Tight end Heap likely out

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Hamstring probably will sideline him vs. Buffalo

Wilcox also injured

Ravens Notebook

October 19, 2007|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

Three days after his coach suggested that Todd Heap would be able to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, the two-time Pro Bowl tight end has been all but ruled out.

Heap has not practiced for the past two days after tweaking a strained hamstring in the Ravens' 22-3 win over the St. Louis Rams, and coach Brian Billick acknowledged a downgrade in Heap's status for Sunday's game.

"Unlikely for Sunday," Billick said when asked if Heap would be able to play.

The loss of Heap and Daniel Wilcox, who also has missed the past two days of practice because of a sprained toe on his left foot, leaves the Ravens with just one healthy tight end, Quinn Sypniewski, on the active, 53-man roster.

The team could promote Lee Vickers, a converted defensive end, from the practice squad, Billick said. "Anytime you make a roster move, you have to be careful, but that's a possibility," he said.

Another option could involve center/guard Chris Chester, who played tight end at Oklahoma until his junior year, when he switched to the offensive line.

"It's a little bit more different from going from center to guard than it is going from center to tight end," Chester said. "But it is what it is. If I've got to do it for the team, I have absolutely no problem doing it."

The key will be whether the sprained medial collateral ligament in center Mike Flynn's right knee will have healed enough to allow Chester to shift to tight end. Although Flynn has been limited in practice this week, he said Wednesday that he is aiming to play Sunday.

More injury news

The team described linebacker Ray Lewis as being limited in practice, but Billick was not alarmed.

"I never not expect Ray Lewis to play," Billick said. "He'll work his way through it. He usually does."

Quarterback Steve McNair (back) and cornerback Chris McAlister (knee) also did not practice.

Offensive tackles Jonathan Ogden (toe) and Adam Terry (ankle) and Flynn (knee) were limited, but the team upgraded running back Willis McGahee (knee), linebacker Gary Stills (knee) and wide receivers Derrick Mason (knee) and Demetrius Williams (knee), all of whom participated fully in practice.

Thomas vs. Billick

New England Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas took a subtle shot at his former team and coach when comparing the Patriots and Ravens in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.

"You've got to remember, I'm coming in from Baltimore," Thomas told the magazine. "People there wanted the limelight, people sought out the limelight, starting with the head coach. It was a star-studded system. Here, it's about as different as you can get. Everybody here shies away from being the star guy. Nobody on this team beats his chest. They just all go about their business. And win."

Asked if he had a response, Billick at first declined. Then he asked rhetorically: "Was A.D. one of those guys concerned about being in the limelight when he was here?"

End zone

Defensive tackle Anthony Bryant was claimed off the Ravens' practice squad by the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens signed wide receiver Romby Bryant and defensive tackle J'Vonne Parker to the practice squad and released offensive lineman Brandon Torrey from the practice squad. ... Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown will join general manager Ozzie Newsome and Billick in honoring minority owner Art Modell at "Thanks, Art! A Celebration of Art Modell" on Tuesday at Valley Mansion in Cockeysville. For tickets, call 410-727-1539, ext. 3013, or go to baberuthmuseum.com.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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