For Patriots, AFC Championship game is business as usual
Dannell Ellerbe, Vonta Leach and Bernard Pierce took limited snaps in practice Friday as all were declared questionable for Sunday’s AFC championship game at the New England Patriots.
Ellerbe, a linebacker who is key dropping into coverage, has dealt with an ankle injury since December and is also listed with having back soreness.
Pierce only had 5 carries in last week’s 38-35 win in a divisional playoff game at the Denver Broncos. He has a knee injury. Pierce led the Ravens in rushing in each of the previous three games.
In the locker room Friday afternoon, Pierce could be seen dancing and bouncing on each leg as he entertained teammates and didn't show any signs of pain. He said earlier in the week that he is certain to play vs. the Patriots.
“Don’t think there will be any surprises -- barring any surprises,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who listed 16 others as probable. “We should be in good shape injury-wise.”
Leach has been dealing with knee and ankle soreness for the last month of the season. He has yet to miss a game. He went down on the first series in the regular-season finale vs. the Cincinnati Bengals and was promptly pulled as a precaution. Leach hasn't missed a beat.
David Reed, a special-teamer, also was listed questionable with a thigh injury. He played 13 special-teams snaps in the opening playoff win vs. the Indianapolis Colts but was inactive vs. the Broncos.
The only Patriots player declared out is tight end Rob Gronkowski (broken forearm), which was expected. No other players are listed as questionable or doubtful.