Reed might return from injury Sunday

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Notebook

November 15, 2005|By BRENT JONES | BRENT JONES,SUN REPORTER

For the second straight week, a key player on the Ravens' defense said he is expecting to overcome injury and play Sunday.

Safety Ed Reed, who has missed the past four games with a high ankle sprain, likes his chances of returning when the Ravens meet the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium.

Defensive end Terrell Suggs expressed a similar sentiment last week, then battled through a thigh injury that had kept him out of practice to play in Sunday's 30-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Suggs had previously predicted he would play.

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis, whose thigh injury has sidelined him the past three games, is not expected to play.

"Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, I can't really share with you anymore what the prognosis is with them," coach Brian Billick said. "Ed has come out of his [walking] boot. Ed seems to think he might be able to go this week. We'll wait and see how the week progresses and see what the doctors say as he does progress through it. It's unlikely Ray is able to be that aggressive yet."

Reed's return would boost an injury-depleted secondary that had its worst game of the year against an unlikely opponent in the Jaguars. Heading into the game, Jacksonville was just 23rd in the league in passing, but quarterback Byron Leftwich completed three passes of 30 yards or more, all to receiver Matt Jones.

The Ravens also were without Dale Carter, who had been working some at safety, and safety B.J. Ward, who had seen increasing playing time in the base defense. Carter and Ward are suffering from thigh injuries, but might return Sunday.

Fullback Ovie Mughelli (ankle) is also expected to return.

T. Jones waived

Quietly, the Ravens waived a player who just a couple of years ago looked like he might be a lifer with the team.

Tight end Terry Jones was released Saturday to make room for cornerback Zach Norton, who was signed off the practice squad. Jones, who was in his fourth season with the Ravens, had started 29 games, including 10 last season in the team's two tight-end formation.

But Jones has fallen behind Todd Heap, Daniel Wilcox and Darnell Dinkins on the depth chart.

"Terry has been so great for us," Billick said. "He's a great young man. All he does is come to work every day. He does his job. We're obviously deep at tight end. Terry has only been up two or three times on the [game-day] active 45. Given how we were at DB [down three players], we had to get another DB up, so we brought Zach up."

Jones has 50 catches for 417 yards and five touchdowns in his career.

Billick on Weaver

In the locker room after Sunday's 27-point loss, defensive end Tony Weaver assessed the team's situation, saying the Ravens are not "a very good team right now."

Billick did not disparage or disagree with his player's comments yesterday.

"The operative word is `right now.' We've got the potential [to improve], but we have to come out and play better," Billick said. "It's very much a game of momentum, and it goes back and forth. The teams that are successful are able to handle the momentum when it changes.

"You can't look at 2-7 and say, `No, we're a good football team, and we're not going to worry about it.' I agree with Anthony in that regard. We're not a good football team right now, but we have seven games, seven opportunities beginning this week, to change that."

End zone

Dinkins will treat 30 Thurgood Marshall High students to lunch at the ESPN Zone today as part of the Homeroom Huddles Program. ... Receiver Clarence Moore will visit Chinquapin Middle School today as part of American Education Week.

brent.jones@baltsun.com

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