Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce is officially listed as doubtful for the Ravens’ showdown against the Houston Texans with an ankle injury, meaning the Ravens might need to lean on one or both of their new defensive line signings to slow the Texans No. 4-ranked rushing offense.
The Ravens (7-2), winners of five in a row, host the Texans (6-3) at M&T Bank Stadium Nov. 17 in a game with major AFC playoff implications.
Head coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal about Pierce’s status after practice Nov. 15, saying Pierce’s availability would be a game-time decision. But Pierce didn’t practice all week, and the Ravens signed a pair of free-agent defensive linemen this week in Justin Ellis and Domata Peko, suggesting they anticipated Pierce’s availability could be an issue.
“They both practiced well,” Harbaugh said. “They practiced hard. They’re in good shape. … There are certain checks that they need to understand, but they’re good at that and they know how to play the techniques that we play. That’s why we signed them. So yes, they have a chance to play on Sunday.”
Pierce joins Brandon Williams as the heart of the Ravens’ run defense, which ranks No. 8 in the league. Pierce’s absence was felt last week, as he left the game on the opening series and the Cincinnati Bengals piled up 157 rushing yards. Pierce has 21 tackles this season.
Originally signed as an undrafted rookie out of Samford in 2016, Pierce made the initial 53-man roster as a rookie and has missed just two games in his four-year career. He sat out two games last season with a foot injury.
Rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown (ankle) and wide receiver Chris Moore (thumb) are both listed as questionable after being limited in practice this week.
Brown was held out of practice one day, but he played against the Cincinnati Bengals Nov. 17 after being limited as well. He’s been hobbled since an injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5, and the Ravens are managing his workload each week, but the expectation is he will play against the Texans.
Brown has 28 catches for 454 yards this season and has been involved in four of the Ravens 10 longest plays from scrimmage this year.
Chris Moore, one of the Ravens’ special teams standouts, is dealing with a left thumb injury that sidelined him last week.
The Texans are coming off their bye week, which gave four starters — left tackle Laremy Tunsil (shoulder), wide receiver Will Fuller V (hamstring), cornerback Bradley Roby (hamstring) and safety Tashaun Gipson (back/wrist) — more time to heal. All four missed the Texans previous game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and are listed as questionable after being limited in practice this week.
Here is the full final injury report:
DOUBTFUL: DL Michael Pierce (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Marquise Brown (ankle), WR Chris Moore (thumb)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Will Fuller (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (back/wrist), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring), T Laremy Tunsil (shoulder)
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