Ravens LB Jameel McClain activated off PUP list
McClain spent the first six games of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, after suffering a spinal cord contusion against the Washington Redskins last season. He has not played a game in 10 months, and also missed the Ravens’ final three games of the 2012 regular-season as well as the postseason due his injury.
The 28-year-old McClain was cleared for contact just this week and had his first practice of the year on Wednesday. Even though McClain had full practices all week, he was still listed as probable for Week 7 in Friday’s injury report.
"If he’s able to go, that’ll be John’s [Harbaugh] decision and the trainer’s and everybody else’s decision," Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees earlier this week. "It won’t be ours. But if he’s ready to go, we’ll be ready for him to go."
McClain’s return should provide an instant boost to Ravens at the inside linebacker position which has been thinned by recent injuries. Josh Bynes, who replaced McClain in the starting lineup, is expected not expected to play in the AFC North rivalry match up against the Steelers due to an infected finger. Backup linebacker Albert McClellan has also been playing with a sprained shoulder. Rookie Arthur Brown might be called upon to start Sunday, but it remains possible that the Ravens could go with McClain, or at least give him significant playing time against the Steelers. If nothing else, McClain can at least serve a rotational role alongside 10-year linebacker Daryl Smith and Brown on Sunday.
A three-year starter for the Ravens, McClain is also ranked among the team’s top three tacklers for the past three seasons. Last year, McClain recorded 79 tackles in 13 games before suffering the injury. The six-year linebacker started 45-career games for the Ravens since being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Syracuse in 2008.
To make room for McClain, the Ravens also cut tight end Billy Bajema on Saturday. This is the third consecutive week that Bajema has been cut by the Ravens only to be re-signed shortly afterwards. It’s possible the Ravens could go with the same approach this time around as well.
In six games this season, Bajema caught two passes for 18 yards and zero touchdowns for the Ravens.