Limping Boulware still questionable for playoff game

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

He hasn't taken any reps in practice for two weeks

Suggs would get 2nd start

Pro Football

January 02, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Peter Boulware's status for tomorrow's game against the Tennessee Titans remains up in the air.

The Pro Bowl linebacker, who missed the regular-season finale with a right knee sprain suffered in the first half of the previous week's victory at Cleveland, was listed as questionable on yesterday's injury report.

Boulware, who missed the first game of his NFL career last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, was walking around outside the Ravens' locker room with a noticeable limp yesterday.

When asked about Boulware's status, Ravens coach Brian Billick said: "We'll see. He's still questionable."

Boulware, who has 8 1/2 sacks and is the franchise's all-time leader with 67 1/2 , hasn't taken any reps in practice for two weeks.

If Boulware cannot go, Terrell Suggs, the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year, would make his second straight start at outside linebacker.

It would also mean that second-year defensive end Tony Weaver (five sacks) would become more of a pass-rushing end in nickel and dime packages.

Ogden vs. Kearse

Having faced him seven times, Ravens Pro Bowl left tackle Jonathan Ogden doesn't expect any surprises tomorrow in his matchup with Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse.

"He's probably the fastest defensive end in the league, so you just have to move your feet," Ogden said. "I also make sure I get my hands on him as soon as I can because you have less margin of error with a guy with that type of speed."

In seven games against the Ravens, Kearse has seven sacks. The Ravens haven't faced Kearse, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, since Nov. 12, 2001, in a game in which he had two sacks.

This season, Kearse has a team-high 9 1/2 sacks and 19 quarterback pressures in 14 games.

Bears targeting Nolan?

The Chicago Bears have requested permission to interview Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan for their head coaching vacancy, according to a league source. The Bears, who fired Dick Jauron on Monday, could interview Nolan early next week.

In his second year as coordinator, Nolan has directed the Ravens to the NFL's third-ranked defense and a top-six ranking in virtually all major defensive categories.

Thomas eyeing Pro Bowl

Ravens linebacker Adalius Thomas, who was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 17 after surgery to repair a broken right elbow suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14, is hoping to return in time for the Pro Bowl on Feb. 8.

"I'd be crazy not to [play if healthy]," said Thomas, who was selected to go to Hawaii as a special teams player. "That's what you play for besides the Super Bowl - to get a chance to go over with the elite players. That's something that no one can ever take from you. It's a great honor for me as well as my teammates."

Family affair

Ravens player personnel assistant Jeremiah Washburn is the son of Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn.

Billick was asked about that and he said jokingly: "Last time I looked, it said Ravens on his paycheck. If there is any ambiguity about his loyalties, we can straighten it out real quick."

End zone

This is the first time in a while the Ravens have been able to spend the full week of practice at their Owings Mills facility. Rain and other elements have forced the Ravens in recent weeks to move practices to either M&T Bank Stadium or indoors at McDonogh School. ... Billick was asked if punter Dave Zastudil, who sustained a broken nose and mild concussion last week, needed to take any precautions, such as a different facemask. His response: "No, he's a punter. We're going to get [Kyle] Boller a few extra punts." ... There were no changes in yesterday's injury report for the Ravens, with Boulware and tight end John Jones (hip) and wide receiver Frank Sanders (back) questionable and center Mike Flynn (ankle) and running back Chester Taylor (knee) probable. All 11 Titans who were on the initial injury report as questionable remained so yesterday.

Sun staff writer Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.

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