As usual, the Ravens have listed tight end Todd Heap on their injury report. But this week's scale may be tipped toward Heap returning to the field for the first time since Week 2.
"This is the first time I've felt that it turned the corner for the better," said Heap, who is listed as questionable. "I was kind of excited after running routes on it the other day."
Heap missed a portion of practice yesterday and worked with the scout team in other parts, but the Ravens remain optimistic his injured ankle can hold up.
It has been a long road for Heap, who originally was projected to be out two to four weeks. Trainer Bill Tessendorf later did a study on Heap's type of ankle sprain and projected him to miss between 50 and 70 days.
Today is Day 67.
"I wasn't experiencing the pain I had before," Heap said. "I'm going to use this week to see how it goes. I'm hoping it's all positive. We'll re-evaluate it after that."
If Heap is unable to play, Terry Jones is expected to start in his place.
White signs; M. Smith on IR
Former Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jamel White signed with the Ravens.
White spent the first four seasons of his career with the Browns, where he accounted for 3,744 all-purpose yards. He signed a free-agent contract with Tampa Bay in the offseason but was released Nov. 16 after rushing for just 20 yards in seven games.
He is not expected to play much on Sunday.
"You never know," said White, who has scored two of his nine career touchdowns against the Ravens. "In a football game, people get hurt. I'll be ready. I'm going to stay positive and try to take all the information I can from the coaches."
White joins Corey Fuller, Orlando Brown and Kevin Johnson as former Browns who have joined the Ravens.
The Ravens also signed running back Tellis Redmon to the practice squad and released defensive back Brandon Pinderhughes. Redmon spent the 2002 training camp with the Ravens.
Fullback and special teams ace Harold Morrow would receive most of the snaps if running back Chester Taylor gets injured Sunday, a challenge Morrow said he has readied himself for over time.
"I've been preparing myself for nine years," Morrow said. "If an opportunity presents itself, I'm going to help this team."
Morrow has not had a carry in a regular-season game since the 2001 season, when he set career highs with 12 rushes for 67 yards for the Minnesota Vikings.
Jones healthy, set to play
The strange nerve condition that forced Jones to miss Sunday's game did not linger into this week, and the tight end isn't even listed on the injury report.
"My shoulder had been sore all last week," Jones said. "It was just a game-time decision. We had two other guys [Darnell Dinkins and Daniel Wilcox] that were very capable of going out there and playing.
"I was talking to the doctors, and it was, `Do I want to play now or play later?' I want to make the run to the Super Bowl and be part of it. It meant I had to sit out a week to prepare to play New England and on down the road."
Practical joke alert
The target of a memorable practical joke shown at halftime of the Ravens' only appearance on Monday Night Football this season, cornerback Gary Baxter spent yesterday on high alert.
Baxter turned 26 and figured his teammates, especially those in the secondary, would be up to something.
"That's why you never let guys know when your birthday is," Baxter said. "Because I know they have a joke or prank planned. And I'm not getting sacked again."