McPhee had been sidelined with right knee and thigh injuries. He underwent two arthroscopic knee surgeries prior to training camp.
"Thank God for another opportunity to go out and compete," said McPhee, who had one tackle working in behind Arthur Jones at left end. "I didn't get that many snaps. Every time I did, I tried to make the best of it. I'm working my way back."
Although listed as limited in practice Friday, Ellerbe acknowledged that he didn't really do much at all and would be a game-time decision.
Special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo started in place of Ellerbe and finished with two tackles one for a loss.
Ellerbe said he wasn't close to playing this week.
"Close doesn't matter," he said. "If I can go, I'm going to go. It's definitely getting better."
Injured middle linebacker Ray Lewis (right triceps) declined an interview request, only saying: "I'm getting better." ... Tight end Ed Dickson was scratched with a sprained and bruised right knee suffered in San Diego. Dennis Pitta started in his place and caught one pass for 19 yards. "We did all we can this week and it didn't feel right," Dickson said. "We did the right thing and rested it. If you saw the play I got hurt, I could have been done and needed surgery. I'm blessed it's not serious. I'm trying to get healthy. We've got a playoff run. I definitely hope to come back this week. In my mind, I'm playing. I'm going to prepare as such and see how it goes." ... The Ravens also deactivated defensive tackle Bryan Hall, cornerback Chris Johnson (strained hamstring), kick returner Deonte Thompson and offensive guard Ramon Harewood. ... The Steelers scratched quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder, ribs) and Byron Leftwich (ribs), running back Rashard Mendenhall, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, offensive tackle Mike Adams (ankle) and wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. ... Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor injured his right ankle in the first quarter defending a deep pass to Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith and didn't return. The Ravens went after his replacement, Cortez Allen, who was beaten by Anquan Boldin for a 28-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Allen also committed a 30-yard defensive pass interference penalty on that drive to set up the Ravens' lone touchdown of the game. ... Inside linebacker Josh Bynes had two tackles, including one for a loss. "It felt pretty good to get that tackle," Bynes said. "It's tough to come up short in the game."