As the Ravens defense struggled to get to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr as quickly as he got the ball out, a man signed to supplement that pass rush — veteran outside linebacker Jason Babin — was inactive on the sidelines.
Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that there are many factors that will contribute to whether Babin debuts Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, but that they won't overreact to pass rush needs by leaving themselves short at other positions.
"If we can get him up — he's a good player — we'll try to do that," Harbaugh said. "It becomes a numbers deal in there, and for every guy that's up, someone else has got to come down. You've got to decide where you want to be strong, and where you want to be a little bit undermanned. That's really what it is on a 46-man roster. So that's what we'll have to determine this week. We like Jason. We'd like to have him up, and we'd like to get him up."
Babin, signed last week to fill the roster spot left open after star outside linebacker Terrell Suggs went on injured reserve with a torn Achilles, was brought in as pass rushing depth, but sat against the Raiders in favor rookie Za'Darius Smith.
The Ravens hit quarterback Derek Carr four times, and sacked him just once — a scramble out of bounds credited as a sack to cornerback Jimmy Smith.
Babin could complement a pass rush that was neutralized by Oakland's quick strike offense, though outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil believes the pass rush will improve. They'll be tested by a strong Cincinnati Bengals offensive line that, anchored by tackles Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith, hasn't allowed a sack all season.
"Sacks come in bunches," Dumervil said. "Once they start coming, they start rolling. But, the first thing we want to get done is we have to get this 'W.' That's more important right now."