Je. Lewis' slate likely to be full

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

He'll fill in at receiver if Johnson still out

Pro Football

January 12, 2002|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Jermaine Lewis thought his workload in tomorrow's AFC wild-card game might not include filling in at wide receiver, but the return ace will have another full plate of responsibility against the Miami Dolphins at Pro Player Stadium, because Patrick Johnson will most likely be on the sideline for the 12th straight game.

Lewis has seen spot duty at wide receiver in place of Johnson, who missed the last 11 games of the regular season with a fractured left clavicle. The fourth-year pro returned to the game plan this week, but coach Brian Billick said Johnson will probably not be able to play after developing plantar fasciitis in one of his feet Thursday.

"He's having trouble pushing off," head trainer Bill Tessendorf said. "It [the planter fasciitis] is the thing that runs across the bottom of your arch. He popped it [Thursday], and we didn't know how it was until he started moving [yesterday]."

While Johnson was listed as questionable on the final injury report that was released yesterday, the only other Raven listed in that category - defensive end Rob Burnett - is progressing and should be able to play against the Dolphins. Tessendorf said Burnett (calf) "felt better than he did" Thursday.

Running back Terry Allen did not participate in the light workout that preceded yesterday's charter flight to Miami, but Billick said "he's ready to go." The fact that Allen is 33 and coming off of a season-high 23 carries against the Vikings Monday in a short week of preparation had as much to do with him resting as a rib injury.

In addition to Allen, the Ravens' other probables are left guard Edwin Mulitalo (calf), tight end Shannon Sharpe (knee), defensive tackle Larry Webster (ankle) and offensive lineman Sammy Williams (back). James Trapp (groin) remains doubtful.

Chambers' practice limited

Dolphins rookie receiver Chris Chambers practiced yesterday for the first time this week, on a limited basis, and his status remained questionable.

Chambers has been slowed by sprains in both ankles.

"He caught some balls," coach Dave Wannstedt said. "He didn't work very much."

Chambers leads the Dolphins with 883 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Whether he plays will be a game-time decision.

"It's going to be close," Wannstedt said. "If he can move around and do things, then he'll go. It has gotten a lot better all week, but we'll see."

Jackson not gloating

Brad Jackson will make the seventh start of his NFL career tomorrow. He moved into the Ravens' lineup in November, when Michael McCrary suffered a season-ending knee injury and Peter Boulware was moved from linebacker to end, but others thought he would make an earlier impact. Jackson was Miami's third-round pick in 1998, but was released by then-coach Jimmy Johnson before the season began.

"Doesn't it feel good to go back to his short-lived first NFL home as a starter?

"It's no different than playing Minnesota last week or any other game," Jackson said. "I met my wife [in Miami]. I have good friends in Zach [Thomas], Jason [Taylor] and Derrick Rodgers, but other than that, it's no different than any other place."

Mayoral memories

After practice, Mayor Martin O'Malley addressed the team for a minute. For those into omens - like Billick - it was comforting, since O'Malley first talked to the Ravens the Friday before last season's wild-card win over Denver.

"That became a mini-tradition," Billick said. "We're in the playoffs, it feels good and memories start flooding back. These guys recognize that. Having the mayor out here, that is all part of it. You do that for a reason, to elicit that one little emotional response from last year, to energize you a little bit."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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