Wake-up: Mendenhall to start vs. Ravens?

November, 16, 2012
11/16/12
7:30
AM ET
Another starter was lost from Sunday night's Ravens-Steelers game when Baltimore cornerback Jimmy Smith underwent groin surgery Thursday. But there are a couple of starters who could be returning for this rivalry. Check out the wake-up call to find out ...

RAVENS: Starting defensive end Pernell McPhee has practiced the past two days after sitting out the last two games with a thigh injury. "I feel like I’m ready, I feel like I’m 100 percent,” McPhee said, via the team's official website. "The first time I went out to practice [Wednesday] and I didn’t have on a knee brace and I felt very comfortable going out running the drills, during one-on-one drills, doing individual drills.” McPhee has a half-sack in seven games this season after having six last season as a rookie.

STEELERS: Rashard Mendenhall looks like he will be ready to play against the Ravens after his second full practice of the week. He has missed the past four games with an Achilles injury. While Mendenhall wouldn't talk about his status after Thursday's practice, running back Isaac Redman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it looked like Mendenhall would start against the Ravens. How the workload will be divided among Mendenhall, Redman and Jonathan Dwyer is unclear. Mendenhall has gained 74 yards this season, which is not exactly the numbers you want in your contract year.

BENGALS: Starting center Kyle Cook, who has been out all season after having ankle surgery, worked on the side for the first time in the regular season. He remains on injured reserve with a designation to return and hasn't been cleared for practice. The hope is that he'll return for at least the season's final month. "To have a center that's been in there and poised and can make all the calls and communication issues you have, he calms everything down," offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said, via the team's official website. "He's the second quarterback out there."

BROWNS: Josh Gordon's crushing block of Ravens safety Ed Reed on a reverse has led to a $20,000 fine from the NFL. Gordon, who is appealing it, said he isn't entire sure what he did wrong but he knows why he received discipline from the league. "It's Ed Reed, though," Gordon told The Plain Dealer. "It's not just anybody. It was just that he wasn't looking and it was a blindside hit. He never looked my way at all so that's really where the penalty came from. We were confused about it for awhile and we still are because that's my blocking responsibility and if I wouldn't have done it our runner would have gotten tackled for a loss. Either way, it was a lose-lose situation."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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