Willie Henry was limited in all three Ravens practices this week and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game at the Cleveland Browns, but the 6-foot-3, 291-pound defensive tackle is eager to make his season debut after recovering from hernia surgery.
“I felt like it went very well,” he said of his week. “It was very exciting definitely to be back out there with those guys, putting those pads on and getting that contact that I’ve been missing for the last couple weeks. It just felt good doing the things I love to do.”
Henry’s enthusiasm was not matched entirely by coach John Harbaugh, who seemed more reserved about Henry’s availability for Sunday.
“He looked good,” Harbaugh said. “Willie hasn’t done quite as much because of the nature of his injury. So we’ll just have to see about that. We’ll see how he responds to practice today and things like that. Really, the other part of that is going to be the roster and where we’re at with the 46[-man game day roster] and 53-[man active roster] numbers and the injuries and things like that. That will all kind of play into that decision. He probably could go, I think. Whether he will or not, we’ll probably know within 24 hours.”
Henry practiced this week for the first time since Aug. 23, which was his last participation in training camp before undergoing umbilical hernia surgery. The organization’s fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Henry compiled 32 tackles and 3½ sacks in 14 games last season, including three starts.
Asked if there was a scenario that would prevent him from playing Sunday, Henry quipped, “Me not being there is the only reason for me not to play. Hopefully, I’ll be suited up and ready to go Sunday. I’ll be excited.”
Collins not a concern
Running back Alex Collins practiced fully Friday and was removed from the team’s final injury report of the week. A knee ailment had sidelined Collins from Thursday’s session, but Harbaugh sounded as if he is not worried about him.
“He was full-go today,” Harbaugh said. “So he looked good.”
Rookie inside linebacker Chris Board, who was limited all week by a concussion, was also removed from the injury report.
In addition to Henry, six other Ravens players were designated as questionable. That group consists of cornerback Brandon Carr (knee), rookie tight end Hayden Hurst (stress fracture in foot), defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. (hamstring), left guard Alex Lewis (shoulder), nose tackle Michael Pierce (foot) and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (hamstring).
Pierce sat out Friday’s session, while Hurst, Lewis and Smith were limited. Carr and Levine practiced fully.
The team ruled out outside linebacker Tim Williams (hamstring) and rookie cornerback Anthony Averett (hamstring). Neither player practiced this week.
M.Williams plugging along
Maxx Williams’ five-catch, 51-yard outing in Sunday night’s 26-14 win at the Pittsburgh Steelers — which included a 22-yard gain on a little deception in which he lined up behind left guard Alex Lewis — was the tight end’s most productive effort since a six-catch, 53-yard showing on Jan. 3, 2016.
Williams, the organization’s second-round pick in 2015, leads the team’s tight ends in receptions (12) and is tied with rookie Mark Andrews for the position lead in yards (119). But he dismissed the notion that he has been validated by the numbers.
“That’s just something for the media to talk about, saying that I’m not doing what I was drafted for,” he said. “I’m just here to play football. Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to do my best at whatever I’m asked to do. If I’m getting the ball, I’m going to do my best to make a play. If it’s blocking, I’ll block. I’m here to win games, and I’m here to help this team. That’s all I know.”
Cleveland’s starting wide receiver tandem of Jarvis Landry (knee) and rookie Antonio Callaway (knee) were upgraded from limited to full participation Friday and were removed from the team’s injury report. Two other starters in defensive tackle Trevon Coley (wrist) and defensive end Myles Garrett (wrist) are also no longer injury concerns after they practiced fully for the third straight day. Starting safety Damarious Randall (heel) was limited for the second consecutive day and is listed as questionable. He was joined by starting linebacker Christian Kirksey, who did not practice Friday because of an illness. … Harbaugh downplayed whether free safety Eric Weddle will continue to wear the headset that helps him communicate with defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale or if middle linebacker C.J. Mosley will reclaim that honor. “It’s not as big a deal as I think people are making it out to be,” he said. “To me, it’s like, we’ll just do it the way we think is best. I don’t know if we decided which way we’re going to go this week or not, but we probably have. So it’s not a big deal.” … With the Ravens mired in the middle of a three-game stretch on the road, Harbaugh said the team has not done anything differently during practice. “The nice thing about this part of the year is, it’s routine,” he said. “The great thing about football, maybe opposed to some of the other sports, is we have a good week-to-week routine when you play Sunday to Sunday, so we maintain that routine. We have a way of doing it that we try to stick to that, we think, is well thought-out, and we’ll just stick with that.”