Mason ready to wing it

Receiver determined to contribute, even with trapezoid trouble

Ravens

December 24, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

Derrick Mason has proved that a 5-foot-10, 192-pound wide receiver can succeed in the NFL. He has proved that a 34-year-old can run circles around younger cornerbacks.

Now he has proved he doesn't need two healthy arms to aid his team's run to the playoffs.

Mason caught six passes for 66 yards and a 13-yard touchdown in the Ravens' 33-24 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night despite a left trapezoid that spasmed up and forced him to play essentially with only his right arm.

"I don't want to, but I think I've proven that I can go out there and try to do the best that I can and try to help the team out in any way possible," Mason said yesterday. "With one hand or with both."

Mason, who was not present during the portion of yesterday's practice open to the media, dislocated his left shoulder against the Houston Texans on Nov. 9. But two weeks ago, the trapezoid locked up on him and became more of an issue than the shoulder.

"I think the shoulder is as stable as it can be right now," he said. "I think what's happening now is my muscle's just trying to compensate for the shoulder not being as strong as it was. Now that's causing a problem where my muscle spasms real bad, and it hurts actually worse than what the shoulder does."

Mason said he intends to be ready for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is good for Ravens fans and rookie quarterback Joe Flacco.

"I was glad to see him back out there," Flacco said. "I'm not going to question it. As long as I see him out there, I'm getting ready to throw him the ball."

In addition to Mason, offensive tackles Willie Anderson (sprained left ankle) and Adam Terry, linebacker Jarret Johnson and cornerback Fabian Washington (hamstring) did not appear to practice during the media-viewed portion yesterday.

Johnson and Washington were not present. Anderson and Terry watched practice dressed in sweats, but Anderson said he intends to play Sunday.

"It hurt like hell when I did it," Anderson said. "I thought I did something [more serious] the way it hurt and how it got hit. ... I'll be OK."

Cornerback Samari Rolle (sprained foot) and rookie running back Ray Rice (left shin bruise) practiced yesterday. "I will be there on Sunday," Rolle said. "I'll be all right."

The Ravens and Jaguars did not release injury reports; they are not required to do so until today.

Coach John Harbaugh said the Ravens must defeat Jacksonville on Sunday because he believes the New England Patriots will beat the Buffalo Bills earlier in the afternoon.

"New England is going to win a football game. We know that. Everybody knows that," he said. "So we're going [out there] to win our football game. That's what we need to take care of, and we don't need anybody else to get us in the playoffs."

Asked whether the Patriots are the lock of the week, Harbaugh replied: "The lock of the week. Book it."

Notes: : Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew bruised his knee during the team's 31-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday and did not practice yesterday or Sunday. Jones-Drew, who has never missed a game because of injury, rushed 20 times for 91 yards and caught six passes for 71 yards in his first game as Jacksonville's full-time tailback. "I remain hopeful," coach Jack Del Rio said. "He's not going to practice today. He's working hard to get back." ... Jacksonville announced yesterday that vice president of player personnel James "Shack" Harris, a former Ravens executive, has resigned, effective at season's end. "I want to thank Shack for his contributions and his hard work in helping us rebuild this team," owner Wayne Weaver said in a release. "When he and Jack Del Rio joined us six years ago, we were coming off three straight losing seasons, and Shack helped build a strong roster that returned us to the playoffs. Though this season has not been what we all hoped for, there have been many great moments over the last six years." Harris will be replaced by executive director of college and pro personnel Gene Smith ... Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain is one of three finalists for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week. Fans can vote for McClain, who is competing with the Cincinnati Bengals' Cedric Benson and the New York Giants' Derrick Ward, at NFL.com until Friday at 11 a.m. ... The local media voted free safety Ed Reed and linebacker Terrell Suggs as the team's Most Valuable Player and media Good Guy, respectively.

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