The free safety missed all four practices this week because of a bruised right heel that forced him to sit out the team's game against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 24.
Dennis Pitta was limited for the second consecutive day after suffering a concussion Monday, but the rookie tight end was upgraded to probable after passing a post-practice test. Wide receiver Donte' Stallworth, who has participated fully for the past three days after recovering from a broken bone in his left foot, is probable.
For the Dolphins, starting strong safety Yeremiah Bell (toe) was limited for the third straight day and is questionable for Sunday. Backup running back Patrick Cobbs (hamstring) did not practice for the second consecutive day, but he is also questionable. Starting inside linebacker Channing Crowder (thumb) participated fully for the third straight day and is listed as probable.
More trash talk
A day after Crowder referred to Derrick Mason as "the old guy," the Ravens wide receiver struck back. When Crowder was talking Thursday about the Ravens offense, he couldn't remember Mason's name. After a reporter told him, Crowder said, "There you go. Mason. The old guy."
Responded Mason on Friday: "In the corporate world, I probably couldn't even be somebody's CEO because I'm too young. A lot of people around this league wish, at 36, that they could play at the level that I'm playing at. There's only one other guy that's playing at this level when he's 36, and that's [ Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver] Terrell Owens.
"There's a lot of other guys wishing they could play at this level, i.e. Crowder, at the age of 36. He's what, 20-something? He was still peeing on himself when I was playing football."
Return of the back
Running back Matt Lawrence will practice for the first time Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Lawrence has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list all season with a knee injury. When he begins practicing, the Ravens will have a 21-day window when they have to decide whether to activate him onto the 53-man roster (which would require cutting someone) or keep him on the PUP/Reserve list (which would end his season). "We'll just see how it looks," Harbaugh said.
Accounting for Marshall
Brandon Marshall has scored just once this season, but he ranks fourth in the NFL in receptions (47) and ninth in receiving yards (588). That's why the Ravens will pay special attention to Miami's 6-foot-4, 230-pound wide receiver .
But defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said the defense is wary about assigning two players to shadow him. "I don't think you have to double him because if you double him, they've got another guy by the name of [Davone] Bess who's pretty darn good," Mattison said. "I don't think you go into that ball game and say, 'We're going to double him on every play.' But I know we do have to be proactive toward their top receivers during passing situations."
Marshall caught just four passes for 24 yards in his only meeting with the Ravens, a 30-7 loss when he was a member of the Denver Broncos on Nov. 1, 2009.
With losses to the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami could use a win against a top AFC team, which is why Marshall believes Sunday's contest will be a measuring stick for the Dolphins. "It's not going to be a pretty game," Marshall told South Florida reporters. "Both football teams are tough, physical and I think this is going to be a defining moment on what type of team we're going to be for the rest of this season." … Running back Willis McGahee said it was not necessary for the Ravens to mend fences with him regarding the brouhaha over him not being used in the Oct. 17 loss to the New England Patriots by naming him a team captain the following week. After the running back did not play for the first time since Nov. 30, 2008 and was the subject of trade rumors prior to the NFL's trade deadline, McGahee was made one of three captains for the team's contest against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 24. The day after the game against the Bills, Harbaugh said the organization wanted to send "a little bit of a statement that way" about McGahee's status with the Ravens. Still, McGahee said, "I didn't have any bad feelings. I understand the business. It is what it is. Can't control everything. It's just that when I get the opportunity, I have to take advantage of it." … Right tackle Marshal Yanda said he was honored to be included by Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King in that publication's Midseason All-Pro Team, but Yanda downplayed the significance of the achievement. "It's kind of neat to get recognized a little bit, but we've still got nine games and the playoffs left, so it's no time to be crowning anybody just yet," said Yanda, who made the move from right guard after a thoracic disk injury sidelined Jared Gaither for the entire 2010 season. "I can be doing a little better, too. You've just got to keep your head down and keep playing."