Ravens center on Harbaugh for Jets Quarterback takes repetitions, appears set to start tomorrow

September 12, 1998|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

The head games are still being played.

Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda did not name Jim Harbaugh his starting quarterback for tomorrow's game, but it has become obvious who will be under center at 1: 01 p.m. when the Ravens play the Jets in Game No. 2 at Giants Stadium.

Harbaugh took all his usual repetitions with the first team and showed little discomfort from his previous hyperextended right index finger and right elbow that has tendinitis. Trainder Bill Tessendorf said there was no swelling from Thursday's practice, the hardest work day this week.

Barring any last-minute setback, Harbaugh says he is ready to go. But the Ravens want to make Jets coach Bill Parcells sweat for a few more hours.

"I've played against Jim Harbaugh before, I know he is going to be out there," said Parcells earlier this week.

Harbaugh said: "I don't know if there was any swelling. I didn't really analyze it today. It was practice just as usual. I don't know if I'll start. I think the coaches will analyze what they saw before they make the decision. I'm ready to play."

Marchibroda would only say that Harbaugh threw harder yesterday than on Thursday. He was more upbeat about middle linebacker Ray Lewis playing. Lewis has been bothered by a pulled hamstring. Reserve receiver James Roe and Lewis were the only two Ravens not to practice yesterday.

NTC Both starting receiver Michael Jackson, slowed by sore ribs, and defensive tackle James Jones (knee) practiced yesterday for the first time this week. Even starting cornerback Rod Woodson, who missed the final 10 minutes of Sunday's game against the Steelers with back spasms, practiced.

"I think we saw a major improvement in Ray Lewis, but he is still day-to-day," said Marchibroda. "James Jones is coming along fine and good, he should be ready by Sunday. Both James Roe and Patrick Johnson [rookie receiver] have had hamstring problems and we have put Roe on the inactive list. Patrick is questionable."

When pressed about Harbaugh, Marchibroda said: "I really can't say, we'll have to wait until the morning."

Marchibroda also said he would like to get second-year running back Jay Graham into the game. Graham, the starter for the entire preseason until being benched for Errict Rhett, didn't have a carry against the Steelers.

NOTE: The latest rumor out of New York (from the Jets' front office and coaching staff) has the league investigating Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis for tampering with cornerback Rod Woodson when Woodson was with the 49ers last season. Ravens vice president of player personnel Ozzie Newsome said he has not been notified by the league.

Next for Ravens

Opponent: New York Jets

Site: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

When: Tomorrow, 1: 01 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 13/WJFK (1300 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM)

Line: Jets by 6

Pub Date: 9/12/98

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