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Ravens' Danny Woodhead Returning To Practice, But Status Uncertain For Packers Game

November 13, 2017
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said running back Danny Woodhead would practice this week as the team returns from its bye, but he was not ready to say Woodhead would be activated for the Nov. 19 game at the Green Bay Packers.

"We'll just have to see how he comes along during the week with practice and things like that, see what happens," Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference Nov. 13. "It's kind of hard to predict."

Woodhead was placed on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury on the opening drive of the season opener. He had three catches for 33 yards on that opening drive, indicating his role in the Ravens' offense this year was likely to be significant.

But Woodhead, 32, has missed 35 games during the past four years, and his health was a concern when the Ravens signed him this offseason to a three-year, $8.8 million deal. When Woodhead does return he will join a running backs group that has changed quite a bit since Week 1. Terrance West, the Week 1 starter, has also been injured, and Alex Collins -- who wasn't even on the 53-man roster in Week 1 -- has emerged as the No. 1 back.

Coming off the bye week, West is also expected to practice after missing the past four games with a calf injury, and the Ravens could suddenly be looking at a glut at running back with Collins, West, Woodhead and Buck Allen.

Woodhead's forte is in the passing game, and that could complicate Allen's role. Allen leads the Ravens in receptions with 32, but for just 145 yards. Allen's 4.5-yard average speaks to the Ravens’ sputtering passing attack this season, which ranks last in the league overall, with 165.7 passing yards per game, and in passing yards per play (4.56).

The Ravens don't need to make a decision on Woodhead this week, but they will by next week. Twenty-one days after a player on IR returns to practice, he must either be added to the 53-man roster or stay on injured reserve for the entire season. Woodhead officially returned to practice Oct. 31.

The Ravens come out of the bye week with a 4-5 record but remain in the thick of the AFC wild-card chase.

NOTEBOOK:

RAVENS GETTING HEALTHY AFTER BYE: Harbaugh noted that recuperating through the bye week should leave the Ravens significantly healthier on offense than they have been in quite some time. The Ravens have been without either a starting wide receiver or tight end for the past four games. Jeremy Maclin missed two games with a shoulder injury, Mike Wallace missed one with a concussion, and tight end Nick Boyle missed the Week 9 game against the Tennessee Titans with a toe injury. In addition, receivers Breshad Perriman and Michael Campanaro and running backs West and Woodhead all have missed games with injuries. "I'm excited for the fact that we have our offensive weapons back. ... We need guys on the field. We need our guys out there making plays," Harbaugh said.

RAVENS SIGN TACKLE DONNAL, CUT RAINEY: The Ravens have claimed offensive tackle Andrew Donnal off waivers and cut running back Bobby Rainey. Donnal (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) was released by the Los Angeles Rams Nov. 11. He was a fourth-round draft pick in the 2015 draft out of Iowa who played 21 games, including six starts, from 2015-2016 with the Rams. He did not play in any games this season.

Rainey played in four games for the Ravens this season after being signed Oct. 10. He leads the Ravens in kick returns with 11 for 338 yards, including a 96-yard touchdown against the Chicago Bears. On offense, Rainey had one rush for 2 yards and five catches for 18 yards.

HARBAUGH: LAMBEAU IS 'PRETTY NEAT PLACE TO PLAY': The Nov. 19 game will mark just the second time Harbaugh has led the Ravens into Green Bay's historic Lambeau Field. The Packers won, 27-14, in 2009 and lead the overall series, 4-1, with three of the meetings coming before Harbaugh became the Ravens coach in 2008. "It's a pretty neat place to play," Harbaugh said. "When you walk down that narrow tunnel, there's some tradition to it, but once the game starts, it's 100 yards long, 53 and a third yards wide. It's football."

Follow Bo on Twitter @bsmolka    

Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox