Four “questionable” Ravens cornerbacks active, Boyle out for Pittsburgh game


PITTSBURGH — Despite an unsettling practice week full of illnesses and injuries, the Ravens had all but one cornerback on their 53-man roster available for Sunday’s AFC North showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Marlon Humphrey (illness), Anthony Averett (shoulder/ankle), Tavon Young (illness), and Jimmy Smith (ankle/neck) were all activated despite being listed as questionable on the final injury report. Young was deemed healthy enough to play despite missing the entire practice week while Humphrey and Smith had missed practice on Friday. Second-year cornerback Chris Westry (thigh) had returned to practice on only a very limited basis Friday, leading to his deactivation for a second straight game.

On Saturday, the Ravens elevated cornerback Robert Jackson from their practice squad for additional depth in the secondary.

After missing the entire practice week while continuing to feel the effects of a surgically-repaired left knee that isn’t yet back to 100%, tight end Nick Boyle was deactivated for Week 13. Boyle played only 10 offensive snaps in last Sunday’s win over Cleveland, a sign that he still wasn’t right physically. However, the Ravens insist Boyle remains in the plans for the rest of the 2021 season.

“Nick is getting better all the time. He’s still getting used to things,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday. “He’ll be the first to admit that he’s not where he wants to be yet, but we want to keep dosing him in and keep letting him take those steps up the ladder to get him back to his form. It’s definitely going to be — I’d say — a process throughout the rest of this year, and we fully anticipate that. He will definitely be a big part in helping us the rest of this year as well because even him at 70% is very valuable.”

After elevating running back Nate McCrary from the practice squad, Baltimore made fellow rookie Ty’Son Williams a healthy scratch for the third time this year. Williams began the season as the starting running back after the late-summer season-ending knee injuries to J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, but he quickly fell out of favor and behind veterans Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray on depth chart. Williams has logged just one carry and one target since Week 7.

McCrary, an undrafted free agent out of Saginaw Valley State, spent the spring and summer with the Ravens and was claimed off waivers by Denver at the end of the preseason. He didn’t appear in a game for the Broncos and was waived in late September, leading to him returning to Baltimore via the practice squad several days later.

Outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson (illness) was scratched after missing Friday’s practice, meaning second-year linebacker Malik Harrison was next in line to receive some rotation snaps on the edge behind the trio of Tyus Bowser, Justin Houston, and Odafe Oweh.

Meanwhile, the Steelers were happy to have the services of All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt and Pro Bowl defensive end Cam Heyward on Sunday. Watt was activated from the reserve-COVID-19 list on Saturday while Heyward was dealing with a non-COVID illness late in the week.

Pittsburgh had already ruled out top cornerback Joe Haden (foot) for the third straight game on Friday.

Below are the full inactive lists:

CB Chris Westry
RB Ty’Son Williams
OLB Jaylon Ferguson
WR Miles Boykin
TE Nick Boyle

QB Dwayne Haskins
CB Joe Haden
RB Anthony McFarland
DT Carlos Davis
DT Isaiah Buggs