With Monday night quickly approaching, the final injury report of the week was released as the Baltimore Ravens will likely see one of their key components on the defensive side of the ball make his return to action.
Outside linebacker and pass-rushing specialist Elvis Dumervil missed last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings due to an ankle injury suffered on Thanksgiving night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it appears likely that the 29-year-old will make his return to the field for the purple and black on Monday night against the Detroit Lions.
While many felt that Dumervil’s absence wouldn’t make an astronomical impact in the outcome of the game versus the Vikings due to the fact that Adrian Peterson would likely burden a heavy workload, Baltimore once again went without a sack on the quarterback and almost dropped a roller coaster ride that could have jeopardized their playoff lives.
Dumervil is the last Ravens player to tally a sack as they’ve gone eight quarters without bringing a quarterback to the turf. He leads the team with 9.5 sacks, and it’s an impressive number considering that teams know what he brings to the table when he crosses the white lines. The eight-year NFL veteran isn’t known for his run-stopping prowess as Baltimore saves those duties for second-year linebacker Courtney Upshaw.
Upshaw’s skills are more tailored to spill base blocks and set the edge on the outside, containing runners between the tackles. Still, despite Dumervil not being the best run-stopper, the Ravens need that compliment to help Terrell Suggs on the outside. When facing an aerial attack like the third-ranked passing offense of Detroit, any pressure on the quarterback makes the jobs of the secondary that much easier.
Baltimore is also fortunate that they get to face Calvin Johnson and the rest of the Lions with a fairly thin injury report. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Saturday at the Under Armour Performance Center that his team is the healthiest they have been all season. Considering it’s Week 15 and the playoff push is just kicking into high gear, Baltimore is in a pretty good spot.
The Ravens list Dumervil as questionable with an ankle injury, as is safety Brynden Trawick. Cornerback Lardarius Webb is probable with an injury to his abs. That’s the entirety of the report on the Ravens side of things.
Detroit’s report features more names and two players that likely won’t be activated Monday. Cornerbacks Chris Houston (toe) and Darius Slay (knee) are both listed as doubtful. Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah is bothered by a shoulder injury and running back Reggie Bush continues to deal with a calf injury that caused him to miss last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Both players are listed as questionable against the Ravens, but it’s all but certain that Bush will play in some capacity unless he tweaks the injury in warm-ups like he did last Sunday. Safety Louis Delmas (knee), wide receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), defensive end Israel Idonije (knee), tackle LaAdrian Waddle (elbow) and safety John Wendling (illness) are all probable Monday night.