip/foot), and right tackle Patrick Mekari (ankle) were also designated as questionable on the final injury report. Brown was a limited participant all week, a good sign for his availability after he was inactive in Week 11. Mekari was upgraded to full participation on Friday while Ricard missed workouts on Wednesday and Thursday before returning on a limited basis on Friday.
As expected after practicing fully all week, star quarterback Lamar Jackson didn’t carry a game status designation and is set to return after missing last Sunday’s game due to an illness.
“When Lamar comes back off anything, he’s come back on point,” wide receiver Sammy Watkins said. “He’s throwing the ball well. He’s moving around. Honestly, I feel like we actually got better since he’s been back, so I can’t wait to go out there and play with him.”
The Ravens officially ruled out wide receiver Miles Boykin (finger), offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (thigh), and safety Ar’Darius Washington (foot) for Sunday’s game. Harbaugh said Washington, an undrafted rookie from TCU who’s appeared in three games, will miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken foot in practice earlier this week.
Designated to return to practice from injured reserve earlier this week, inside linebacker Malik Harrison (calf) practiced well and is viewed as a depth option playing the edge in addition to backing up starting inside linebackers Josh Bynes and Patrick Queen, according to Harbaugh. The Ravens would need to reinstate Harrison to the 53-man roster by 4 p.m. on Saturday for him to be eligible to play against the Browns.
Meanwhile, Cleveland appears to be as healthy as it’s been since early in the season with wide receiver Anthony Schwartz (concussion) being the only Browns player ruled out for Sunday night. Head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters that right tackle Jack Conklin (elbow) and running back Kareem Hunt (calf) will be activated to the 53-man roster from IR to play against the Ravens, which could provide a significant boost for an up-and-down Cleveland offense.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield wasn’t given a game status designation despite dealing with a plethora of injuries in recent weeks.
Starting wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin) is questionable after being able to log limited practices on Thursday and Friday.
Below is the final injury report for Week 12:
OUT: WR Miles Boykin (finger), OT Cedric Ogbuehi (thigh), S Ar’Darius Washington (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Anthony Averett (thigh), TE Nick Boyle (knee), WR Marquise Brown (thigh), DE Calais Campbell (concussion), OL Patrick Mekari (ankle), FB Patrick Ricard (hip/foot), CB Jimmy Smith (neck), CB Chris Westry (thigh), DT Brandon Williams (shoulder), CB Tavon Young (foot/knee)
OUT: WR Anthony Schwartz (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Troy Hill (neck), WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (groin)