R. Lewis works out, now waits

Ravens might not decide if he plays until game time

October 26, 2002|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Ray Lewis' injured shoulder continues to heal, but the fate of his participation against the Pittsburgh Steelers might still have to wait until tomorrow.

Yesterday, the perennial All-Pro linebacker had his most active workout since Oct. 6, when he partially dislocated his left shoulder and left what turned into a tenuous win at Cleveland. Trainer Bill Tessendorf said Lewis is "still a very, very big question mark," but head coach Brian Billick sounded more optimistic.

"He did some things today," Billick said. "We'll see how sore it is tomorrow, and it will probably be the proverbial game-time decision. We're obviously ahead of where we were last week at this time, so things are looking better."

Michael McCrary (knee) was the only Raven who missed yesterday's practice, and the defensive end remains doubtful. Besides Lewis, kicker J.R. Jenkins (leg) remained questionable, and offensive linemen Ethan Brooks (back/knee) and Jason Thomas (calf) remained probable.

Stronger Stover?

If Jenkins remains out, veteran Matt Stover feels better equipped to handle kickoffs than a week ago. Stover learned two days before the Jacksonville game that Jenkins was out. He winced about a performance in which he sent only one ball inside the 10, with another that came down at the 22.

"I'm a pro, and I should have kicked better than that," Stover said. "I'm a technician, and I was a little bit off on some of my stuff. I went out and corrected it this week, and if I'm called on Sunday, I believe I'll do a better job."

Recent Steelers games have been close calls, often influenced by field position.

"Return teams, cover teams, field position is always a big factor in these games," Billick said. "That [kickoffs] is not Matt's forte, particularly where he is in his career. That's why J.R. is here."

Ogden ready

Left tackle Jonathan Ogden said he shouldn't be perplexed by Joey Porter, who has used the Steelers' 3-4 alignment to gain a share of the AFC lead in sacks.

"It's a 3-4, we play a 3-4 here," Ogden said. "Peter [Boulware], Shannon [Taylor] stand up in training camp. I've been playing against Pittsburgh so long, from Greg Lloyd to Chad Brown to Joey Porter, you just know how to play it. There are no major adjustments."

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