Grbac will play Sunday after concussion

Ravens notebook

Billick: `He's ready to go'

Lake finally feels healthy

October 18, 2001|By Brent Jones | By Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

With the aftereffects of Sunday's concussion having subsided, Ravens quarterback Elvis Grbac went about his normal routine of preparing for the next opponent yesterday.

In fact, Grbac said he felt better than usual after a couple of surprisingly good nights of sleep.

"For some reason, maybe it loosened up some cobwebs up top, but I've felt good the last couple of nights," Grbac said. "I don't know what it is with concussions, but at night time, I felt great."

This is not to say Grbac is itching for another concussion Sunday against Cleveland in his first game as a professional in his hometown.

Grbac realizes he needs to be clearheaded in leading the Ravens' attack, something he was not in the loss at Green Bay.

"There wasn't too much I remember," Grbac said. "The one thing that stuck in my mind was how small the locker room was. You look at the film and you could tell I just wasn't the same person."

Grbac suffered a Grade 1 concussion -- the least severe -- from the helmet of Packers defensive tackle Santana Dotson on a fumble-causing hit in the second quarter. Grbac had tests on the left side of his neck after the game, but X-rays were negative.

He is listed as probable in the injury report.

"He's fine and ready to go," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

As for whether he will be thinking about suffering what would be the fourth concussion of his career Sunday, Grbac said, "I don't think about it too much, but I know my wife does, and I know my family does. My mom called me a couple of times to see how I was doing. Friends have called me. It's something you just have to keep track of, and make sure you're doing the right things, taking the right rest.

"You also have to be smart with the ball. If I see a guy coming on me, maybe take the sack instead of trying to make the play downfield."

Lake settles in

Safety Carnell Lake said he physically feels the best he has since early 1998 when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A stress fracture in his left foot, which kept him out all last season, and a sore hamstring suffered this preseason with Jacksonville (leading, in part, to his release by the Jaguars), are completely healed.

Now, he is focusing on coming in as the sixth defensive back. Lake has seven tackles this season, two years removed from making the Pro Bowl with the Jaguars.

"I'm progressing, but still learning," Lake said. "I feel like I'm getting quicker. I'm still making a few mistakes here and there, but overall, I feel like my game speed is getting faster."

Lake signed with the Ravens on Sept. 11. It was thought when Lake first arrived that he might compete with Corey Harris for the starting strong safety position, but Harris has been one of the team's defensive stars.

That leaves Lake coming off the bench for the first time in his 13-year career, playing 20-30 snaps a game.

"I'm playing a new role, but it's coming," Lake said. "Every week I'm getting a little better, getting my legs back."

McCrary wants a win

Defensive end Michael McCrary's three-game sack streak ended against the Packers. McCrary had five sacks in the three games before the Green Bay encounter, including back-to-back two-sack weeks.

He expressed little remorse about it yesterday, instead putting the focus back on the division showdown.

"I'm looking to win a game," McCrary said. "This is the battle for the division."

Stover goes for record

Kicker Matt Stover has a chance to break Fred Cox's record for consecutive games with a field goal Sunday at Cleveland, where Stover spent the first five years of his career.

Stover has kicked a field goal in 31 straight games.

"It's just one of those things where the team has done a great job for me, putting me in field-goal range consistently throughout the last few years," Stover said. "When you have that, these opportunities come up.

"On the field I can guarantee I won't be thinking about that. On the sidelines, sure you think about it."

Injury update

End Rob Burnett (hand) and guard Edwin Mulitalo (knee) did not practice yesterday. Both players, along with tight end Todd Heap (ankle), who did practice, are questionable for Sunday's game. Fullback Sam Gash (leg), McCrary (knee) and Grbac are probable. Patrick Johnson (clavicle) and Leon Searcy (arm) are out, though Searcy practiced for the first time yesterday.

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