Ravens' Willie Henry set to return to practice; Hayden Hurst has 'good chance' to play

Ravens defensive tackle Willie Henry, who has missed the first month of the regular season while recovering from an abdomen injury, is expected to return to practice this week, coach John Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference Monday.

Harbaugh said after the Ravens' penultimate preseason game in late August that Henry had surgery on an umbilical hernia and would be out for "a few weeks." The hernia, he said then, was not football-related and might have been pre-existing.

“We'll see how we does,” Harbaugh said Monday.

The 2016 fourth-round draft pick had 33 tackles and 3½ sacks in 14 games last season, starting three. Even in his absence, the Ravens have posted the NFL’s fifth-best rush defense (82.5 yards allowed per game) this season, led by defensive tackle Brandon Williams and nose tackle Michael Pierce.

Rookie tight end Hayden Hurst, who returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering a stress fracture in his foot in late August, was a limited participant throughout the week. He was listed as questionable entering Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, raising hopes that the team’s top overall draft pick might make his NFL debut in prime time.

But he sat out the Ravens’ 26-14 win at Heinz Field, a breakthrough victory in which tight ends Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle and Mark Andrews combined for 10 catches and 99 receiving yards.

“I don't think the docs and trainers were comfortable with just the one week back,” Harbaugh said Monday. “I'd have probably been more comfortable than they were. But it was smart, so we'll just have to see how he does this week. Obviously, [he] has a good chance to play, but you've got to get through full practices and get ready to go.”

jshaffer@baltsun.com

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