Veterans Johnson, Heap should face Bengals

Injuries are progressing, both expected to play

September 17, 2010|By Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun

Despite a back injury that kept him out of practice the last two days, outside linebacker Jarret Johnson said he plans to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I'm good," he said after the Ravens practiced Friday. "I'm good to go."

Johnson, who is listed as questionable for Sunday, did not elaborate on the injury. But he has not missed a game since Dec. 21, 2003, and he emphasized that it wasn't serious.

"It's something minor," he said. "No big deal."

Tight end Todd Heap said his strained right shoulder is progressing to the point where he could play Sunday against the AFC North reigning champions.

"I'm feeling better every day," said Heap, who was limited for the second consecutive day. "So we'll see how it goes from here."

Heap, also listed as questionable, said the soreness and stiffness he feels in the shoulder is nothing new.

"That's kind of how it is every week," he said. "But this week especially, dealing with this, I'm just trying to get everything as good as it can be for Sunday."

Starting inside linebacker Jameel McClain, who was also limited for the last two days and is listed as questionable, said his knee is not an issue.

"I'm good," he said. "I'm going to be out there. … It'll take a whole lot for me not to go out."

Rookie nose tackle Terrence Cody said he is very confident in the left knee that underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

"I feel good," said Cody, who was limited for the second straight day and is also questionable. "I'm almost 100 percent. I'm about 80, 85. … Besides the coaches' decision, that's the only thing that can keep me from playing."

Webb still waiting

Lardarius Webb's availability for Sunday hasn't changed, according to the cornerback said.

"Same as yesterday," he said after Friday's practice. "It'll be a game-time decision, I think."

Webb, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Dec. 20, was removed from the team's injury report Wednesday — perhaps the most encouraging sign he is ready to play.

Coach John Harbaugh sounded optimistic Friday that Webb could return in Cincinnati.

"I think there is a chance he'll play," Harbaugh said. "It depends on how it feels as we get close to the game. He's doing well."

Right side of O-line staying put

The right side of offensive line, in flux for more than a month because of Jared Gaither's back injury and the concussion sustained by Oniel Cousins, won't change significantly from Monday's win over the Jets.

Cousins, who had been expected to take over from Gaither at right tackle, said that he didn't expect to start against the Bengals. That would mean that Marshal Yanda will make his second consecutive start at tackle and Chris Chester would line up at right guard.

"Obviously last week was my first week coming back off my concussion, I was just happy to get out there and do whatever I could do to help this team win," Cousins said after practice Friday.

Said Yanda, "I'm good wherever they need me to be. I'm just happy to be out there playing. If it's tackle this week, I'm ready to go."

Oher vs. Odom

The last time Antwan Odom faced the Ravens on Oct. 11, the Bengals defensive end was tied for the league lead in sacks with eight, but was shut out by then-rookie Michael Oher, who was filling in for the injured Gaither at left tackle.

Another matchup looms Sunday, and Oher is anticipating a strong test from Odom, whom Oher likened to New York Jets defensive end Jason Taylor.

"He has a lot of different things that he can do," Oher said of Odom. "He's a long guy, pretty quick off the ball. Just going to have to focus more on technique."

Wilson staying patient

When the Ravens traded for cornerback Josh Wilson a few days before the season opener against the New York Jets, many assumed the former Maryland star and Seattle Seahawks starter would jump right in at nickel back.

That still might happen, but the Ravens played safety Haruki Nakamura there Monday night. Wilson was used only on special teams in his Ravens' debut, and he thought it might have been for the better.

"I wasn't 100 percent confident in knowing everything, but now it's a new week and I'm definitely at a different level," Wilson said this week. "I'm comfortable with the calls and I'm understanding what's going on around me and I'm just back to playing football."

McGahee promoting "Blackout"

In conjunction with baltimoreblackout.com, Willis McGahee is trying to get fans to flood the team's home opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 26 at M&T Bank Stadium with black towels and black T-shirts. Proceeds benefit the Willis McGahee Foundation, which has bought calculators for students and helped families get free turkeys on Thanksgiving in the past.

But the running back insists that he is not trying to copy the Terrible Towels idea popularized by Pittsburgh Steelers fans.

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