After practice Pittsburgh issued its third injury/participation report of the week and a trio of defenders have already been ruled out for Sunday’s game, namely defensive lineman Chris Wormley (knee), safety Jordan Dangerfield (quad) and linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III (back).
Gilbert’s back issue is arguably the most notable of the three injuries, not only because the second-year linebacker has been part of the solution in terms of replacing Devin Bush, but also because Gilbert has a history of back problems. In fact, he missed half of his rookie year with a fractured vertebra in his lower back.
Mike Hilton and Derek Watt
Meanwhile, slot cornerback Mike Hilton (shoulder) and fullback (Derek Watt) have been characterized as “questionable” for Sunday’s game, both having been limited participants in Friday’s practice.
Baltimore Ravens Injury Update
As for Sunday’s opponent, the Ravens have listed running back Mark Ingram II (ankle) as “doubtful” for Sunday, while cornerback Jimmy Smith (Achilles) and DB/LB Anthony Levine (abdomen) are both questionable.
Assuming Ingram doesn’t play, that means Gus Edwards and rookie J.K. Dobbins will be leading the way in terms of Baltimore’s running backs. Those are still capable hands, though, as Edwards has averaged 4.5 yards per carry this season and Dobbins 6.2 yards per carry.
If Smith can’t go on Sunday, the Ravens still have a pair of top tier cornerbacks in Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, but Baltimore has limited depth behind that duo and might even activate a practice squad cornerback for the Steelers game, either Terrell Bonds or Nate Hairston.
Tomlin v. Harbaugh
When the Steelers play the Ravens on Sunday it will mark the 25th regular season meeting between Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, this according to Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. That will make them the first coaches in the Super Bowl era to face each other that many times, with the existing record shared between Tomlin and former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, as well as Sid Gillman and Hank Stram.
Harbaugh has a 13-11 edge over Tomlin in regular season games, but Tomlin is 2-1 in the postseason games involving the two coaches. Two-thirds of the games have been decided by four points or less and four contests have been decided in overtime.
Only two other NFL head coaches have tenures as long as Tomlin and Harbaugh, namely Bill Belichick (Patriots) and Sean Payton (Saints).
Reunion with LB L.J. Fort
Last but not least, Sunday’s game will be an opportunity for the Steelers to renew acquaintances with old friend L.J. Fort, who was a member of the Steelers between 2015 and 2018. During his time in Pittsburgh Fort played in 44 games (2 starts), responsible for 50 solo tackles, with five tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits, two sacks and one fumble recovery.
Fort has 20 solo tackles for the Ravens this season, plus one forced fumble and two recovered fumbles.
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