The Ravens got good news on the health of outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, but they are preparing to be without running back Danny Woodhead for a while.
“Danny looks like it’s going to be a while,” Harbaugh said before Wednesday’s practice. “It’s a little unpredictable, but it’s going to be multiple weeks for Danny. We’ll just have to see how [general manager Ozzie Newsome] wants to handle it in terms of the roster and things like that. It’s going to take Danny at least four weeks probably to get back and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Woodhead is a candidate to go on injured reserve and be one of two players who is designated to return. However, that would mean he wouldn’t be eligible to play until Nov. 19 against the Green Bay Packers.
The Ravens currently have just two healthy running backs on their roster — Terrance West (Northwestern High, Towson University) and Buck Allen.
Harbaugh said the team will evaluate practice squad running backs Alex Collins and Jeremy Langford this week and could bring one of them onto the active roster by Saturday. The Ravens have their home opener Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
Harbaugh acknowledged it’s unlikely that Smith, the team’s versatile outside linebacker, will play Sunday because of a leg injury. However, he could return the following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That rates as good news with the amount of pain Smith was in on the ground.
“Za’Darius didn’t turn out to be that serious,” Harbaugh said. “Man, it was a painful one. On the field, I wanted to give him a leather strap and a shot of whiskey to get him off the field.
“He came through it OK. I don’t know if he’ll be up for this week, but he’ll have a chance next week.”
If Smith is down Sunday, that could lead to rookie third-round draft pick Tim Williams making his regular-season debut.
End zone: Cleveland practiced without a pair of starting offensive linemen in left tackle Joe Thomas (knee) and right guard Kevin Zeitler (right thumb). Rookie defensive end Myles Garrett, the first overall pick in April’s NFL draft, was as held out and is expected to miss Sunday’s game because of a high right ankle sprain. Starting defensive tackle Danny Shelton was limited by a knee ailment. A pair of offensive starters in wide receiver Kenny Britt (knee) and tight end Randall Telfer (knee) participated fully. … Former tight end Dennis Pitta made his debut Sunday on WBAL Radio’s broadcast team with Gerry Sandusky and Stan White, but if Pitta is hoping for some positive feedback from quarterback and close friend Joe Flacco, he should not hold his breath. “I’m not going to go back and listen to the radio copy — I don’t care that much,” Flacco quipped, adding that he would not let Pitta sit next to him on the fight to and from Cincinnati because Flacco needed the space. “I’ll just kind of take everyone’s word for it — his word, Stan’s word, Gerry. Dennis, I think he definitely thought it was pretty cool.”