Guarded optimism if Yanda can’t play

Yanda Close up

The Ravens’ injury bug, which has decimated the defense for most of the season, has reached across the line of scrimmage now, hitting right guard Marshal Yanda. He sustained an ankle injury against the Redskins last week and is not expected to play on Sunday against Denver.

That could be a major factor against a Broncos defense that ranks fourth in the league in total defense and is tied for second in sacks (39).

The Ravens have been hit by a rash of injuries this year — beginning in the spring with Terrell Suggs’s Achilles injury — but most of the injuries affecting the starting lineup have been on defense. Suggs, linebacker Ray Lewis, cornerback Lardarius Webb, defensive end Pernell McPhee and cornerback Jimmy Smith have all missed extensive time.

Tight end Ed Dickson has missed the past two games and is doubtful for Sunday, but the offense has stayed relatively healthy this season.

The absence of Yanda, who went to the Pro Bowl last season, would be a major loss to the Ravens offensive line. Yanda was in a walking boot and did not practice all week. He is listed as questionable for Sunday.

When asked on Friday about injuries, coach John Harbaugh was typically coy.

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