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Final Bengals-Ravens injury report

As I prepare for my New Years Eve, here's today's injury report for the Ravens and Bengals. Both tight end Todd Heap (hamstring) and wide receiver/kick returner David Reed (wrist/concussion) are listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Heap sounded optimistic about playing against the Bengals, while Reed seemed to imply that he was more of a gametime decision with his wrist injury. The Ravens have

Ravens optimistic Ed Reed, Heap will play Sunday

Head coach John Harbaugh sounded optimistic that both Ed Reed and Todd Heap will be able to play in the Ravens' regular season finale against the Bengals despite dealing with injuries. Reed missed practice yesterday because of a neck injury, but Harbaugh said that it wasn't anything major that kept Reed out. "It was just precautionary," Harbaugh said. "He's a little bit tight, and we

Concussion now gone, wrist is the issue for David Reed

Ravens rookie wide receiver/kickoff returner David Reed suffered a concussion and a wrist injury two weeks ago against the Saints, and he was forced to sit out of last Sunday's game against the Browns as a result. After having another week to recover, Reed says that his concussion has completely cleared, but that the wrist injury is what's slowing him at this point. "I feel

Rice, Flacco not sharing with their friends

On the verge of setting a single-season franchise record for fewest turnovers, the Ravens have Ray Rice and Joe Flacco to thank for their lack of giveaways. Apparently, both third-year players weren't taught proper manners, because they're clearly not big fans of sharing. Rice has touched the ball an even 350 times through 15 games this season, and he hasn't fumbled once. I don't just

Ravens or Bengals - Who you got?

Well, here we are in Week 17, ready to finish off the regular season. It feels like just yesterday I was standing out under the blazing sun in Westminster, watching two-a-day training camp practices and sweating through my polo and khaki shorts. Lovely image, huh? Just two days from now, the Ravens will put the cap on their 2010 regular season, and they hope to

Ed Reed misses practice with neck injury

After having a full practice yesterday, safety Ed Reed did not participate at all in today's session because of a neck injury. Reed has had a history of neck problems in the past, so the fact that he suddenly pops up on the injury report with a neck-related issue is at least a little concerning. Other than the seven-time Pro Bowl safety, the Ravens had

Preparing for the Ocho-less Bengals

Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell are very clearly not Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. Nope. Not even close. Ochocinco and Owens - the Bengals' top two wide receivers for much of this season - have made a combined 12 Pro Bowls and have caught a total of 210 career touchdowns. Simpson and Caldwell - Cincinnati's top two wide receivers currently, thanks to injuries to Owens

Ravens won't be seeing Ochocinco on Sunday

It looks like the Ravens won't have to spend any more time this week preparing for Chad Ochocinco. The Bengals wide receiver apparently won't be playing in his team's regular season finale here in Baltimore. According to the Bengals' official Twitter account, Ochocinco's ankle injury will prevent him from playing Sunday. The tweet sent out by the team says that the six-time Pro Bowl won't

The game that got away

Now that it looks like the Ravens will come up just short of the AFC North title and a first-round bye, it's easy to look back at the regular season schedule and pick out the games that could have made the difference in Baltimore's shot at a division championship. We can, of course, discuss the Week 13 loss to the Steelers, in which the Ravens

Which Bengals team will we see?

Yesterday's media session out at Ravens headquarters featured a lot of Pro Bowl-related talk. The five players who were named to the AFC's Pro Bowl team sounded excited about the honor and the opportunity to head to Hawaii to represent the league and their conference. A few guys who came up just short of making the NFL's All-Star game were disappointed that they didn't make

Chances of Ravens-Jaguars playoff matchup decreasing

The odds of the Ravens seeing the Jaguars in the first round of the playoffs are shrinking by the second. Needing a win and a Colts loss to make the playoffs (where they could face the Ravens), Jacksonville will likely be without both their starting quarterback and running back in Sunday's game against the Texans. There are reports today that Jaguars quarterback David Garrard will

David Reed returns to practice, Heap practices in full

The Ravens got their top kickoff returner back at practice today. David Reed returned to practice this afternoon after missing all of last week as he recovered from a concussion. The rookie returner/wide receiver practiced in a limited capacity, but the fact that he was able to get back on the practice field at all is a good sign. Another good sign for the Ravens

Two picks result in some hardware for Ed Reed

Last week, Ravens running back Ray Rice was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. This week, Ed Reed has earned defensive honors. Reed's two-interception performance against the Browns won him the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award. The seven-time Pro Bowler picked off Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy twice Sunday, including the game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter. Reed subsequently fumbled the

Ravens wish Koch was headed to Hawaii

The Ravens had five players make the Pro Bowl, but many in the locker room feel like a sixth Raven should be going to Hawaii, as well. Punter Sam Koch led the fan voting for the Pro Bowl, but when the players' and coaches' votes were added in, he was bumped out by the Raiders' Shane Lechler. Koch was selected as a first alternate, and

Suggs gives in, votes Brady to Pro Bowl

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs rarely misses an opportunity to get in a shot at Tom Brady, be it on the field or off it. That trend continued today. Last week, Suggs said that Brady wouldn't get his Pro Bowl vote, despite the fact that the Patriots quarterback has thrown 34 touchdown passes to just four interceptions and has led his team to the NFL's best

Despite his second concussion, Pitta expects to play Sunday

Dennis Pitta suffered the second concussion of his rookie season in Sunday's win over the Browns, but the tight end says he expects to suit up for the regular season finale against the Bengals this weekend. The fourth-round pick was injured on the opening kickoff of the game Sunday. He took his impact test this morning, and said it came back fine. "I feel normal,"

Ravens have a new long snapper

The Ravens have settled on a new long snapper. They're going with Kevin Houser, an 11-year veteran who played nine seasons with the Saints. And hopefully, this is the last time you'll hear his name. With Morgan Cox out for the season after suffering a torn ACL on Sunday against the Browns, the Ravens tried out for long snappers yesterday. Houser was the last one

Cundiff's storybook season reaches a new peak

Ladies and gentlemen, you're currently reading the blog of the 2010 Ravens Media Fantasy Football champion. Adrian Peterson's big game last night wasn't quite big enough to overcome my 25-point advantage entering Tuesday's game (I still can't believe there was an NFL game on a Tuesday night), and my championship game victory over The Sun's Peter Schmuck is complete. As champion of the Ravens media

Some notes on the Pro Bowl-bound Ravens

Five Ravens are heading to the Pro Bowl, and they range from a guy making his 12th trip to the All-Star game in 15 seasons to a guy making his first Pro Bowl roster after being a part of nine different organizations. Those five include linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, kicker Billy Cundiff and linebacker Terrell Suggs. Lewis, Reed, Ngata

Five Ravens make Pro Bowl

The NFL will announce the Pro Bowl rosters at 7 p.m., but Ravens head coach John Harbaugh jumped the gun a bit and announced on his radio show that five Ravens have been selected to the AFC Pro Bowl roster. Four of the five are from the defense - linebacker Ray Lewis, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, safety Ed Reed and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. The

Harbaugh not a fan of a shirtless Ayanbadejo

After beating the Browns on Sunday and clinching a playoff spot, the Ravens were in a celebratory mood in the visiting locker room at Cleveland Browns Stadium. As celebrations go, it was reportedly a very mild one, as the team has much bigger goals and still hopes to accomplish a bit more before the regular season comes to a close, but the players and coaches

The Ed Reed debate

The Ravens know that any time Ed Reed has the ball in his hands after forcing a turnover, he's a threat to take it to the house. By now, they're also well aware that any time Reed has the ball in his hands, he's a threat to give it right back to the opposition. Reed has a sick obsession with lateraling after coming down with

Harbaugh says contract talks "on the back burner"

There's little doubt that John Harbaugh will receive a contract extension. Hey, the Ravens' head coach has now led his team to the playoffs in his first three seasons, making him one of four head coaches ever to accomplish that feat. Harbaugh only has one year left on his current deal, set to expire after the 2011 season. It's rare for a successful head coach

Ravens will lay it all on the line versus Bengals

I was only able to catch the final quarter and a half of last night's Saints-Falcons game, but that little one-hour snippet was enough for me to realize that I'm ready for the postseason. These division games against the Browns and Bengals are weak sauce. It's time to get the big boy matchups - like the one last night - going. Unfortunately, we've got a

Ravens hopeful Gooden, Zbikowski will return for playoffs

While the Ravens will end up putting long snapper Morgan Cox on season-ending injured reserve, they're hopeful that they won't need to do so with linebacker Tavares Gooden and safety Tom Zbikowski. Gooden suffered a dislocated left shoulder yesterday against the Browns - the same shoulder he dislocated back in September. Head coach John Harbaugh said that Gooden is "pretty sore" today, but the team

Harbaugh on Kindle: "He's not off to a good start"

Head coach John Harbaugh met with Sergio Kindle today, a day after the rookie linebacker was arrested and charged with driving drunk early Sunday morning. Harbaugh said that he's "disappointed" in Kindle, the Ravens' top draft pick in this April's draft, and said that Kindle is aware that he needs to stop putting himself in these type of situations. "He's got a track record for

Ravens will need a new long snapper

As the Ravens expected, long snapper Morgan Cox suffered ligament damage to his knee early in yesterday's win over the Browns, and he will have to miss the rest of the season. The undrafted rookie out of Tennessee suffered a torn ACL and a third-degree sprain of the MCL in his left knee, head coach John Harbaugh said today, and the Ravens will need to

Another setback for Gooden

I had planned on writing an entry last week about how linebacker Tavares Gooden was finally healthy and had started to play at a high level on the defensive side of the ball after suffering a myriad of injuries over his three-year career. I talked with Gooden at length Wednesday, and he told me that now that his shoulder, groin and hip injuries - as

Secondary no longer plagued by penalties, big plays

The Ravens' Achilles heel for much of last season was their propensity to allow big plays through the air. The defensive backs allowed six passing plays of at least 50 yards in 2009, and were flagged for countless pass interference penalties (the Ravens led the league in that department). No lead ever seemed safe, largely because the opposing team seemingly could strike deep down the

The drought comes to an end

The Ravens had gone five long games without scoring a second half offensive touchdown. A botched onside kick helped change all that. Coming out of the locker room at halftime trailing 13-10, Browns coach Eric Mangini decided to go for a quick change in momentum, and had kicker Phil Dawson attempt an onside kick. Had it been executed properly, the strategy might have worked. Cornerback

Looking at the possible first-round matchups

While the AFC North title is still up for grabs, the Ravens have locked up a wild card spot. Just in case you're coming out of a 16-hour coma, I figured I'd let you know. Now that the playoff berth is secure, and I can no longer be blamed for any possible jinxes, we can start talking matchups. With the Jets' loss to the Bears

Ravens made sure there were no Hillis heroics

The Ravens made it clear this week that it wasn't going to happen again. Their proud defense wasn't going to give up big plays and big yardage to Browns running back Peyton Hillis. They weren't going to allow him to shed tackles, power through defenders and post triple-digits in the yardage category. It had happened back in Week 3, but there would be no repeat

Kindle charged with DUI

Immediately after Sergio Kindle was selected by the Ravens in the second round of this year's NFL draft, he told reporters on a conference call that he was going to be the league's Rookie of the Year. Things haven't gone as the former Texas linebacker had hoped, however. In late July, Kindle fell down two flights of stairs and fractured his skull. He was put

Win comes at a bit of a cost

The Ravens have to be thrilled with the outcome in Cleveland this afternoon, as their 20-10 win over the Browns guaranteed Baltimore a playoff spot for the third straight year. I'm pretty sure most of you won't tire of reading that sentence. It looks like today's win did come at a bit of a cost, however. Head coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the game

Ravens quickly become Browns fans

As the clock ticked down to triple zeros this afternoon and the Ravens officially earned a 20-10 win over the Browns, they immediately went from being heated rivals with the Browns to Cleveland supporters. On the spot, the hits and trash talk morphed into hugs and well wishes. Today's victory obviously clinched a playoff spot for the boys from Baltimore, but it also kept their

Back in the playoffs; Ravens clinch with 20-10 win in Cleveland

Book those postseason plans, folks. For the third straight year, the Ravens have qualified for the playoffs. They didn't deliver the clinching moment in spectacular fashion, by any means, holding off the Browns for a 20-10 win this afternoon. But regardless of how it looked, it was effective. The Ravens got the win they needed, and have now punched their postseason ticket. After allowing Browns

Ed Reed might have delivered the clinching moment

Down 10 with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Browns were driving and had a shot to get to within one score of the Ravens. Then, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy forgot that Ed Reed was on the field. McCoy floated up a jump ball in the end zone, and Reed came over for the interception. It was just Ed being Ed.

Halftime notes as Ravens lead Browns 13-10

The Ravens have a three-point lead on the Browns through the first half. Two more solid quarters, and Baltimore will be back in the postseason for a third straight year. Here are a few quick-hit notes on the first half: - The Ravens are +3 in the turnover department through the first 30 minutes, and yet they're only up by three points at the half.

Turnovers get Ravens on top

The Browns jumped out to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to some trickery, but 10 Ravens points in less than two minutes has Baltimore on top. Billy Cundiff's 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter capped off a 16-play, 80-yard drive that covered 8:26 to get the Ravens on the board. On the very next play from scrimmage, Ravens cornerback

Heap inactive, will rest another week

Here's the remainder of the Ravens' inactives: fullback Jason McKie, linebacker Jason Phillips, defensive tackle Arthur Jones, tight end Davon Drew and defenisve tackle Lamar Divens.

Ravens-Browns: The three keys

In the spirit of the holidays, the Ravens could give their fans an extra present today with a win over the Browns. And who doesn't like bonus presents? A Baltimore victory this afternoon would clinch a playoff spot for John Harbaugh's crew, and would keep their hopes of an AFC North title alive going into the final week of the regular season. Here are three

Despite down year, Cribbs still concerns Ravens

Considered by many one of the top kick returners in the NFL, Josh Cribbs' numbers have been rather pedestrian this year. The six-year veteran made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009, averaged more than 26 yards per kickoff return and 11 yards per punt return coming into this year and had 10 return touchdowns to his name. This season, however, the Browns' return specialist

A white Christmas in Cleveland seems likely

It's Dec. 25, which means just one thing: It's time for my annual family tradition that combines Chinese food and going to see a movie. Boy, I love the holiday season. I'd like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and happy holidays. Hope you enjoy spending time with your family and being around those you care about. And since we're still very much in

Reed fined $10,000 for hit on Brees

The fines keep on comin'. This time, it's Ed Reed who will owe a hefty chunk of change. The Ravens safety was fined $10,000 for delivering a forearm to the head of Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Sunday, according to a league spokesman. Reed came in on a safety blitz and, as he tried to strip the ball from Brees, hit the quarterback in the

Final Ravens-Browns injury report

I touched on it earlier, but now it's official : Ravens wide receiver/kick returner David Reed and safety Tom Zbikowski are both out for Sunday's game against the Browns. Reed (concussion) has not yet passed his baseline test and is not cleared to play, while Zbikowski (back) has a bulging disc and also will not be able to suit up against Cleveland. Tight end Todd

Zbikowski, D. Reed updates

While Todd Heap was able to return to practice this week and could be ready to play on Sunday against the Browns, safety Tom Zbikowski won't be suiting up this weekend. He could still return this season, however. Zbikowksi has a bulging disc in his back, and he might be able to play through it over the next couple weeks, according to head coach John

Heap will be a gametime decision vs. Browns

Consider tight end Todd Heap a gametime decision for Sunday's division battle against the Browns. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said today that Heap, who has missed the last two games because of a hamstring injury, looked good in practice this week, but the team will hold off on making a decision on him until before Sunday's game in Cleveland. "I think he's done really

Hillis won't sneak up on Ravens this time

When the Ravens faced the Browns back on Sept. 26, Peyton Hillis was still mostly known as the guy who Cleveland had acquired from the Broncos (along with a sixth-round draft pick) in return for the useless Brady Quinn. Going into that game, the Ravens knew Hills would start for the Browns at running back, but they admit that they didn't really have a good

Ravens or Browns - Who you got?

A very merry Christmas Eve to those of you who celebrate the holiday, and to those of you - like myself - who don't, well ... happy Friday. The Ravens will hold a morning practice today and then head coach John Harbaugh will allow his players to head out and enjoy some time with their families. Then, on Saturday, the team will make the trip

Browns getting healthier

Not much news on the Ravens' injury front today, as tight end Todd Heap (hamstring) and wide Derrick Mason (ankle) were both limited for a second straight day. Four key special teams players did not practice this afternoon. Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (knee) and safety Haruki Nakamura (illness) were new additions to the injury report, which included wide receiver/kick returner David Reed (concussion) and safety Tom

Oher knows false starts need to stop

Usually, it's a positive thing when you lead the league in a statistical category. That's not the case with Michael Oher. Oher has been flagged for eight false starts on the year, which is the most in the NFL. He's gotten whistled for 11 penalties overall, and it seems like every week, the Ravens' left tackle is seeing some yellow laundry dropped on the field

Ngata, Koch named to All-Fundamentals team

USA Football and the NFL Players Association put together an All-Fundamentals team every year, which recognizes 11 offensive players, 11 defensive players and four special teams players for their ability to consistently execute the fundamentals of their positions and for making a positive impact in their communities. Two Ravens received the award this year: defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and punter Sam Koch. Both Ngata and

Suggs focused on Super Bowl, not sacks

On the verge of tying a career high in the sacks department, Terrell Suggs could be checking the stat sheet every week and talking about his individual numbers with reporters. Considering the way his 2009 season went - Suggs posted a career-worst 4.5 sacks and struggled to stay healthy and in good playing shape - it'd be tough to blame the eight-year veteran if he

Ravens could be celebrating in Cleveland

I won't be making the trip to Cleveland for Sunday's Ravens-Browns game, so like most of you, I'll be watching the game from home. This week, I won't mind that too much, because one of my favorite play-by-play guys, Ian Eagle, will be calling the game for CBS. I like the fact that Eagle gets fancy with the pronunciation of his first name (it's "eye-an",

Heap returns to practice for first time in two weeks

The Ravens had four players miss practice today, but the good news is that tight end Todd Heap was not among that group. Heap was back on the practice field for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on the first play of the Ravens' game against the Steelers on Dec. 5. The two-time Pro Bowler was limited in practice today, but the fact

Rice's big game leads to AFC Offensive top player honors

Ray Rice had a monster game against the Saints last Sunday, and he's getting some recognition for it. The Ravens running back has been named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Week. Rice recorded a career-best 233 yards from scrimmage (153 rushing, 80 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) against New Orleans. His 233 yards from scrimmage marked the third-most in a game

Lewis on Hillis: "A blind cat will find a meal every once in a while"

When the Ravens faced Cleveland back in Week 3, Browns running back Peyton Hillis exploded, rushing for 144 yards and a touchdown. It was a notable performance for sure, especially considering that entering that game, the Ravens defense had only allowed three 100-yard rushers in their last 53 games and only five in their previous 70 contests. But Ray Lewis wasn't all that impressed with

Kindle says playing status is "up in the air"

Following up on an earlier post, we had a chance to talk to linebacker Sergio Kindle today after the Ravens' top 2010 draft pick tweeted that he's been told he might not be able to play next season. Kindle is on the non-football injury list because of a fractured skull he suffered in late July, which means that he won't play all of this season.

In order to keep Drew, Ravens matched Bucs' offer

Davon Drew was in an interesting position recently. He had received an offer from the Buccaneers to join their active roster, which would have been a promotion and a pay bump for the Ravens' practice squad tight end. Drew went to the Ravens and told them that he would have to take the Bucs' offer unless the Ravens were able to match it and make

Kindle: Doctors uncertain 2011 return is possible

Ever since Sergio Kindle fell down two flights of stairs and fractured his skull back in late July, the Ravens have said that getting their top selection in the 2010 Draft back on the football field isn't their top priority. The team says its focus is more on making sure that the former Texas linebacker is able to get fully healthy and live a normal

Ravens clinch a playoff spot this weekend if ...

After holding serve Sunday against the Saints and staying two games ahead of the pack in the battle for a wild card spot, the Ravens are now in a great position to clinch a playoff birth for the third time in three years. Baltimore can lock up a postseason spot this weekend five separate ways. The first way is simple - with a win or

Ravens upset about late hit on Flacco

Following Sunday's win over the Saints, a handful of Ravens players were fired up about an apparent late hit on quarterback Joe Flacco in the third quarter. Flacco was sacked on a third-down play by defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson, and after he landed on the turf, was greeted by a knee to the helmet courtesy of Saints defensive end Will Smith. No flag was thrown

Let's give Cam some credit (plus a plug)

The last few weeks haven't been easy on Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. He's been ripped repeatedly in the media, on message boards and on sports radio talk shows. He's had to stand up in front of reporters every Thursday and answer question after question about his failed play calls late in games, which, I'm sure, has been less than pleasant. He's heard people talk

Harbaugh "certain" Heap will play again this season

When the Ravens promoted tight end Davon Drew from their practice squad this afternoon, it initially looked like it could be a bad sign for Todd Heap. The Ravens' two-time Pro Bowl tight end has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, and adding Drew to the active roster seemed like it could have been a move to give the Ravens an extra

Ravens waive OL Mattison, sign practice squad TE

The Ravens made a roster move this afternoon, waiving offensive lineman Bryan Mattison and signing tight end Davon Drew from their practice squad, according to the team. Drew, the Ravens' fifth-round pick back in 2009, has spent the majority of his pro career on Baltimore's practice squad. The ECU product also spent some time on the Dolphins' developmental roster. He's now the fourth tight end

Ravens, Saints dish out plenty of trash talk

You expect things to be a bit chippy when the Ravens and Steelers square off. When the Ravens face the Browns or the Bengals, or even another physical AFC opponent, you know that there's probably going to be some pushing and shoving after the whistle. But I don't know that anyone expected things to be so hostile between the Ravens and Saints, who only face

Stallworth none too pleased with deactivation

For the first time since returning from a broken foot seven weeks ago, wide receiver Donte' Stallworth was among the Ravens' gameday inactives for yesterday's game against the Saints. Some in the press box questioned whether Stallworth's deactivation was due to him possibly re-aggravating his foot injury. One reporter said that he might have seen the veteran receiver limping in the Ravens' locker room late

The Ravens' updated playoff picture

Ravens fans rejoiced yesterday when the Jets were able to squeak out a win over the Steelers by the narrowest of margins. The Pittsburgh loss meant that both the Ravens and Steelers now have matching 10-4 records, and, at least at first glance, gave Baltimore a good chance at a division title if they take care of business in their final two games. Unfortunately, that's

Network analysts come down hard on Ravens

The Ravens earned what was probably their biggest win of the season yesterday afternoon against the defending Super Bowl champion Saints and all but cemented a playoff spot in the process. But prior to yesterday afternoon's kickoff, the Ravens took some shots from the analysts sitting at the NFL Network and ESPN pregame sets. While previewing the Ravens-Saints game, the Baltimore defense was the focal

'Statement win' or not, it was still nice to see

Reporters and fans like talking about how a win over a quality team can serve as a "statement win" or a "signature moment". Players and coaches, they don't usually buy into that stuff. They have to look at every game as if it's just as important as any other, because if they get caught up in the magnitude of a particular game, it can backfire

Late-game collapse? Not today

Be honest, people - When the Ravens had to punt the ball back to the Saints with three minutes left in the fourth quarter and holding just a three-point lead, how many of you thought, "Here we go again"? Hey, don't be embarrassed to raise your hands. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata says he was thinking something along those lines as well. "Of course,

Ravens' D cranks up the pressure

Coming off a game in which the Ravens struggled to get much pressure on Texans quarterback Matt Schaub - especially in the second half - they turned the pressure up a notch against another potent offense. Facing a Saints team which featured the NFL's third-ranked offense and top unit on third downs, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison called for significantly more blitzes than he has throughout

Facing a tough test, Ravens turn back to running game

Coming into today's game, Ray Rice joked with his offensive linemen that he needed 102 rushing yards to top 1,000 on the season. Yeah, he got his 102 - and then some. Rice rumbled for 153 rushing yards on the game, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Willis McGahee added 7.6 yards per carry on his seven rushes, and the Ravens dominated the Saints in the

This time, they close it out; Ravens top Saints 30-24

Boy, it's too bad the Ravens haven't had any exciting games lately. The Charm City faithful have been through their share of thrillers this season, and a few of them have ended in heartbreak. This afternoon's game against the defending Super Bowl champion Saints didn't, and now Baltimore is closing in on securing a playoff birth for a third straight season. After seeing another fourth

Ravens take another lead into the fourth (updated)

The Ravens have blown eight fourth quarter leads so far this season. Can they avoid that familiar tune today? Baltimore has a 24-17 lead entering the final 15 minutes after they traded field goals with the Saints in the third quarter. The Ravens had a chance to make it w two-score game late in the third, but they couldn't covert on a first-and-goal opportunity from

Halftime notes as Ravens lead Saints 21-14

After falling behind 7-0 early, the Ravens ran off 21-straight points, and despite a late Saints touchdown, Baltimore takes a 21-14 lead into the half. Here are some quick-hit notes on the first 30 minutes of play: - Wide receiver/kickoff returner David Reed is out for the rest of the game with a concussion. Jalen Parmele will take over returning kicks for now. - We're

Dickson's first career TD knots it up

Starting in place of the injured Todd Heap, rookie tight end Ed Dickson made the type of play that Heap has made so many times over the course of his 10-year career. On a third-and-10 from the 34-yard line, the Saints brought the house on a blitz. Dickson delayed his route, let the blitzing linebackers run by him, and took off down the seam. Quarterback

Back in black

For the first time in the John Harbaugh era, the Ravens are going with an all-black look today. They're sporting their black jerseys and black pants this afternoon, a look which many fans enjoy (as do I), but is not a favorite of Harbaugh. Maybe, it being the holiday season and all, the head coach has decided to give a little gift to his fanbase

Stallworth inactive for Ravens, Ivory inactive for Saints

Donte' Stallworth won't get the opportunity to face his former team this afternoon. The Ravens' wide receiver, who has been active for every game since returning from a broken foot six weeks ago, is inactive and will not play today against the Saints, who selected him in the first-round of the 2002 Draft. The good news for the Ravens is that both fullback Le'Ron McClain

Mother Nature won't help Ravens slow Saints

There had been some talk earlier in the week that the East Coast might get hit by a major snowstorm this weekend, with the bulk of the powder arriving Sunday afternoon. Such conditions could have helped the Ravens in their efforts to slow down the Saints' high-powered offense, one which is dominated by the passing game. Now, it looks like the Ravens will be stuck

Ravens-Saints: The three keys

The 10-3 Saints roll into Charm City today for a matchup with the 9-4 Ravens. This is a big game for both teams, as New Orleans is trying to overtake the Falcons for the NFC South lead, while the Ravens are looking to hold out hope of an AFC North title and cement their playoff positioning. Here are three keys to the Ravens earning a

Now's the time to attack on the ground

Entering last week's game against the Texans, I wrote that I thought it would be a smart idea to get running back Ray Rice more involved in the offense, but offered the caveat that because Houston was terrible against the pass, that might not be the game to lean heavily on the rushing attack. This week, however, is the week to lean heavily on the

Ravens' left tackle getting flagged Oher and Oher again

Michael Oher's transition from right tackle to left tackle hasn't gone as smoothly as the Ravens would have hoped, partly because of a litany of flags that have been tossed in the second-year pro's direction. Oher has been flagged for a team-worst 10 penalties, including seven false starts. Lately, issue has been especially prevalent, as the 6-4, 313 pound lineman has been penalized four times

Final Ravens-Saints injury report

As expected, TE Todd Heap (hamstring) and S Tom Zbikowski (back) will not play Sunday against the Saints. Both players have been ruled out after missing practice this entire week. Two key members of the Ravens' backfield could possibly join Heap and Zbikowski on the sidelines on Sunday, as FB Le'Ron McClain and RB Willis McGahee are both listed as questionable with illnesses. McClain has

An interesting time of year for the Harbaugh family

As John Harbaugh is preparing his Ravens for their yearly playoff stretch drive, his brother Jim is preparing for his yearly round of talks with college and NFL teams about possible head coaching opportunities. Jim has turned the Stanford program around in his four years as the head coach there, and has his Cardinal in the Orange Bowl this year after an 11-1 season. That's

Heap, Zbikowski unlikely to play vs. Saints

After missing this entire week of practice, both tight end Todd Heap and safety Tom Zbikowski are unlikely to play Sunday against the Saints, according to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. Heap has been battling a hamstring injury for the past two weeks. The injury kept him out of Monday's game against the Texans and will likely hold him out Sunday, as well. Zbikowski suffered

Cam addresses recurring safety blitz issue

Two Sundays ago, in a Ravens' loss to Pittsburgh, Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu came on a blitz around left tackle Michael Oher, was completely unblocked, and sacked quarterback Joe Flacco. Polamalu's hit knocked the ball from Flacco's hand, the Steelers recovered and went on to win the game. Days after the loss, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said that he had never seen a protection

Ravens or Saints: Who you got?

Well, this'll be interesting. Coming off a painful loss to the Steelers and what was somehow an equally painful win over the Texans, the Ravens will host the defending Super Bowl champion Saints Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. New Orleans comes into this one sporting an impressive 10-3 record and having won its last six games. They've set themselves up for a playoff spot, but

Heap, Mason, Zbikowski all miss practice again

For the second straight day, the Ravens were without tight end Todd Heap, wide receiver Derrick Mason and safety Tom Zbikowski at practice. Heap still has not practiced since suffering a hamstring injury two weeks ago against the Steelers, but head coach John Harbaugh said yesterday that he's optimistic that his two-time Pro Bowl tight end will be able to play this Sunday against the

Mattison: Losing Zbikowski to injury led to defensive struggles

Asked this afternoon what led to his defense giving up 21 second half points and allowing five straight scoring drives in Monday night's win over the Texans, Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison pointed to the loss of reserve safety Tom Zbikowski. Zbikowski, who had been in sub packages as the Ravens' dime back against the Texans, had to leave the game in the first half

The champs are here

It might not carry the same weight or draw as much hype as Steelers week, but the fact that the Ravens are preparing for the defending Super Bowl champions this week has everyone at The Castle on high alert. "I mean, these are the champs," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "Everybody watches them every week, and until there's a new champion, they're still going to be

D. Reed gets some hardware

David Reed had a rough week off the field last week, as his apartment was searched by Baltimore County police for possible narcotics. On the field, Reed had the best game of his rookie season, and he's earned a little hardware for it. Reed has been named the AFC's Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance Monday night against the Texans. The rookie

Ravens can lock up a playoff spot this weekend

Despite the fact that we're only in Week 15, the Ravens can still clinch a playoff spot this weekend. Sorry, "Festivus" no longer applies in Baltimore. At 9-4, the Ravens currently slot in as the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoff picture. They hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the 9-4 Jets, and are two games up on the Colts, Chargers and Dolphins, all of

A P-Squad update plus Ray Lewis in a Snuggie

A day after losing offensive tackle Colin Brown off their practice squad when he was signed by the Bills, the Ravens brought in another young tackle to fill the void on the eight-man developmental roster. The team announced that it has signed 6-5 offensive tackle Andre Ramsey, who has previously spent time on both the Bills' and Jets' practice squads. This is the second time

Harbaugh pinpoints offensive issues

By now, the Ravens have put their thrilling, stressful, traumatic (take your pick of adjectives) win over the Texans behind them. With the defending Super Bowl champion Saints coming to town and the Ravens having a short week to prepare for that game, they've moved on from Monday night's 34-28 win in Houston, and are focusing on a dangerous New Orleans team. But there are

Shakeups along O-line fail to lend positive results

In hopes of adding more punch to their offensive line, the Ravens made a shakeup up front last night. They moved right tackle Marshal Yanda back to the right guard spot at which he's played for most of his pro career, slid Oniel Cousins in at right tackle, and had their previous starting right guard Chris Chester move to the tight end position, using him

No issues with the Ravens' decision to pass late in regulation

Last week, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron got ripped for throwing the ball with the Ravens leading the Steelers by four with under three and a half minutes left in regulation. People wondered why Cameron wasn't running the ball and milking the clock in that situation, especially when the Baltimore defense had dominated throughout the game and hadn't allowed Pittsburgh to reach the end zone all

Play of the game last night: The overtime coin toss

John Harbaugh believes that the single biggest play in the Ravens' 34-28 win over the Texans last night didn't involve a pass being thrown, a handoff, or a kick. It didn't even feature a snap. As silly as that might sound, it's hard to argue with the Ravens' head coach here. Harbaugh's take is that, because of how tired his defense was at the end

Simply put, Ravens aren't good enough right now

"If you're not happy, something's wrong." That's what Ray Lewis told reporters in Houston after the Ravens squeaked out a 34-28 overtime win over the Texans last night. Uh...Ray, I don't think many Ravens fans have huge smiles on their faces right now. Ok, the Ravens put another notch in the win column and improved to 9-4. They got a road victory on Monday Night

Special teams bail Ravens out of a jam

With the offense hitting a wall in the second half and their defense getting torched, the Ravens needed their special teams to step up and make a big play. Or two. Or three. That's exactly what they got. Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg's unit had their best game of the season tonight against the Texans, and without their efforts, the Ravens would likely be heading

Somehow, some way, Ravens escape Houston with 34-28 win

The Ravens nearly gave the Charm City faithful a heart attack. Josh Wilson brought the defibrillator. After the Ravens blew a 21-point second half lead, Wilson's 12-yard interception return for a touchdown in overtime gave Baltimore a 34-28 win over the Texans, and saved the Ravens organization from an incredibly embarrassing loss on Monday Night Football. Baltimore came out on fire, and dominated the Texans

Unbelievably, Ravens have blown it again

Amazing. A 14-point lead at halftime. A 21-point lead early in the third quarter. Gone. The Ravens' offense didn't score a single point in the second half, and the Baltimore defense allowed two drives of at least 95 yards in the fourth quarter, and all of a sudden, we've got a 28-28 tie at the end of regulation. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub led Houston back

Halftime notes as Ravens lead Texans 21-7

The Ravens are dominating the Texans in all three phases of the game so far tonight, and they have a 21-7 lead at the half. Here are a few quick-hit notes on the first 30 minutes of play: - Earlier today, I suggested that to get the offense going, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron make Ray Rice a bigger part of the gameplan. Through one half,

Some retribution for Mason

On the Ravens first drive of the game, Derrick Mason had a beautifully-thrown deep ball from Joe Flacco fall into his arms at the Texans' 20-yard line. Somehow, the ball bounced off the veteran wide receiver's hands, and fell incomplete. The Ravens had to punt a few plays later. Mason got some retribution mid-way through the second quarter, however. On a third-and-goal from the nine-yard

Ravens going with a new alignment up front

Perhaps because of the injury to tight end Todd Heap, and perhaps because they've struggled to churn out much yardage on the ground this season, the Ravens have decided to go with a new alignment on the offensive line tonight. The Ravens are using right guard Chris Chester as a tight end, have slid right tackle Marshal Yanda back to the right guard spot, and

Heap, Washington among Ravens' inactives

It's a sad day in the NFL, as one lengthy consecutive games played streak will end tonight. I'm referring, of course, to tight end Todd Heap. What, did another NFL veteran have a streak end tonight as well? Oh, some guy named Favre? Yeah, we'll hear enough about that later on. Heap will miss tonight's game against the Texans because of a hamstring injury, ending

Ravens-Texans: The three keys

The Ravens will face a tough test in Houston tonight as they take on a Texans team which is loaded on the offensive side of the ball. Baltimore can move up to the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoff picture with a win tonight, but will have to rebound from a tough loss last Sunday to make that happen. Here are three keys to

It's-a me, Mario!

When people discuss the top defensive ends in the league, you'll hear Dwight Freeney, Julius Peppers and Jared Allen's names tossed out there. Somehow, the Texans' Mario Williams often gets overlooked. How that can happen when a guy posts at least nine sacks in four straight seasons, I'm not really sure. Maybe it's the Reggie Bush factor. Maybe it's that he plays all the way

Jets' tailspin means Ravens could bump up a spot

After his Jets got stomped on by the Patriots last week, head coach Rex Ryan buried the game ball from that contest and told his players they needed to put the game behind them and move on. Now, he might want to bury his team's offensive playbook. The Jets lost their second straight game yesterday, falling to the Dolphins at home 10-6. Think the Ravens

A piece of advice: Get Rice involved

Coming off one of the most frustrating offensive performances we've seen out of the Ravens in the last couple seasons, all eyes will be on Cam Cameron and the offense tonight. Those eyes will be staring through binoculars, through microscopes, through magnifying glasses, looking for signs of life from an offensive unit which has failed to live up to expectations this season and reached a

Ravens preparing for Houston's "single route" offense

The Brett Favre drama continues. I'm not sure if you've heard or not - because it's not like it's been all over TV the entire week or anything - but Favre is injured, and now says he wouldn't have played this afternoon if the Metrodome roof hadn't have caved in and postponed the Vikings' game against the Giants. It's really sad that I feel this

Final Ravens-Texans injury report

Head coach John Harbaugh said earlier today that tight end Todd Heap had an "outside chance" of playing Monday night against the Texans with a hamstring injury. That outside chance has turned into zero chance. Heap has been ruled out for Monday's game, meaning that rookie Ed Dickson will get his first career start. CB Fabian Washington (left hamstring) is listed as questionable, and said

Reed will play Monday despite drug investigation

Wide receiver David Reed had his apartment searched by Baltimore County police during a drug investigation on Tuesday night, but the rookie is still scheduled to play Monday night when the Ravens take on the Texans, head coach John Harbaugh said today. "He'll play," Harbaugh said. "It's not something that really affects his football status at this time. He'll have a chance to tell his

Heap likely out; Dickson preparing for first NFL start

Todd Heap has not practiced at all this week after suffering a hamstring injury last Sunday against the Steelers, and as expected, head coach John Harbaugh said that he doesn't expect to have his two-time Pro Bowler when the Ravens face the Texans Monday night. "I think he's got an outside chance, I would say," Harbaugh said. "Realistically, it will probably be tough for him

Webb seeing steady progress on punt returns

It might have taken a few weeks, but Lardarius Webb looks to be settling into his new role as the Ravens' punt returner. Webb didn't have a return longer than 10 yards in his first three games returning punts this season, but in the three games since, his numbers have started to improve. Three weeks ago against Carolina, Webb had 41 total return yards, with

Heap, Washington sit out practice

For the second straight day, Ravens tight end Todd Heap missed practice with a hamstring injury. Heap, who suffered the injury on the Ravens' first play from scrimmage in Sunday night's loss to the Steelers, told reporters this week that there's still a chance that he plays against the Texans on Monday night, but will be smart before deciding to return. The two-time Pro Bowl

Cameron on Steelers collapse: "You're looking at the guy responsible"

Cam Cameron met with reporters for over nine minutes today, and the Ravens' offensive coordinator calmly and truthfully answered question after question about the Ravens' offensive struggles and their inability to score more than 10 points last week against the Steelers. Cameron's message throughout his press conference was simple: The blame should fall squarely on me. "I'm not naïve. I knew exactly what happened, and

Perfect opportunity for offense to get on track

It's been a rough week for Cam Cameron and the Ravens' offense. After Sunday night's loss to the Steelers, in which the Ravens put up just 10 points and managed only 96 yards of total offense after halftime, people all over the Baltimore area - including some in the Ravens' locker room - have wondered why an offense with so much talent has been unable

Ravens or Texans - Who you got?

I'm ba-aaaack! After four days in Orlando for the MLB Winter Meetings, where the Hot Stove was burning up with trades and free agent acquisitions but the weather was actually kinda chilly, I'm back in good old Baltimore and ready to return to Ravens headquarters. My apologies for the lack of entries over the last couple days. Hope you can forgive me. While I was

An update on the Pro Bowl voting

Four Ravens currently lead the fan portion of the Pro Bowl voting with a little less than two weeks left in the balloting. Fullback Le'Ron McClain, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, inside linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed are the Ravens who are currently on top of the voting at their respective position groups. No Ravens are in the top-10 of overall voting, although Lewis

Where'd the run game go?

Once a team that was paced by the running game, the Ravens are now just left pacing trying to figure out how to jump-start that aspect of their offense. The Ravens are averaging just 108.4 yards per game this season, which ranks 16th in the NFL. Running back Ray Rice, named to the Pro Bowl last year in just his second season as a pro,

Ravens should be pleased with Jets loss

Rex Ryan obviously wasn't too thrilled with the way that his Jets got absolutely manhandled by the Patriots last night, but those at Ravens headquarters are probably pleased with how the Monday nighter went down. While both New England and the J-E-T-S were 9-2 and had a game-and-a-half lead over the Ravens going into the game, a Jets loss helps the Ravens much more than

Heap likely out for Monday night but Le'Ron will return

In the interest of full disclosure, I figured that I'd let you all know that I'm currently down in semi-sunny Orlando, FL providing supplemental video coverage of the MLB Winter Meetings for MASNsports.com It's actually much colder here than I thought it would be, and apparently they're not used to the "chilly" 60 degree afternoons, as there are a few heat lamps spread out throughout

Jameel fined $40K, Haloti docked $15K

The NFL has come down strong on two Ravens stemming from two separate injury-causing incidents in Sunday night's game against the Steelers. Linebacker Jameel McClain has been fined $40,000 by the league for an illegal hit to the head Steelers tight end Heath Miller, according to an email from an NFL spokesman. The league deemed Miller a defenseless receiver, and took issue with the third

Some Ravens frustrated with direction offense is headed

Derrick Mason was the vocal one last night, expressing his displeasure with the way the Ravens' offense has been operating this season. Despite having plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball and weapons galore, the Ravens aren't consistent, Mason said. They lack the ability, at least to this point, to carry a solid drive or an impressive quarter over to a full

A look at what could have been

Picture this: The Ravens hang on to beat the Steelers last night, improve to 9-3 on the season, gain the equivalent of a dominating two-game advantage over Pittsburgh in the battle for the AFC North title (a one game lead plus the head-to-head tiebreaker), and position themselves for a likely first-round bye and at least one home playoff game. That's what the Ravens would have

Another one slips away

It was an emotional Ravens locker room after Baltimore's 13-10 loss to the Steelers tonight. Players dressed quietly, some shook their heads and mumbled to themselves while walking to or from the showers, and others, like linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed, declined to talk to reporters as they left. This had the feel of a postseason loss. And while it's only Week 13

Mason rips offense at length in postgame comments

Derrick Mason was hit hard by tonight's 13-10 loss to the Steelers. The veteran wide receiver sat in front of his locker in full pads for quite a while after the game, and finally, turned to address reporters. What Mason said is probably what a number of Ravens fans are feeling at this point, after Baltimore scored just 10 points against the Steelers, and put

Harbaugh, Cundiff explain the decision not to kick

Trailing by three points with 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Ravens had the ball at the Steelers' 31-yard line and were facing a fourth and two. Head coach John Harbaugh had two options - send Billy Cundiff out for a 48-yard field goal attempt into a stiff wind, or try and convert the fourth down and either drive for the go-ahead touchdown

Steelers stun Ravens late, earn 13-10 win

Another instant classic turned into heartbreak for the Ravens, as the Steelers turned a Troy Polamalu strip-sack into a go-ahead touchdown with under three minutes left, and Baltimore was unable to earn a tying score on their final drive. The end result was a 13-10 Steelers win over the Ravens, leaving Pittsburgh a game up on their AFC North rivals with four weeks left in

Ravens, Steelers trading field goals

There have now been three second half possessions. All three have resulted in field goals. Shaun Suisham has booted two kicks through for the Steelers, while Billy Cundiff has one for Baltimore, and with 12 minutes and change left in the fourth quarter, the Ravens have a 10-6 lead. Joe Flacco's first quarter touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin is still the difference in this one,

Halftime notes as Ravens lead Steelers 7-0

Yeah, this is Ravens-Steelers, alright. Very few points, lots of pushing, some blood...all the familiar pieces of this rivalry are in place, and after one half of play, the Ravens have a 7-0 lead over their arch rivals. Here are a few notes from the first 30 minutes of play: - The Ravens have gotten consistent pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, sacking him twice, forcing him

One play in, Heap done for the game

Todd Heap only got to enjoy the Ravens-Steelers game for a single play. On the game's first play from scrimmage, Heap pulled up with a right hamstring injury after Joe Flacco looked for him on a fly route. The pass fell incomplete, and Heap immediately turned to the sideline for medical attention. The Ravens' two-time Pro Bowl tight end went straight into the locker room

'My Giant' is in the house, plus other quick notes

Former Bullets center Gheorghe Muresan is here tonight, towering over everyone on the Ravens' sideline. This Ravens-Steelers matchup really brings the stars out. The Ravens are wearing purple uniforms and black pants tonight. They definitely haven't gone with that color scheme since I've been covering the team, and from what I hear, it's actually been quite a few years since the purple and black were

Shocking news here: Roethlisberger will play vs. Ravens

Despite reports that he has a broken foot, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is active and will play tonight against the Ravens. Boy, I didn't see that one coming. Roethlisberger's status for this crucial game between AFC North foes was never really in doubt, even as reports of his foot injury escalated and the injury was called a break and not a sprain. What is in

McClain inactive but Oher, Landry will play

Two-time Pro Bowl fullback Le'Ron McClain said on Friday that he was healthy enough to play tonight against the Steelers. That won't be happening. McClain is inactive for tonight's game, as is the newly-signed Jason McKie, leaving the Ravens without a fullback for their matchup with the Steelers. While those two will not play, left tackle Michael Oher (sprained knee) and safety Dawan Landry (concussion)

Wait...is there a game tonight?

That's right. I knew I had something on my schedule for Sunday night. The Ravens have a game tonight, against some team from Pennsylvania. The winner has a good chance at a playoff spot or something. It's all starting to come back to me now. I'm all settled in here in the press box at M&T Bank Stadium after making the walk through the cold,

Some predictions and a surprising stat

The entire ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown crew has picked the Ravens to beat the Steelers tonight. If you're a Ravens fan, I'm not sure if that's a positive thing or a negative thing. Personally, I never liked it when my team was unanimously picked to earn a win. Call me weird, call me superstitious, but I always preferred it when the "experts" didn't give my

Ravens-Steelers: The three keys

Sunday's finally here, but we've still got a handful of hours until tonight's highly-anticipated Ravens-Steelers game kicks off. To pass the time until then, take a look at three (hey, let's make it four) keys to tonight's crucial AFC North contest: 1. Which run defense will show up? The Ravens have been somewhat hit or miss with their run defense this year, shutting down Miami's

How will Cam choose to attack?

Yesterday, in my "Who you got?" entry, I touched on the fact that the Steelers' defense has been surprisingly vulnerable against the pass this season. Pittsburgh has allowed an average of 240 passing yards per game, which is not what we're used to seeing out of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's group. In particular, the Steelers have had trouble when teams have spread them out wide

Corners aware that Wallace has speed to burn

It didn't take Mike Wallace too long to break onto the NFL scene and prove his big-play ability. Last year, in just his rookie season, the Steelers wide receiver led the league in receiving average, picking up 19.4 yards per catch. He's backed up that strong rookie campaign this year by again leading the league in average yards per catch, this time averaging 22.0 yards

Very little calm before the storm in Ravens locker room

With the most crucial game of the Ravens' season - to this point, at least - just two days away, one might expect the players to be a little tight following their final full practice of the week. Nah, you can go ahead and scrap that whole line of thinking. It was quite a scene in the locker room this afternoon, complete with music blaring,

Oher fined for in-game Tweet

It might not be a James Harrison-level fine, but Ravens left tackle Michael Oher has received a bill from the league office. According to an email from a league spokesman, Oher has been docked $5,000 by the NFL for violating the league's social media policy. The Ravens' left tackle sent out a Tweet during the Ravens-Bucs game last Sunday after he had left with a

Final Ravens-Steelers injury report

Both the Ravens and Steelers are fairly banged up going into this Sunday's game, which left me spending most of my Friday afternoon writing injury updates. Goody. This should be the final injury-themed post, as today's injury report has just been released. The three Ravens who suffered game-ending injuries last week against the Bucs - S Dawan Landry (concussion), FB Le'Ron McClain (ankle), and LT

Harbaugh "could care less" about Big Ben's broken foot

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported yesterday that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a broken foot, which comes in contrast to the diagnosis that the team had released, which was that Roethlisberger's foot injury was a sprain. The Steelers then released a statement saying that Roethlisberger merely aggravated a previous foot injury where scar tissue is present, and that it's not a new break. Today, asked whether

Mason, Chester both give the thumbs up for Steelers game

Fullback Le'Ron McClain says he's healthy enough to play Sunday. So does safety Dawan Landry. You can add wide receiver Derrick Mason and right guard Chris Chester to that list as well. Mason missed yesterday's practice with an illness, but the 14-year vet returned to the field today and said that he's feeling better. "Oh yeah, I am. Better than I did yesterday," Mason said.

McClain "sure" he's healthy enough for Sunday

If reporters had any questions about Le'Ron McClain's sprained left ankle (and you better believe we did), McClain answered some of them by running off the practice field and into the locker room at the end of the Ravens' afternoon practice. Once in the locker room, the Ravens' two-time Pro Bowl fullback declared himself fit to play Sunday against the Steelers. "I feel good today,"

Landry: "I'm ready to go"

After suffering a mild concussion Sunday against the Buccaneers, Ravens strong safety Dawan Landry pronounced himself healthy and ready to play in Sunday's big divisional battle with the Steelers. "I feel regular," Landry said. "I'm ready to go." Landry has still not yet been medically cleared. He passed the impact test, and practiced every day this week, but still needs to take the baseline test,

Ravens players give their take on purple towel idea

If you weren't already aware, the Ravens will be handing out purple towels to fans entering Sunday night's game against the Steelers as part of a "purple-out" throughout M&T Bank Stadium. Some fans have called in to local talk radio stations poo-pooing the towel idea, claiming that it too closely resembles the Steelers' famed Terrible Towels, which have become a huge part of the team's

Ravens or Steelers - Who you got?

Two days from now, all the build-up and hype will be over. The talk of hatred, respect and sub-par pregame handshakes will soon be replaced with pad-smacking, filling-loosening hits and plenty of on-field trash talk. It's Ravens-Steelers, and it doesn't get much better. Sunday night, Baltimore and Pittsburgh will take the field at M&T Bank Stadium and play a game which could very well decide

Your latest Big Ben injury update

Ben Roethlisberger's right foot has been a topic of much discussion this week. Initially, the Steelers were calling Roethlisberger's foot injury a sprain. The quarterback would certainly tough it out, what with the Steelers facing the Ravens on Sunday Night Football this weekend. Today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Roethlisberger's injury was, in fact, a broken foot and not a sprain. The Steelers subsequently released

Enjoy Cundiff's touchbacks while they last

Believe it or not, the Ravens have the worst kickoff return coverage in the NFL, allowing 27.2 yards per return. Despite that lowly ranking and high return average, Baltimore's kick coverage hasn't been a major topic of discussion this year. The reason? Billy Cundiff's ridiculous touchback numbers have provided a massive cloud which has shielded the issues that lie in the coverage unit. Cundiff leads

Thursday's Ravens-Steelers injury report

This afternoon's injury report looks very similar to the one sent out yesterday, at least from a Ravens perspective. The only change for Baltimore is what WR Derrick Mason missed today's session with an illness. Other than that, everything from Wednesday carried over to today. For the second straight day, Ravens FB Le'Ron McClain missed practice with a sprained left ankle. McClain said he hopes

McClain holding out hope for Steelers game

He might be the most banged-up Raven in the locker room, but fullback Le'Ron McClain says he still hopes to play this Sunday against the Steelers. Evidence that McClain's sprained left ankle is improving could be found when he took part in a game of cornhole with a teammate and was putting weight solely on his left leg. That's what we've got to work off

Not cleared yet, Landry shooting for Sunday

While Dawan Landry took part in practice yesterday and today after suffering a mild concussion in Sunday's win over the Bucs, it turns out the Ravens' strong safety still hasn't been medically cleared to play this weekend against the Steelers. To be cleared, Landry would have to pass his baseline test, a neurological exam which compares a player's post-concussion brain activity to results of the

Gaither makes an appearance, says he'd like to stay with Ravens

Yesterday, a fellow reporter and I were talking about how we hadn't seen Jared Gaither in the Ravens' locker room lately. Today, right on cue, Gaither was back in the building. The fourth-year offensive tackle suffered a thoracic disc injury in his back the first week of training camp and wasn't able to return to full strength. He only took part in one practice after

Odds on Ravens-Steelers

The folks over at Bodog.com have set the line for Sunday night's game between the Ravens and Steelers, and not surprisingly, as the home team, Baltimore is being given the slight edge. The Ravens are currently favored by three points over Pittsburgh, which seems like a fair line to me. In toss-up type games, the home team is often given a three-point advantage. This is

Ngata on Steelers: "I just know that we hate 'em a lot"

Haloti Ngata is one of the more mild-mannered, unassuming players in the Ravens' locker room. He speaks with a quiet, calm demeanor, doesn't curse, and rarely has a negative word to say about anyone. That's what makes Ngata's response to a question yesterday afternoon all the more surprising. The Ravens' Pro Bowl defensive tackle, who has now played in 10 games against the Steelers over

Is there any doubt Sunday's game goes down to the wire?

I've heard people debate what makes a great sports rivalry. Some take the stance that geographical location really can cause two teams to hate each other. And that surely can be true. Take a look at Duke-UNC, Alabama-Auburn, or any number of other collegiate matchups which feature teams from the same state or nearby towns. Others believe that truly great rivalries involve two teams that

McClain only Raven to miss practice

As expected, fullback Le'Ron McClain did not participate in practice today as he rests a sprained left ankle. The good news is that McClain was the only Raven to sit out this afternoon's practice. Safety Dawan Landry, who suffered a concussion on Sunday against the Bucs, was limited in practice today. That means that the Ravens' starting strong safety has passed his baseline test, which

NFL asks Ravens to start selling playoff tickets

This might go against Brian Billick's "Festivus" policy. We're only at Week 13, but the NFL has asked the Ravens begin the process of selling playoff tickets to possible postseason games at M&T Bank Stadium. The team will begin alerting season ticket holders via email later today about their opportunity to buy tickets for two games. A mailing to each PSL (Personal Seat License) holder

Hines Ward thinks Harbaugh doesn't like him

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has been a part of verbal back-and-forths with a number of Ravens players in the past. This time, Ward had something to say about the Ravens' head coach. The longtime Steelers wideout told Pittsburgh reporters that prior to the Ravens-Steelers Week 4 game this season, John Harbaugh gave him "a fake handshake. He didn't even look at me." As a

Oher, Zbikowski, Dickson say they expect to play

While things might not look good for fullback Le'Ron McClain's chances of playing this weekend, three other banged up Ravens all say that they expect to play this Sunday against the Steelers. Left tackle Michael Oher, who suffered a sprained right knee during the third quarter of Sunday's win over the Bucs, said that he is feeling good three days after sustaining the injury. Oher

Terrell Suggs the comedian

When Terrell Suggs is in a good mood, he can be the funniest, most entertaining player in the Ravens' locker room. Today, with the Ravens preparing to face their arch rivals on Sunday, Suggs was smiling from ear-to-ear and was more than happy to chit-chat with a few reporters, even after he had spent time at the podium talking in front of a handful of

Thoughts from the new Ravens FB

How's this for a welcome-to-Baltimore moment for Jason McKie - just a day after signing with the Ravens, he was in meetings and practices in preparation for a game against the Ravens' arch rival which could very well decide the AFC North title. "Good time to come in and try and help contribute," McKie said today with a smile. McKie, who the Ravens signed yesterday

McClain out of walking boot, still limping

He might have lost the walking boot he was wearing over his sprained left ankle after the Buccaneers game on Sunday, but fullback Le'Ron McClain was still sporting a limp as he walked around the locker room today. The two-time Pro Bowler had little to say about his injury status as the Ravens prepare to face the Steelers, but he did give a slight update

The 'Big' question: Can the Ravens solve Big Ben?

If the Ravens are able to beat the Steelers Sunday night and earn a sweep of their arch rivals, it would give them a huge edge over Pittsburgh in the AFC North race with four games to go. A win on Sunday wouldn't just put the Ravens up by a game over the Steelers in the standings, it would represent a two-game cushion because Baltimore

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