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Marshal Yanda, Dannell Ellerbe noncommittal about potential returns vs. Giants

Starting right guard and starting inside linebacker said respective injuries are improving, but it's still early to determine their availability for Sunday's regular-season home finale

By Edward Lee

2:32 PM EST, December 19, 2012

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A sprained right ankle forced Marshal Yanda to snap a 44-consecutive starts streak dating back to Nov. 29, 2009. Whether the right guard can avoid back-to-back absences is a mystery.

Yanda declined to put a percentage on his return for Sunday’s regular-season home finale against the New York Giants and said he’s unsure of his availability.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said prior to Wednesday’s practice. “We’re going to test it out this week and see how it feels.”

Yanda, who was replaced in the Ravens’ 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos last Sunday, said he felt close to playing, but elected to avoid the risk of aggravating the sore ankle. He said the week off helped the healing process.

“It seems like every day that you get, it gets a little better,” he said. “I went out there and did the [Wednesday morning walkthrough] and stuff and felt all right. So we’ll see.”

The team could use Yanda against a Giants defense that has collected 32 sacks thus far. For his part, Yanda said he was itching to play against the Broncos.

“I’m a guy that usually plays, no matter what,” he said. “So it’s tough to watch, not being out there. No matter what the outcome of the game was, just not being out there with the guys was tough.”

Another starter, inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, also sounded uncertain about whether he could end a three-game absence caused by a sprained right ankle and an injured left foot.

“My status is hopeful,” he said. “I’m hoping to play. I felt good out there in the walkthrough. So I’m going to wait until later in the week to see how it feels.”

Despite running during pre-game warm-ups Sunday, Ellerbe said he wasn’t close to returning.

Josh Bynes and Brendon Ayanbadejo started at inside linebacker with the former making his first career start. Despite Ray Lewis still remaining on the injured reserve-designated to return list and Jameel McClain out for the remainder of the season, Ellerbe said the lack of depth at inside linebacker won’t compel him to rush his recovery.

“It can mentally, but if my leg’s not ready go, it’s not ready to go,” he said. “I wanted to go back out there for the second half of the Chargers game [on Nov. 25], but it just wasn’t happening.”