With Elvis Dumervil and Za'Darius Smith both dealing with injuries and rush linebacker Terrell Suggs still working his way into game condition, the Ravens might have to lean heavily on two rookie pass rushers in Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.
Rookie fifth-round draft pick Matthew Judon played 13 snaps in Sunday's victory over the Buffalo Bills. Second-round selection Kamalei Correa played extensively on special teams in his first NFL regular-season game, but he didn't get any defensive snaps. Both players, along with veteran Chris Carter, could be in line for bigger roles with Dumervil (foot) ruled out and Smith listed as questionable for Sunday's game.
Smith, the second-year pro out of Kentucky, played 36 defensive snaps last week, more than any other Ravens outside linebacker. He didn't practice all week because of an ankle injury, and Ravens who don't practice during the week traditionally don't play on Sundays.
"They've both done a tremendous job and have demonstrated that they can play in this league," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday when asked about Judon and Correa. "That's an ongoing process, and whatever opportunities they get, we'll be expecting them to make the most of it. We're going out there as a team to go win the football games."
The team's injury problems at outside linebacker come a time when Suggs is not yet ready to resume playing an every-down role — he played in only 63 percent of the defensive snaps last week — and the team has prioritized getting pressure from off the edge against veteran Browns quarterback Josh McCown, who performed well against the Ravens last season.
Judon, one of the team's preseason standouts, had a relatively quiet debut against the Bills with one tackle and one quarterback hit. Correa had a strong start to training camp, but he didn't make a significant impact in preseason games and has acknowledged that he's still learning the defense.
"I wouldn't say the defense has gotten easier, but it is slowed down for me in knowing scheme-wise," he said Friday. "Now, I'm kind of looking toward what is the offense going to show us in this scheme and what am I expecting from them. In that sense, it is kind of slowing down. Now, I just need to pick up what the offense is kind of throwing at us, so I can play a little faster than I am."
Five Ravens questionable
Smith is one of five Ravens who are questionable for Sunday's game. The other four are wide receiver Breshad Perriman (calf), offensive lineman John Urschel (shoulder), linebacker C.J. Mosley (thigh) and cornerback Jerraud Powers (ankle).
Perriman, Urschel, Mosley and Powers all practiced in full the past two days, and are expected to play barring a setback. Perriman said Thursday he'll be ready to play and Harbaugh pronounced Urschel ready to go earlier in the week.
Barnidge a threat
Browns tight end Gary Barnidge was shut out in Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Ravens know the type of impact the veteran can have on a game.
Barnidge torched the Ravens defense last season. In their first meeting, he caught eight passes for 139 yards and one touchdown in the team's 33-30 win at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Oct. 11. In the second meeting, Barnidge grabbed seven balls for 91 yards in a 33-27 victory for the Ravens on Nov. 30.
"He's a real good player," weak-side linebacker Zachary Orr said. "Obviously, we witnessed it twice last year, how dangerous he is. He killed us in both games. He's definitely somebody we have to get control of early, and you know they're going to go to him. He had his best game probably when McCown was playing. So we know he's going to be looking for him, and we've got to find a way to contain him."
Barnidge (6 feet 5, 240 pounds) posted the highest and second-highest receiving yard totals by a tight end against the Ravens last year. It was part of a breakout season for the eight-year veteran, who caught 79 balls for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl.
Asked Friday about his team not having a winning road record since 2010, Harbaugh said, "Obviously, I'm a terrible road coach. I have to change that. There's only way to change it. That's the insinuation of your question, so I'm cool with it. The proof is in the pudding." … Forsett was named the NFL Players Association's Week 1 Community MVP for his efforts in helping the Baton Rouge community in the aftermath of the flooding that ravaged the area last month.