While coach John Harbaugh called the availability of Jameel McClain a game-time decision, the Ravens inside linebacker said he plans to line up in his customary starting position next to fellow inside linebacker Ray Lewis.
“There’s no doubt in my mind,” McClain said after Friday’s practice. “I’m going out there. I’m here to play football. So that’s my goal.”
McClain (sprained left knee) and fellow inside linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (sprained right quadriceps) loom as the biggest injury concerns for Sunday’s AFC divisional contest against the Houston Texans.
McClain, who ranks second on the defense in tackles with 81, practiced fully Wednesday before being downgraded to limited participation Thursday and Friday. Ayanbadejo has been limited all three days. Both are listed as questionable.
“It’s going to come down to a game-day decision,” Harbaugh said, referring to both McClain and Ayanbadejo. “They both practiced to different degrees. We’ll just have to see how they are on Sunday right before the game. We are optimistic about both guys.”
Five players who practiced fully all three days are probable for Sunday. They are wide receiver Anquan Boldin (knee surgery), right guard Marshal Yanda (rib/thigh bruises),
inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (post-concussion symptoms), strong safety Tom Zbikowski (post-concussion symptoms) and rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith (post-concussion symptoms).
Said Harbaugh of Ellerbe, Zbikowski and Ellerbe: “The guys with the concussions will play.”
The Texans upgraded two starters in wide receiver Andre Johnson (knee) and cornerback Johnathan Joseph (hip) from limited to full participation Friday, and both are listed as probable.
Two starters in tight end Owen Daniels (right hand) and right guard Mike Brisiel (ankle) were limited for the third consecutive day, but are also probable against the Ravens.
Five starters who fully practiced for the third straight day – rookie quarterback T.J. Yates (left shoulder), rookie outside linebacker Brooks Reed (knee), nose tackle Shaun Cody (knee), center Chris Myers (knee) and right tackle Eric Winston (calf) – are probable for Sunday.