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Steve Smith Sr. not officially ruled out against Cleveland Browns

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. walks off the field after a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. walks off the field after a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

Ravens coach John Harbaugh clarified that he didn't officially rule wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. out for the Ravens game against the Cleveland Browns this weekend despite Smith suffering microfractures in his back after a hit Thursday in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In a sideline interview while supporting his brother, Jim Harbaugh, and his Michigan team against the Maryland on Saturday, Harbaugh told CSN Mid-Atlantic that "they've ruled him out for the Cleveland game."

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Harbaugh said Monday "nothing's really changed since then.

"He's week-to-week," Harbaugh said. "There's no official ruling. I saw a place that said I officially ruled him out. I don't think I'm able to do that, to be honest with you. That has to be on the injury report. But he had a tough injury. Steve's a tough guy, so he'll be back as soon as he can."

When asked a follow-up question about that prognosis he gave Saturday, Harbaugh clarified:

"The injury report rules people out," he said. "That's how it works. There's a process to that. We'll just follow the process on that. I've got my own thoughts on it, as I stated, but I'm just telling you there's a process to it, as far as the official process."

Smith leads the Ravens with 29 catches, 373 yards, and two touchdowns through four games this season. He's been the focal point of the Ravens' passing offense, and it's unclear when he'll be back.

"It's just recovery, and it's just pain tolerance," Harbaugh said. "When he's feeling like he can do that and proves to us that he can do that at a high level, then we'll put him out there. We're never going to put him out there if he's not able to really function and protect himself and play hard and fast and all those kinds of things.

"Knowing Steve, he'll want to be out there. You mentioned pain tolerance? He's probably got one of the all-time high pain tolerances that you're ever going to see. He's [in] the Hall of Fame of pain tolerance. That's what our doctors told me, so that's quite a compliment."

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