Ravens coach John Harbaugh chats with his brother 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh before the teams played their preseason opener on Thursday. (Rob Carr, Getty Images /August 7, 2014)
For the second week in a row, starting left guard Ben Grubbs will be a game-time decision due to strained ligaments in his toe.
“It’s still sore,” he said after Friday’s practice. “It’s still a day-to-day thing. Every morning, I hope I wake up feeling a little bit better, but I guess because of the size of the joint, it takes forever for the swelling to go out. Right now, I think that’s what’s causing most of my pain, just the inflammation.”
Grubbs missed his third consecutive practice this week, repeating a pattern established last week. Failing to practice at least once would seem to suggest that Grubbs will not be available for Sunday’s road game against the St. Louis Rams, but coach John Harbaugh said Grubbs underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam Thursday with no negative results.
“We had an MRI yesterday and everything looked good in there,” Harbaugh said Friday. “So we just kind of wanted to make sure everything was OK. Those toes are tough, but there’s a chance he’ll play.”
If Grubbs can’t play, Mark LeVoir – who started at left guard in Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans – or Andre Gurode – a five-time Pro Bowl center who is listed as the top back up at both guard spots and center – will start in Grubbs’ place.
But Grubbs wouldn’t rule himself out for the sake of resting the toe.
“I can’t speak on that right now because today I might not feel that, but tomorrow, I may,” he said. “Sunday, I may feel like playing. So it just depends on how I feel at that time.”
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