Lardarius Webb Questionable For Sunday, Bernard Pierce Probable
Nov 3, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Davone Bess (15) runs the ball past Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb (21) for a touchdown in the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Every day of Ravens practice this week has seen all 53 players participating. Only two – starting cornerback Lardarius Webb and starting running back Bernard Pierce – were even listed on the injury report, albeit with the full practice designation But even though the team has repeatedly expressed confidence in both player’s ability to start Sunday’s opening game against the Bengals, Friday’s injury report revealed a bit of doubt. It lists Lardarius Webb questionable for Sunday, though Bernard Pierce is probable.
Typically, players listed as probable are almost a sure bet to suit up on game day. Officially, they are said to have a 75% chance to play, but that percentage is more like 99% in reality. Players listed as questionable are officially said to have a 50% chance of playing, and that is a more accurate number. Further muddying the picture is Webb’s avoidance of the media through practice this week as he has declined interview requests.
Webb has had issues with back spasms since the start of training camp, and sat out the entire preseason as a precautionary measure. And even though the team has repeatedly expressed confidence in his ability to play once the regular season started, back spasms are a notoriously unpredictable ailment. Webb was initially expected to miss the first 2-3 games of the preseason, yet ended up missing all four.
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If Webb can’t play Sunday, we will most likely see Asa Jackson, himself recovering from an ankle injury, lining up next to Jimmy Smith in the secondary. Chykie Brown would be the favorite for third corner duties, and free agent pickup Derek Cox would likely see some snaps as well.
Asa Jackson by and large had a solid preseason but is an unproven commodity outside of special teams. Brown was frequently burned through the offseason, and Cox is coming off a season that saw him labeled as a free agent bust. His experience with the Ravens so far has been limited to a few snaps in the fourth preseason game, where he held up admirably after only having a few days to learn the defense.