Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith made it through practice this week with no setbacks, putting him in line to return Sunday against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium.
Smith, who missed the previous two games with a back injury, was listed as questionable on the final injury report, but he was a full participant in practice all week. Ravens coach John Harbaugh was optimistic that his team's best corner will be ready to play Sunday.
"Well, he looks good," Harbaugh said after the team's walk-through practice Friday. "We weren't sure during the week if he was going to be able to go, and he's responded well and he looks good."
With Smith out the past two weeks, the Ravens have been vulnerable in pass coverage. Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott took advantage of a Smith-less secondary to throw for 301 yards and three touchdowns against the Ravens on Nov.20. A week later, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 283 yards and one touchdown pass.
Smith's return will likely move Shareece Wright to the third or fourth cornerback role with rookie Tavon Young remaining the starter opposite Smith.
"It'll mean a lot," Harbaugh said. "It'll help our defense. We'll be pretty much full strength, which is a big plus for us."
With Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh) ruled out and Buck Allen (non-football injury) considered doubtful to play Sunday, the Ravens will likely be down to just three running backs: Terrance West (Northwestern High, Towson University), rookie Kenneth Dixon and fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
"We won't address it," Harbaugh said. "Either Buck will be up, or we'll just play with the other guys we have."
Harbaugh said only that Allen is dealing with a "personal issue" that had come up. The second-year running back practiced Wednesday, but was sidelined the past two days.
"That's about the most I want to say about it right now," Harbaugh said. "He may not be able to play in the game. We're just going to have to see about that and where he's at with it. We'll know more later."
The Ravens also declared guard Alex Lewis (ankle) out and listed wide receiver Kamar Aiken (thigh) as questionable. For the Dolphins, center Mike Pouncey (hip) is out, but two other starting offensive linemen, tackle Brandon Albert (wrist) and guard Laremy Tunsil (shoulder), are questionable and expected to play.
Cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) is doubtful, while running back Kenyan Drake (knee/hand), wide receiver DeVante Parker (back), guard Jermon Bushrod (calf), linebackers Kiko Alonso (hamstring) and Jelani Jenkins (knee/hand), and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (back) are questionable.