Reed will miss his fifth game in a row


Ankle sprain to keep safety on sidelines

R. Lewis is out, too



Although Ed Reed was optimistic he would play at the beginning of the week, the Ravens' Pro Bowl safety was ruled out of Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the fifth straight game he is set to miss.

Reed had never missed a game before this season, but a high ankle sprain suffered against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 16 has not come along as quickly as Reed had hoped.

"It's tiring because all I do is treatment," Reed said. "Every day, I'm in the training room watching film with the guys. My thing is getting back on the field to help them even more so. I'm feeling better, but I don't know when I'm going to be back.

"I'm not frustrated with it anymore. I was more mad right after the game when I was hurt because I knew I was going to be out a couple of weeks."

Linebacker Ray Lewis will miss his fourth straight game with a thigh injury, and his prognosis is equally vague. Reed has had his foot in a walking boot periodically over the past month.

"I'm day-to-day," Reed said. "I would hope that it would be this week, but if not this week, then next week. That's just how I've been taking it, week to week. I've prepared to play in each game because you never know when it's going to come around for me."

The Ravens still have the league's No. 3 defense minus their leaders, allowing 270.9 yards a game. But without Reed in the lineup, the defense has one interception.

"One player can't win the game," Reed said.

Rimpf gets start

Ravens guard Brian Rimpf will start for the first time in his two-year career in place of Keydrick Vincent, who is out with a thigh injury.

Rimpf subbed for Vincent in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 30-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. His assignment will likely include a healthy dose of nose tackle Casey Hampton, a Pro Bowl player.

"As far as knowing the offense and knowing what to do, I know that," Rimpf said. "Now it's the physical part and the little things I need to work on."

Dale Carter (thigh), Zach Norton (ankle), Musa Smith (lower leg) and B.J. Ward (hip) are all questionable. Smith did not practice yesterday, and the others missed a portion of team drills. Orlando Brown (back), Samari Rolle (hip) and Dan Wilcox (ankle) are all probable.

QB preparation

With Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger questionable for the game, preparations for Ravens coach Brian Billick and his staff will not drastically change.

Tommy Maddox, who would start for Roethlisberger, is a similar pocket passer, though he has struggled this season. Maddox has thrown three interceptions, completed 42.9 percent of his passes and thrown for just one touchdown. He received much of the blame in an overtime loss to the Jaguars when his overtime interception was returned for a touchdown.

"It's not going to change what they do by design," Billick said. "But obviously what the quarterbacks' strengths and weaknesses are, what Ben does in the pocket in staying alive, those types of things, you have to be prepared for. Tommy works a little bit more within the pocket."

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