OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens suffered a potential setback in their showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers after Pro-Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey missed the week's first practice because of an illness.
Earlier in the day, coach John Harbaugh did not provide any updates on Humphrey, who was also scratched from meeting with the media.
Humphrey has played a key role in the Ravens secondary this season. He is third on the team with 30 tackles and has 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits, four forced fumbles, an interception and five passes defended.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will test the Ravens' secondary and Humphrey is expected to play a key role covering JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has a team-high 32 receptions for 279 yards with three touchdowns. Humphrey could also cover rookie Chase Claypool who 18 receptions for 333 yards and four touchdowns.
If Humphrey cannot play, veteran Jimmy Smith would move into the starting lineup opposite Marcus Peters.
Baltimore has 33 takeaways over the past 19 games, producing 18 interceptions and 15 fumble returns, with 12 courtesy of Humphrey (3 Interceptions and 3 fumble returns) and Peters (5 Interceptions and 1 fumble return). Humphrey also has 5 forced fumbles during this stretch.
Last season, Humphrey punched the ball out of the hands of Smith-Schuster and recovered it himself in overtime. That set up a short field goal by Justin Tucker in the Ravens 26-23 victory.
Earlier this season, Humphrey and the Ravens have reached a five-year, $98 million extension.
Humphrey, a 2017 first-round draft pick (16 overall), has played in 55 games (37 starts), racking up 180 tackles, nine interceptions, 49 passes defended and eight forced fumbles.
"The thing that stands out to me is how hard he plays," Ravens pass defense coordinator Chris Hewitt said about Humphrey. "He plays the game like a linebacker; he has a linebacker mentality. He’s trying to get to the ball. He wants to be involved in tackles.
"A lot of corners, they do their covering, and it’s all about getting picks. Marlon wants to be a part of the action. He wants to be physical. He wants to get in on tackles. Now, he’s a sack master."