Walker: no worry on spitting image


January 15, 2009|By Edward Lee and Jamison Hensley | Edward Lee and Jamison Hensley and,edward.lee@baltsun.com and jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Ravens cornerback Frank Walker said he's ready for any backlash from his "slobber moment" in the last meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The outspoken veteran might have passed linebacker Bart Scott as Public Enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh when he allegedly spat in the mouth of Steelers punter Mitch Berger on Dec. 14.

Walker, who explained that his actions were accidental, said he didn't know whether the Steelers would be targeting him.

"It doesn't even matter, though," he said. "It is what it is. I won't be hiding, though."

Walker reiterated that his description of the incident with Berger was not an expression of remorse.

"I didn't really give them an explanation," he said. "I just stated what happened. It wasn't an apology or anything."

Asked whether he would seek out Berger before the game, Walker said, "No."

Walker could take on an expanded role if cornerback Samari Rolle can't play because of a groin injury suffered in Saturday's 13-10 win against the Tennessee Titans.

If Rolle, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, can't play, Walker would be expected to make his sixth start of the season opposite Fabian Washington.

"No, they haven't told me anything yet," Walker said of whether the defensive coaches had given him any indication on his playing time. "Playing it by ear."

Rolle, Suggs miss practice

Rolle and linebacker Terrell Suggs (shoulder) were among seven starters who did not practice for the Ravens. Rolle and Suggs are considered the most questionable for Sunday's AFC championship game.

The others sidelined yesterday were: defensive tackle Justin Bannan (foot); linebacker Jarret Johnson (calf); running back Le'Ron McClain (ankle); and wide receivers Derrick Mason (knee) and Mark Clayton (thigh). Those limited in practice were tight end Todd Heap (back), safety Ed Reed (knee), linebacker Ray Lewis (shoulder) and fullback Lorenzo Neal (shoulder).

Only two Steelers missed practice because of injury: safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and center Justin Hartwig (knee).

Chilly practice

Ravens coach John Harbaugh decided to practice outdoors yesterday in Owings Mills in the 28-degree weather. According to weather.com, the forecast for Sunday evening's game at Heinz Field is temperatures in the low 20s, with light winds reaching up to 7 mph.

The Ravens will "play it by ear" on whether to continue practicing outside or in their indoor field house this week, Harbaugh said.

"It's a beautiful day out there right now," Harbaugh said. "So, we're looking forward to getting out there and running around a little bit."

Said quarterback Joe Flacco: "I've never played in weather that cold, but I'm not really planning on it being too much of a factor."

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