R. Lewis listed as questionable

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Linebacker still unlikely to play against Jaguars

Brooks misses practice

Pro Football

October 19, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ray Lewis' status was upgraded from doubtful to questionable yesterday, but the Pro Bowl linebacker remains unlikely to play tomorrow against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Lewis did not practice and his upgrade has nothing to do with improvements in his hurt shoulder. Lewis partially dislocated his left shoulder against the Cleveland Browns and missed last Sunday's 22-20 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

"We upgraded him simply to give us that option on Sunday," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "But it is still very doubtful that he will play. That's a procedural thing where we still needed to leave ourselves that loophole in case something miraculous happens between now and Sunday."

Had Lewis remained doubtful and played tomorrow, the Ravens could have been accused of intentionally downgrading his condition to dupe the Jaguars. Now, Lewis officially has a 50-50 chance of playing.

If Lewis does not play, the Ravens will continue to use veteran linebacker Bernardo Harris in base-defense situations and Cornell Brown in longer-yardage situations. Harris and Brown combined for seven tackles against the Colts.

Ed Hartwell, who took over much of Lewis' on-field duties, led the team with 13 tackles.

Lewis has missed five previous games due to injury, and the Ravens are 1-4 in those contests.

Brooks also questionable

Tackle Ethan Brooks was the only other player to miss practice yesterday, and he remains questionable for tomorrow's game with back and knee injuries.

While Damion Cook, in his second year out of Bethune-Cookman, went in for one play last week when Brooks got hurt, Edwin Mulitalo has practiced some at right tackle this week. Mulitalo played the first two games of the season at right tackle before switching back to left guard in place of Casey Rabach.

"We'll wait and see. There again, it's game time," Billick said. "The knee is fine. It's his back that has spasms. That's what we try and work through.

"We could go back to our original configuration. And that's great that we've had a lot of work at that."

If the Ravens choose to keep Mulitalo at left guard, Cook would get his first start.

"I just want to go out there and contribute, keep everything flowing smoothly," Cook said. "That's my main thing."

Stover may get his kicks

Matt Stover may have to kick off for the first time this season tomorrow.

J.R. Jenkins (leg) was added to the injury list and is now questionable. Stover has not kicked off since October of last year.

"This might be the week to let his leg rest and go with Matt," Billick said. "Matt is certainly capable of that."

End zone

The Ravens will have increased security and extra surveillance precautions surrounding the stadium for the game in light of the recent sniper shootings in the Washington area. ... Jacksonville will start second-round pick Mike Pearson at right tackle for the first time this season. Former right tackle Zach Wiegert is switching to left tackle in place of the injured Maurice Williams.

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