The Ravens could be without one of their best defenders Sunday when they play one of the NFL's most dangerous offenses with their season hanging in the balance.
Starting defensive tackle Arthur Jones, who is tied for the team lead with five tackles for a loss, missed practice because of a concussion for the third straight day Friday, putting his status for Sunday’s game with the Cincinnati Bengals in jeopardy.
Jones, who suffered the injury during last week’s 41-7 loss to the New England Patriots, has to pass a baseline test as part of the NFL’s concussion protocol to be cleared to play Sunday. He had not done that as of Friday morning, but the Ravens listed him as questionable on the injury report.
Strong-side linebacker Elvis Dumervil (ankle), center Gino Gradkowski (knee), running back Ray Rice (thigh) and wide receiver Torrey Smith (thigh) were also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game in Cincinnati. Cornerback Asa Jackson (thigh) is doubtful. Linebacker Albert McClellan (neck) is probable.
In a contract year, Jones has started 13 games and has been one of the team’s best run defenders with 53 tackles, most among Ravens defensive linemen. He also has four sacks, which ranks fourth on the team.
Over the past four seasons, Jones, 27, has molded himself from a fifth-round draft pick and backup defensive lineman into an impact player who could receive a lucrative contract if the Ravens allow him to reach free agency this offseason.
“He busts his rear to be the best he can be every day,” coach John Harbaugh said. “When you accumulate that kind of work ethic, day after day after day for four years, you become something. What he’s become is a very, very good football player who’s playing really well. He’s made a career for himself. As a coach, that kind of player development is what makes you so proud.”
Should Jones be sidelined Sunday, backup nose tackle Terrence Cody and backup defensive end DeAngelo Tyson would receive more snaps and third-round draft pick Brandon Williams, a nose tackle, would likely be active for the first time since Week 11.
Tyson, in particular, has been impressive in limited playing time. He has nine tackles, two sacks and an interception in 12 games.
“You’ve got to have enough D-linemen. You’ve got stop the run, and this team runs the ball really well,” Harbaugh said. “DeAngelo has done a really good job. Terrence Cody has played very well. All those guys have really done a good job.”
Bengals rule out Newman and Still
The Bengals ruled out cornerback Terence Newman (knee) and defensive tackle Devon Still (back) for Sunday’s game. Tight end Tyler Eifert (neck) was listed as doubtful and tight end Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) and linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion) are questionable. Six Bengals, including right tackle Andre Smith (ankle) and linebacker James Harrison (concussion) are probable.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun