Though the Ravens listed Lardarius Webb as 'questionable' on their final injury report, they may have already decided he won't play.
AJ Green, Dalton fantasy owners: Barring a surprise, Lardarius Webb not playing tomorrow. Leaves the Ravens Jimmy Smith, Chykie Brown at CB
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 6, 2014
Webb is without a doubt their best defensive back, and not having him could be a game-changer in a contest that figures to come down to the wire. If he doesn't play, Baltimore will be down to just three cornerbacks.
That's because the Ravens cut veteran Derek Cox on Saturday. They promoted rookie running back Fitz Toussaint from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, according to a source. If Cox had remained on the roster for the opening game, his $730,000 salary would have been guaranteed for the entire season as a vested veteran.
Webb missed the entire preseason and training camp with a back injury. However, he has since returned to practice, and Baltimore has acted as though they expect him to play in Week 1 for the past few weeks.
Lardarius Webb didn't have his usual mobility due to stiff lower back at practice, but should be able to play Sunday. Just not 100 percent
— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) September 5, 2014
According to Pro Football Focus, Webb's 8.0 grade in 2013 was the 19th best of 77 eligible corners. He will need to be playing close to that level if he hopes to contain A.J. Green on Sunday. Even if he does play, Webb probably won't be close to 100 percent in terms of his normal level of play.
This is shaping up to be a game Cincinnati may opt to throw early and often against Baltimore's battered secondary.