Rookie running back Bernard Pierce participated on a limited basis in the Ravens' first practice of the week leading up to Sunday’s AFC championship game against the New England Patriots.
Pierce, who was not present during the portion of practice open to media, re-aggravated a nagging right knee injury in the third quarter of the team’s 38-35 double overtime win against the Denver Broncos last Saturday. Pierce, however, pledged before practice to be available for Sunday.
The Ravens’ injury report also did not include inside linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who was also absent during the open session.
Ayanbadejo, the team’s leading tackler on special teams in the regular season, caused some controversy when he derided the Patriots’ no-huddle offense as a “gimmick” during that team’s victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday. Ayanbadejo apologized for his comments on Twitter.
Running back Anthony Allen, wide receiver David Reed and rookie center Gino Gradkowski were limited. Allen and Gradkowski wore red, non-contact meshes over their jerseys, indicating that they are dealing with concussion-like symptoms. Reed is dealing with a thigh injury.
Rookie cornerback Asa Jackson (thigh) was the only player who did not practice Wednesday.
Sixteen players fully participated. They were inside linebackers Ray Lewis (torn right triceps) and Dannell Ellerbe (ankle/back), outside linebackers Terrell Suggs (torn right biceps/right Achilles tendon) and Albert McClellan (shoulder), defensive tackles Haloti Ngata (knee) and Terrence Cody (ankle), wide receivers Anquan Boldin (shoulder) and Torrey Smith (back), defensive ends Pernell McPhee (thigh) and Arthur Jones (thigh/knee), cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (sports hernia) and Chykie Brown (shoulder), free safety Ed Reed (shoulder), right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder), fullback Vonta Leach (knee/ankle) and strong safety Bernard Pollard (ribs).
New England practiced without rookie starting cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who sat out for non-injury reasons. Starting tight end Rob Gronkowski, who re-aggravated his broken right forearm, also did not practice and is expected to miss the rest of the playoffs.
A pair of starters in rookie defensive end Chandler Jones (ankle) and running back Danny Woodhead (thumb) participated on a limited basis.