It's a waiting game for 2 injured starters Status of Jackson, Burnett likely to be decided Sunday

Ravens notebook

November 26, 1998|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Wide receiver Michael Jackson wore a soft cast on his ailing left foot and used a crutch to get around while observing the Ravens' practice yesterday, and left defensive end Rob Burnett missed the workout with a right knee injury.

A magnetic resonance imaging test revealed fluid and no ligament damage in Burnett's knee. He also suffered a pulled right calf muscle in the second quarter of Sunday's 20-13 victory over Cincinnati.

Burnett, who like Jackson is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, is not expected to practice until tomorrow. If Burnett cannot play, Keith Washington would start in his place.

"It's nothing serious, but it probably will be a game-day decision," Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda said of Burnett, who ranks eighth on the team with 53 tackles, including 33 solo and 2 1/2 sacks.

Jackson's status also probably will be determined on game day. James Roe would replace Jackson if needed.

McCrary vs. ex-teammate

Left defensive end Michael McCrary has a sense of urgency this week. Besides wanting to be a part of the team's first two-game winning streak, besides wanting to beat the Colts in a game of such historic significance, McCrary has his eye on former Seattle teammate Michael Sinclair.

McCrary, who has been held without a sack in his last two games, still leads the AFC with 12 1/2 , but Sinclair is closing on him. Sinclair is second with 12.

"It's a state of emergency," said McCrary, who played with Sinclair for four seasons in Seattle before signing a three-year contract with the Ravens in 1997. "We're always competitive. He said he was calling me tonight, but I don't want to talk to him."

McCrary was double-teamed often against the Bengals, who weren't called for holding on several plays where a flag may have been warranted. He has promised not to let the abusers win.

"I've been getting a lot of heat, but I've just got to find a way to get through [and to the quarterback]," he said. "I'll be damned if I'm going to sit here without another sack. I'm going to put springs under my feet. If I've got to bring a trampoline to jump over [the line], that's what I'll do."

Rerun planned

Let's see. The Ravens rolled up 247 rushing yards against the Bengals' NFL-worst run defense last Sunday. Next up are the Colts, with the 29th-ranked defense, including a run defense that also ranks No. 29.

Is it safe to assume there is a little smash-mouth in this week's game plan?

"That's probably the message," center Wally Williams said. "We can't go out and rush for 240 yards against every team, but all we ask for is a little consistency in sticking with the running game.

"I hope, with our performance last week, we've given [the coaches] the confidence to call the running plays we need to run more. We need to run the ball to get this offense to work. It opens up everything else."

More than a game

The significance of Sunday's game certainly is not lost on quarterback Jim Harbaugh or Marchibroda. They sense that a victory, among other things, can win back numerous fans who have become disenchanted with the team during their disappointing, 4-7 year.

"You really get a sense of that here. It's real important for HTC Baltimore, as well as for the guys on this team," Harbaugh said.

Said Marchibroda: "It's an important game for the Ravens, No. 1. And I think it's an important game for the fans. It's also a very important game for the old Colts who are going to be there."

Et cetera

Ravens cornerback Duane Starks bought more than 300 turkeys that were distributed last week to needy families in Overtown, the Miami neighborhood where he was raised. Indianapolis running back Marshall Faulk would be earning many Pro Bowl votes if he played on a winning team. Faulk, who ranks second in the NFL with 1,556 yards from scrimmage, has accounted for 46.4 percent of the Colts' net offense. He leads the league with 62 receptions, and has caught a pass in every game of his career.

Pub Date: 11/26/98

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