Jimmy Smith, 2 Rookies Headline Ravens Inactives vs. Raiders

Ravens Jimmy Smith

Getty Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith greets fans at a July stadium practice in Baltimore.

The Baltimore Ravens have announced their inactives for tonight’s regular season opener against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith will sit out after suffering a low ankle sprain early in August, despite his recent return to practice, as will undrafted rookie safety Ar’Darius Washington, a healthy scratch for tonight’s game.

The absences of Smith and Washington will likely mean increased workloads for both Chris Westry and Brandon Stephens, both of whom will make their Raven debuts.

With cornerback Marcus Peters also out due to a torn ACL, the Ravens elevated defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. for tonight’s game to provide depth in the secondary.

Derek Wolfe, who has missed practiced since suffering an injury during joint practices with the Carolina Panthers, was ruled out, so the Ravens elevated defensive tackle Justin Ellis from the practice squad to fortify the defensive line.


Rookies Hayes and Cleveland Sidelined

Rookie outside linebacker Daelin Hayes suffered a minor knee injury in practice last week and was listed as questionable heading into tonight’s game. He warmed up in front of team officials today, per The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec, but the Ravens opted to sideline the rookie and rely on their considerable depth at OLB.

Hayes’ absence is sorely disappointing after an exciting preseason from the Notre Dame product. He showcased his flexibility and bend throughout the preseason, consistently pressuring opposing quarterbacks while setting the edge against the run.

Offensive guard Ben Cleveland is a healthy scratch as well, though he did miss part of the preseason with a concussion.

The rookie out of Georgia was expected to win the starting left guard spot after he was drafted in the third round in May, but his absence in the preseason means he’ll have to wait before making his regular season debut.

Tyre Phillips won the starting left guard job over Cleveland and Ben Powers, per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, who reported that Phillips was lining up at LG during pregame warmups in Las Vegas.

If Phillips performs well, Ravens fans will likely have to wait to see the hulking Cleveland start, but a poor showing from the Mississippi State product could give Powers or Cleveland a shot to see the field next week against the Kansas City Chiefs.


Incognito, Ferrell Among Raiders’ Inactives

The Raiders announced their inactives as well, with offensive guard Richie Incognito and defensive end Clelin Ferrell sidelined for tonight’s game.

Incognito’s absence will leave the Raiders with just 65 combined starts on their offensive line against an experienced and versatile Ravens defensive line.

Ferrell is a healthy scratch despite being drafted with the fourth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He failed to live up to his first-round billing in his first two seasons, having been supplanted by fellow 2019 pick, Maxx Crosby.

Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue will play his first game against his former team tonight after leaving the Ravens in free agency at the end of last season. He played nine games for Baltimore last season, starting three, but only recorded 3.0 sacks and 11 tackles.

 


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