Ellerbe's return could provide a spark for a defense that has been vulnerable to the run inside.
Meanwhile, starting strong safety Bernard Pollard is out for the second game in a row with damaged ribs.
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He aggravated the injury against the Washington Redskins and wasn't expected to play this week since he was doubtful on the injury report.
Outside linebacker Albert McClellan (hamstring, shoulder) was scratched as well as offensive guard Bobbie Williams, offensive guard Ramon Harewood, wide receiver Deonte Thompson and defensive tackle Bryan Hall.
Paul Kruger is expected to start at outside linebacker and James Ihedigbo is expected to start at strong safety.