OWINGS MILLS, Md. — While the Ravens are hurting along the defensive line, a key member of their secondary took a step toward making his return for Sunday’s clash with Tennessee.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith practiced on a limited basis on Thursday after being sidelined with an ankle injury since the Week 9 win at Indianapolis. The 32-year-old veteran missed his first game of the season against New England, but his availability would be critical against a Titans passing game ranking second in Football Outsiders’ efficiency metric.
Inside linebacker L.J. Fort also practiced fully for the second straight day and is set to return from a two-game absence due to a finger injury. With Fort out, rookie inside linebackers Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison struggled mightily in last Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.
“L.J. played really well last year against Tennessee,” defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said. “I’m expecting him to do the same this week, and it helps because you’ve got your full [inside linebacker] bullpen there, if you will.”
Defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) and defensive tackle Brandon Williams (ankle) once again missed practice and are very unlikely to play against star running back Derrick Henry and the Titans on Sunday, a concerning development as the Ravens try to avoid a third loss in their last four games. Rookie Justin Madubuike and veteran Justin Ellis are expected to start in their places.
“I have no doubt that they’re ready to do what they need to do to help us win this game,” Martindale said. “There are different things that we looked at, and there are other things. You know Derek Wolfe played really well actually in that New England game, and I’m expecting the same thing for this one.
“The sky is not falling. We’ll be fine, and we’ll be ready to go come Sunday.”
For the second straight day, the Titans had a lengthy list of practice absences with top wide receiver A.J. Brown being a new addition because of a knee issue. However, Brown has regularly received maintenance days off for his knee in recent weeks.
Below is Thursday’s full injury report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DE Calais Campbell (calf), RB Mark Ingram (non-injury), OLB Pernell McPhee (non-injury), QB Trace McSorley (non-injury), DT Brandon Williams (ankle)
LIMITED: CB Jimmy Smith (ankle)
FULL: LB L.J. Fort (finger)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: WR A.J. Brown (knee), OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), WR Adam Humphries (concussion), CB Adoree’ Jackson (knee), CB Chris Jackson (illness), C Ben Jones (knee), OT Dennis Kelly (knee), DL Larrell Murchison (rib), TE MyCole Pruitt (knee), G Rodger Saffold (ankle)
LIMITED: CB Kareem Orr (groin), S Kenny Vaccaro (neck)
FULL: RB Senorise Perry (knee)