Pitta could return, but 2 key defenders in doubt

Pitta could return, but 2 key defenders in doubt
November 23, 2012, 6:15 pm
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(Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE)

The Ravens are likely to be without two key defensive players when they go into Sunday’s game with the San Diego Chargers.

Cornerback Chris Johnson played his first game with the Ravens last week after being signed as a free agent. Johnson forced a fumble by Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace to set the tone in a 13-10 win in a defensive struggle.

Johnson left that game in the second quarter with a hamstring strain, playing only six snaps and never returning. He was listed as doubtful by the Ravens on Friday. He was signed because the Ravens already had lost Jimmy Smith because of groin surgery.

Defensive end Pernell McPhee could miss his fourth consecutive game with a knee injury. McPhee is listed as questionable by the team.

He has just one-half sack this season after posting six sacks one year ago.

Coach John Harbaugh has 13 players listed as probable, including tight end Dennis Pitta who left the Steelers game early with a concussion and didn’t return.

"He’s done baseline (testing)," Harbaugh said of Pitta fulfilling the league's mandated concussion protocols. "He’s cleared."

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody (elbow) is among the probables. Cody was a late scratch last week because he had trouble straightening his arm.

Receiver/returner Jacoby Jones (ankle) was held out of practice earlier in the week but he’ll likely be on the field.

The other probables: linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (shoulder), tight end Ed Dickson (neck), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (toe/thumbs), safety James Ihedigbo (neck), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder), safety Bernard Pollard (chest), safety Ed Reed (shoulder), linebacker Courtney Upshaw (shoulder) and guard Marshal Yanda (ankle).

The Chargers declared left tackle Jared Gaither (groin) out as the former Raven was placed on injured reserve. Receiver Eddie Royal (hamstring) also will not play and starting left guard Tyronne Green (hamstring) is doubtful.