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 Saints.

“I’m hoping. I’m hoping he’ll be back,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll just have to see. Hamstring (injuries), you just never know about. He’s making good progress. We’ll just have to see.”

Mason (ankle) and Zbikowski (back) also sat out again today, as did fullback Le’Ron McClain, who was sent home by trainers because of an illness.

Linebacker Tavares Gooden (calf) and cornerback Fabian Washington (hamstring) had a full practice today.

For the Saints, running back Chris Ivory (hamstring) was downgraded to no practice today.

Three starters were limited for New Orleans - defensive tackle Remi Ayodele (ankle), left tackle Jermon Bushrod (ankle) and linebacker Jonathan Vilma (quad).

Three other starters are down as having a full practice - safety Malcolm Jenkins (rib), cornerback Tracy Porter (shoulder) and tight end Jeremy Shockey (groin). Jenkins and Shockey were both upgraded after having a limited practice yesterday.

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