Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore scored both of his touchdowns as a rookie last season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But when the winless Ravens face the Steelers Thursday night at Heinz Field, Gillmore will be on the sideline and quarterback Joe Flacco will be without one of his favorite targets.
Gillmore, who suffered a calf injury in last Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, was declared out on the final injury report ahead of Thursday night’s game. Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe (concussion), defensive end Chris Canty (calf) and rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) were also ruled out.
Monroe returned to practice on a limited basis this week, but he’s not yet ready to play. James Hurst will start his third consecutive game at left tackle. Canty will miss his second straight game since getting hurt during the Ravens’ loss to the Oakland Raiders. Lawrence Guy is expected to get another start at defensive end.
Gillmore is third on the team in receptions (10), second in receiving yards (151) and tied for first in touchdowns (two). With him out, rookies Maxx Williams (five catches for 67 yards) and Nick Boyle (two catches for 19 yards) will take on bigger roles, as they did in the second half against the Bengals.
“These two guys are not two guys that it’s too big for,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday. “Both of these guys, they love being out there, and they just want to make plays. They’re tough, competitive. They’re physical. They kind of remind me of Crockett a year ago. He had the same mentality a year ago. Like I’ve said before, I really like our young tight ends. They did a good job.”
Both Williams and Boyle said Tuesday that they are prepared and ready to take on more prominent roles.
“Obviously, Maxx and I being young, we’re still going to have our mistakes, being rookies, but when we do get plugged into the game, we’re going to give it our all and use what we’ve learned from Crock and Dennis [Pitta],” Boyle said.
For the Steelers, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (knee), tight end Matt Spaeth (hand), linebacker Ryan Shazier (shoulder) and defensive tackle Daniel McCullers (knee) were declared out. Cornerback Cortez Allen (knee) is questionable and center Cody Wallace (illness) and linebacker James Harrison (thumb) are probable.