December 22, 2014

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Browns DT Phil Taylor to start today in return from torn pectoral

CLEVELAND – Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor is expected to start today at 1 p.m. against the Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Taylor is making his season debut after tearing a pectoral muscle in May. He began practicing last week and was activated from the physically unable to perform list Friday.

Taylor said during the week he would come off the bench and be limited, but the coaches feel he’s ready and will start him in place of Ahtyba Rubin, who will miss his second straight game and third in four weeks with a calf injury.

Rookie Billy Winn, the other starting defensive tackle, is expected to play some end. Jabaal Sheard, Frostee Rucker and Juqua Parker are the only ends on the roster after Emmanuel Stephens and Brian Sanford were placed on injured reserve this week.

Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi returns after missing five games with a hamstring injury. Rookie Josh Gordon will continue to start, but Massaquoi will play in three-receiver sets.

Rookie receiver Josh Cooper, who was teammates with quarterback Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State and has six first downs in six catches, is inactive. He was added to the injury report Friday with a thigh injury and was listed as questionable.

The active receivers are Gordon, Little, Massaquoi, rookie Travis Benjamin and Joshua Cribbs.

Fullback Owen Marecic is a healthy scratch for the second straight week. Tight end Alex Smith will play fullback again.

The other Browns inactives are cornerback Dimitri Patterson (ankle), running back Brandon Jackson, safety Tashaun Gipson and offensive lineman Jarrod Shaw.

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (shoulder) is active for the Ravens and expected to start despite not practicing Thursday and Friday.

The Browns (2-6) are looking for their second straight win and third straight at home. They snapped a 12-game losing streak in the AFC North on Oct. 14 against Cincinnati.

The Ravens (5-2) have won nine straight in the series, as coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco are 9-0 against Cleveland.

The Ravens have won a league-best 10 straight in the AFC North and 14 straight after a loss. They were blasted 43-13 by Houston on Oct. 21, then had a bye last week. Harbaugh is 4-0 after a bye.

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