Next week target for Heap to engage in contact drills

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Ankle OK, now shoulder needs test, tight end says

Ravens notebook

August 13, 2005|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

ATLANTA - Todd Heap won't play in tonight's preseason opener, but he could take a few hits beginning next week.

The two-time Pro Bowl tight end has yet to practice in the first two weeks of training camp after undergoing offseason surgeries on his ankle and shoulder.

He said his ankle has held up strong recently while running routes. Now comes a test for the shoulder, which could include some contact drills with pads on.

"I was thinking next week would be a good step for me to take after getting everything solidified this week and getting my ankle where it needs to be," Heap said. "Now, it's just a matter of getting my shoulder right."

Ravens officials had previously targeted Heap to come back for the second preseason game, next Saturday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"We'll see how far along he goes," coach Brian Billick said. "Whether he shows up in that game or not, I don't know."

Heap didn't seem concerned if his return is delayed until the third or final preseason game.

"In my mind, you need some pad time," Heap said. "But as far as preseason time, you don't need a ton of that."

Reed, Ricard hurting

The Ravens are dealing with some late-week injury issues.

Free safety Ed Reed sat out yesterday's walkthrough after tweaking his knee Thursday, and fullback Alan Ricard limped off the field in the middle of yesterday's workout with a calf injury. Both are considered game-time decisions for tonight's game.

Billick described holding out Reed as "precautionary." Reed would be replaced by Chad Williams.

"We'll see how he is for game time," Billick said.

End zone

Billick did not shed any light on the Ravens' interest in Peter Boulware. "We'll have to wait and see how it progresses," he said. Boulware, who was cut by the Ravens this offseason, is expected to work out with the team next week. ... Special teams coach Gary Zauner will not accompany the team because of a staph infection in his leg. Assistant Bennie Thompson will coordinate the special teams tonight. ... Atlanta has been a lightning rod of trouble for the Ravens in recent years, from Ray Lewis' arrest on a murder charge in 2000 to Jamal Lewis' plea agreement on federal drug charges last year. "We as a team have never had an issue down in Atlanta," Billick said. "No, it's not a concern of mine." ... The 55th Signal Company, a combat photography group out of Fort Meade, snapped pictures at practice. It is scheduled to head overseas in November.

Things to watch

Position: Running back. Depth at this position is a concern. The late arrival of Jamal Lewis to camp and the uncertain status of Musa Smith (leg) have left Chester Taylor as the only experienced back. Once Taylor is pulled after a few carries, the Ravens will hand off to Tellis Redmon, the current No. 3 back who has bounced around practice squads the past three seasons. Unproven rookies Alex Haynes and Keith Burnell will then finish the game.

Veteran: Middle linebacker Ray Lewis. The perennial Pro Bowl player was always around the ball in last week's scrimmage against the Washington Redskins, a sign that he could flourish in the team's return to the 4-3 defense. It'll be interesting to see if he can have the same impact in his brief appearance against the strong-running Falcons.

Rookie: Offensive tackle Adam Terry. The second-round pick has worked more and more on the right side in camp, which might mean he is the contingency plan if Orlando Brown can't prove he is able to be a full-time starter. Terry is extremely athletic for his size, but the rap on him is he needs a nastier attitude.

On the bubble: Cornerback Calvin Carlyle. Depending on how much playing time Deion Sanders receives, Carlyle could play nickel back with the starting defense. Carlyle, who spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad, provides flexibility because he can play cornerback and safety. The Ravens need a young defensive back to emerge, especially with the injury histories of backups Sanders and Dale Carter.

Injury report: TE Todd Heap (shoulder and ankle) and RB Smith (leg) are on the physically unable to perform list. RB Jamal Lewis (ankle), OLB Adalius Thomas (knee), OLB Dan Cody (knee) and CB Carter (leg) are not expected to play. FB Alan Ricard (calf) and FS Ed Reed (knee) will be game-time decisions.

- Jamison Hensley

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