(Updated: 5:05 p.m.)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Turning their full attention to the New England Patriots with their first official practice of the week, the Ravens were missing four defensive starters on Wednesday.
After missing the final three quarters of Sunday’s 24-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, strong safety Bernard Pollard (rib contusion) was absent during the portion of practice open to the media. This came as a mild surprise after Pollard had spoken to the media less than two hours earlier and implied that he would be on the practice field.
“I’m ready to go,” Pollard said before Wednesday’s practice. “I know my dogs are going to be ready. We’ve got to be animals out there.”
Pollard’s conviction when talking to reporters Wednesday still bodes well for his status against New England, and coach John Harbaugh said Monday that Pollard’s availability would depend on his tolerance for pain. The veteran safety is regarded as one of the toughest players in the entire NFL.
Inside linebacker Jameel McClain (knee) and defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee) were also missing from the the open portion of the workokut. McClain briefly left Sunday’s game with what looked like a leg injury, but the fifth-year linebacker soon returned to action.
After being listed as questionable on the final injury report for the Philadelphia game, McPhee played against the Eagles after testing out his surgically-repaired right knee prior to the game. He finished with three tackles in Week 2, but the second-year defensive lineman has dealt with knee soreness since undergoing arthroscopic surgery in the spring.
“It held up pretty good,” said McPhee when asked how the knee held up against the Eagles. “I mean, after the first half, it was kind of stiff. But after that, I started rolling.”
A surprise appearance on the injury report was made by cornerback Lardarius Webb, who was listed as a non-participant despite being present and dressed out to practice during the opening portion of the workout. If Webb had been injured during practice, he would have been listed as a limited participant, making it likely that the Ravens planned to hold him out all along.
Linebacker Paul Kruger practiced on Wednesday after he was held out of Sunday’s game with a back injury. The fourth-year defensive player missed two days of practice last week before working on a limited basis on Friday.
He expressed optimism that he would be able to play, but rookie Courtney Upshaw started in his place at the strongside linebacker position.
“It’s feeling good,” Kruger said prior to Wednesday’s workout. “I’m going to be out there today running around. I’m just excited to get out there this week. Big game for us. I’m doing everything I can to get healthy. It’s killing me not to be out there every day.”
Offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf) was observing practicing but was not participating.
Quarterback Joe Flacco (ribs) told the media he was feeling much better after admitting he had his ribs rolled under early in the second half of Sunday’s game.
Here is Wednesday’s injury report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Jameel McClain (knee), DE Pernell McPhee (knee), S Bernard Pollard (chest), T Jah Reid (calf), CB Lardarius Webb (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: LB Paul Kruger (back), T Michael Oher (ankle)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: C Dan Connolly (concussion), CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), TE Daniel Fells (shin), DT Justin Francis (ankle), WR Brandon Lloyd (thigh), C Nick McDonald (shoulder), CB Sterling Moore (knee), RB Shane Vereen (foot), T Sebastian Vollmer (back)
FULL PARTICIPATION: S Patrick Chung (shoulder)
(Updated: 5:05 p.m.)