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 to get back. I'll hold out hope, as always, because he's a tough guy. He's been rehabbing like crazy. We made a lot of progress from yesterday to today, but we'll probably plan for the worst and hope for the best."
Assuming that Heap is not able to suit up for the Monday nighter, rookie Ed Dickson will step in and get his first career NFL start in Heap's place.
Dickson has made eight catches for 112 yards on the season, including three grabs for 21 yards filling in for Heap against Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The rookie out of Oregon admitted that he's pumped up for the opportunity, but said he's prepared the same this week as he would for any other game.
"It's been a great week of preparation," Dickson said. "I'm not going to try to do anything major. I'm going to do my job, and that's all they asked of me. I'm just excited and ready to get after it. After a loss like [Sunday's against Pittsburgh], I'm ready to get back at it and get another victory."
Dickson and fellow rookie tight end Dennis Pitta have stayed after practice the last few days working with Flacco on routes and trying to improve their timing.
"I feel really comfortable," Dickson said. "The biggest problem is getting that chemistry down with me and Flacco. We started a couple days after practice to work on the things we needed to work on, and if I'm up this Monday night, I'm just going to do my job and try and get the victory."