Starting inside linebacker Josh Bynes will not play Sunday against the Steelers, due to an infected finger that required surgery Thursday night.
Rookie linebacker Arthur Brown is expected to start in Bynes’ place. It was also possible that inside linebacker Jameel McClain would be activated for the first time this season, after being out since December with a spinal cord contusion.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that Bynes would not face any long-term issues, but that Thursday’s surgery made him unable to play Sunday.
“He was on antibiotics for two or three days,” Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “They felt like he’d be fine. They felt like he would play in the game. We thought we’d have him back to practice Wednesday, then Thursday. Last night, the infection kind of beat the antibiotics, so he had to get surgery on that finger to get it cleaned out. It’s not major, he’s not in any kind of trouble or anything like that. He’s doing fine. But that will preclude him from being able to play in this game.”
Asked whether McClain would be activated Sunday, Harbaugh said, “Why don’t we just wait and see on that.”
McClain practiced all week, but as of Friday he remained on the physically unable to perform list. However, McClain was listed as “probable” on Friday’s injury report. If McClain is not activated within the next three weeks, he must remain on the PUP list the remainder of the season.
Brown was the Ravens’ second-round pick from Kansas St, and he has seen regular playing time in passing situations. He looked forward to seeing more action Sunday.
“I’m confident,” Brown said. “You got to take advantage of these opportunities. I’m definitely going to do that.”
It would be an interesting test for Brown, getting his first taste of the Steelers-Ravens rivalry.
“I‘ve heard a lot about it, didn’t really grow up watching it,” Brown said. “Just from the guys, hearing it from them, I know it’s going to be a great experience. Looking forward to it.”
In other injury news, Harbaugh said wide receiver Brandon Stokley (thigh) was unlikely to play Sunday.
“Brandon came out on Wednesday and got through the practice 100 percent,” Harbaugh said. “Came out on Thursday, and didn’t feel as good. We’re continuing to rest him to try and get that right. I don’t foresee him playing in the game at this point unless something changes.”
Both Stokley and center Ryan Jenson (foot) have been listed as doubtful. Listed as questionable were defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (elbow), cornerbacks Lardarius Webb (thigh) and Chykie Brown (thigh), and linebackers Albert McClellan (shoulder) and Courtney Upshaw. Defensive end Chris Canty (thigh) and defensive tackle Marcus Spears (knee) were listed as probable after practicing Friday.
For the Steelers, linebacker Jarvis Jones (concussion) was listed as questionable, while tight end Heath Miller, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, defensive end Brett Keisel, and tackle Marcus Gilbert were all probable.