Defense thins without Cody, McPhee

Defense thins without Cody, McPhee
November 18, 2012, 7:00 pm
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Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw (91) and Bryan Hall (95) celebrate after a sack during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium.

(Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE)

The Ravens’ banged up defensive front got thinner Sunday as tackle Terrence Cody and end Pernell McPhee were declared inactive for Sunday’s game at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On the offensive side, Jah Reid is set to get his first start after left guard Bobbie Williams was de-activated, too.

Cody’s and McPhee’s absences clear the way for rookie DeAngelo Tyson, who made his first start in last week’s 55-20 win vs. the Oakland Raiders, and Bryan Hall to continue to get more time.

Hall spent all of 2011 on the Ravens’ practice squad and, like Tyson, wasn’t active for the first six games of this season.

McPhee will miss his third game in a row because of a knee injury. He practiced for the first time in a week and went without a brace, but he was downgraded to doubtful Friday. Cody has an arm injury.

Reid, who had been slowed by a calf strain until recently, came in for Williams against the Raiders. Williams went down with an ankle injury and Reid played 50 offensive snaps.

Williams was acquired as a free agent from the Cincinnati Bengals. He broke his ankle almost a year ago and it required surgery. He has been slow to recover because of repeated setbacks.

Also among the Ravens’ inactives are guard Ramon Harewood, receiver/returner Deonte Thompson, and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Asa Jackson.

Cornerback Chris Johnson was acquired as a free agent this past week after it was determined that Smith needed surgery to repair a groin tear. Smith has been the starter after Lardarius Webb went down with a season-ending knee injury last month.

That Johnson will dress instead of Jackson, a rookie fifth-round draft pick who has yet to be active for a game, is telling. The Ravens don't think Jackson is ready.

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