R. Lewis, Reed sit out practice

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Billick optimistic two will play Sunday

November 09, 2006|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis and free safety Ed Reed did not practice yesterday at the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills and are questionable for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.

Lewis injured his back and Reed bruised his leg when the two collided on a fumble return that was eventually overturned during the fourth quarter of Sunday's 26-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Reed did not talk to the media yesterday, but coach Brian Billick remained optimistic that Lewis and Reed would be available against Tennessee, and Lewis said he hoped to return to practice as early as today.

"I'm just trying to get past this first day just to see where I am at the end of this day," said Lewis, who missed 10 games with a torn right hamstring last season. "I'll probably be back at practice tomorrow and no later than Friday. Just to really get my legs back up under me and things like that."

Lewis confirmed that the back has been sore since Sunday and tightened up Monday.

Asked if he could have participated in light drills, Lewis said, "Right now, if I tried to get out there and just run, I would just be grimacing the whole time.

"It's real stiff, and I can't move that much. But as far as anything structurally wrong, no. It's just a bad bruise, and we're going to move on from there."

In other injury news, tight end Todd Heap, who twisted his ankle against the Bengals, practiced and is listed as questionable. Cornerback Corey Ivy (kidney tear) also is questionable.

Linebacker Adalius Thomas (neck) and defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (wrist) are listed as probable.

For Tennessee, defensive end Antwan Odom (knee) is out, and seven players -- including starting wide receiver David Givens (hand) and starting linebacker David Thornton -- are questionable.

Cover jinx?

Lewis is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, which profiled the linebacker's Christian faith and its role in his personal and professional lives.

Lewis, who was on the cover of the Madden video game for the 2004 season and could not guide the Ravens to the playoffs that year, said he didn't give much credence to a Sports Illustrated jinx.

"Did they know that it was coming and is that why my back hurts now?" Lewis joked. "I don't believe in any jinxes or anything like that. It's a pretty good article. I read it. It's straightforward. I think it's just a lot of things that will help a lot of men that truly have struggles in life. Maybe a lot of them won't speak about it, but I think it will help and really enlighten a lot of people."

Kickoff decisions

Rookie punter Sam Koch said he has begun kicking off during practice, but he isn't sure when he would be able to return to the assignment on a full-time basis.

Matt Stover has been the primary kickoff man after Koch said he pulled his right quad in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I want to try to get back in there and help him out with that," Koch said. "It's a little taxing on the leg, but then again, it's going to take a little bit off of Matt, who has been doing so much."

Fisher to Dallas?

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might be interested in hiring Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher to succeed Bill Parcells if the latter leaves after this season, according to some reports.

Fisher, who participated in a conference call with local media yesterday, said he is not bothered by such conjecture.

"I've been coaching in this league for a long, long time, and they're not distractions," said Fisher, who is in his 13th season as a head coach. "Our ability to deal with distractions determines success in this league. We've been through an awful lot of them, and I don't see that as a distraction. I'm under contract, and I love living here in Nashville and want to finish what we started here."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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