Odell Beckham Jr. returns to Ravens practice; Malik Harrison’s role could be crucial vs. 49ers

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returned to practice Friday as the Ravens’ health trended upward ahead of Monday’s game against the NFC-leading San Francisco 49ers.

Beckham missed the open portion of practice Wednesday and was sidelined Thursday with an illness. But he was a full participant in Friday’s session, along with rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers, who was limited Thursday by a foot injury.

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley (concussion) and safety Marcus Williams (groin), both of whom left Sunday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars with injuries, were upgraded from limited participation to full participation.

Jalyn Armour-Davis (concussion) remains sidelined, while fellow cornerback Arthur Maulet also missed practice with a “little flare-up” in his knee, according to coach John Harbaugh.

“It went to day-to-day mode with him,” Harbaugh said of Maulet after practice Friday. “We’ll see where we’re at come game time.”

Harrison’s big role

Malik Harrison, who was drafted as an inside linebacker in 2020 but has played almost exclusively as an edge defender this season, played just nine snaps Sunday, his first game back since suffering a groin injury in late November.

Harrison’s playing time could jump dramatically against San Francisco. Exactly half of his 168 defensive snaps this season, according to TruMedia, have come against offenses lined up in heavier sets: 12 personnel (one back, two tight ends and two wide receivers), 21 personnel (two backs, one tight end and two wide receivers) and 22 personnel (two backs, two tight ends and one receiver).

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The 49ers, who feature former Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk, have used those personnel groupings on 62.7% of their plays this season, one of the league’s highest rates. Harrison’s ability to set the edge could be crucial against a San Francisco rushing attack that’s third in the NFL in yards per game (139.9).

“You’re going to obviously be in base [defense] against this team some percentage of the time,” Harbaugh said, referring to a defensive grouping with just four defensive backs. “Malik has done a great job. He’s a starter out there in base. He plays the Sam [strong-side] ’backer position. … He’s playing it at a really high level. Yes, he’s going to be a big part of the game plan. He’s been playing really well. Really proud of him.”

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