Playing time tilted toward Ravens backup linebacker Dannell Ellerbe

The Baltimore Sun

There was a somewhat unusual sight Monday night on the Ravens' sideline.

Starting inside linebacker Jameel McClain was standing on the edge of the field, watching backup Dannell Ellerbe take the majority of the workload opposite middle linebacker Ray Lewis during a 44-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Signed to a three-year, $10.5 million contract in March, McClain hadn't been benched and he wasn't hurt.

McClain was designated to play against obvious run formations with Ellerbe's extended playing time stemming from the Bengals' tendency to pass often.

Ellerbe played 49 snaps, including 20 runs, 28 coverage plays and one blitz, as McClain was limited to 31 snaps overall with 16 on running plays.

"We've got our own packages," Ellerbe said. "If it's more pass, then I'm in. If it had been more I-formation stuff, Jameel would have played more. It all depends on the formation."

Ellerbe tied for second with seven tackles while McClain had two tackles and one pass deflection.

The Ravens had issues stopping the run as Benjarvus Green-Ellis gained 91 yards and scored a touchdown.

"I think I did alright," Ellerbe said. "I know I didn't hurt us."


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