Trio of Ravens starters are game-time decisions

Lewis, F. Washington practice

Ngata questionable

November 15, 2009|By Edward Lee |

A trio of defensive starters in linebacker Ray Lewis, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and cornerback Fabian Washington will be game-time decisions for the Ravens' meeting with the Cleveland Browns on Monday night.

Lewis (foot) and Washington (bruised left thigh) practiced fully Saturday and are listed as probable on the team's official injury report. Ngata (sprained right ankle) was limited for a second consecutive day and is listed as questionable.

"I think all those guys have a good chance to play, probably to varying degrees," coach John Harbaugh said after practice. "They've all practiced to one degree or another. Haloti went through individual and a good portion of the [team] stuff today. Ray went through the same thing, a good portion of the stuff, and Fabian the same."

While Lewis and Ngata were unavailable for comment, Washington said his thigh is getting better each day.

"I'm the type of guy where even if I am hurt, I'm going to try and go out," Washington said. "Any competitor would do that. If you can play, you've got to want to play. There's no way you can shut it down. So if I'm healthy, I definitely want to play."

Lardarius Webb sat out practice with what Harbaugh described as "significant" stomach pains. The rookie cornerback-return specialist looked pained in the team's locker room and is questionable, but when asked how he felt, Webb said, "I'm good."

Joining Lewis and Washington as probable are linebackers Jarret Johnson (left shoulder) and rookie Dannell Ellerbe (illness), safeties Ed Reed (right wrist) and Haruki Nakamura (strained abdominal), tight end Todd Heap (ankle), left tackle Jared Gaither (neck), wide receiver Kelley Washington (back) and cornerback Chris Carr (illness).

Running back Matt Lawrence (knee) was limited and is questionable.

Cutting down on flags
The Ravens are at the top of the NFL in one dubious category: pass-interference penalties.

With the defense flagged nine times for pass interference, three times for illegal contact and once for illegal use of the hands, secondary coach Chuck Pagano said it's time to rein in the liberal use of hands.

"Certainly, if you're beat on a double move pretty deep and you don't want to give up a touchdown, that's a last resort," he said. "But some of them, guys are in position and don't have to do it. And when you watch and evaluate the tape the next day, once they see it on film, they're like: 'I'm in great position here. All I've got to do is turn, find the ball, and make a play on the ball.' "

Strong safety status
Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison was vague Friday on whether the Ravens plan to address strong safety Dawan Landry's struggles.

Asked whether backups Nakamura or Tom Zbikowski would see increased playing time, Mattison said, "We're going to try to get more guys playing, give guys a little bit of a break and just let some other guys get a chance to play, too."

Et cetera
Browns running back Jamal Lewis (ankle), defensive end Kenyon Coleman (groin), fullback Lawrence Vickers (hamstring), right guard Alex Hadnot (knee) and punter Dave Zastudil (right knee) were limited and questionable. Linebacker David Bowens (knee), tight end Robert Royal ( finger) and center Alex Mack (wrist) practiced fully and are probable.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.

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