Josh Wilson to start Thursday vs. Falcons, Fabian Washington says

  • Josh Wilson breaks up a pass intended for Miami's Davone Bess.
Josh Wilson breaks up a pass intended for Miami's Davone… (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl…)
November 09, 2010|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Josh Wilson is slated to start at cornerback in the Ravens' showdown against the Atlanta Falcons Thursday night, according to Fabian Washington, the man whom Wilson will replace.

"I'm disappointed in myself, happy for Josh, and I'm just going to be sitting back and doing whatever they need me to do," Washington said after Tuesday's practice.

Wilson wasn't quite as confident about his newfound status.

"I don't know about that," he said. "That's up to Coach [John] Harbaugh. I don't think either one of us is going to be able to tell you who's going to start. I think the coaches are going to make the decision and whatever they go with, that's what we've got to live with. Nothing's been put up, nothing's been set in stone, and they haven't said anything to either one of us."

Washington has been benched in the team's last two games, and both times, he was replaced by Wilson.

Washington was pulled in the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 37-34 overtime win against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 24 after surrendering three touchdowns to wide receiver Lee Evans. In the team's 26-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins this past Sunday, Washington stood on the sideline after halftime for missing a tackle on a 31-yard play by wide receiver Brian Hartline.

But Washington said he thinks Wilson will start based on his performance against the Dolphins, which included an interception and three pass breakups.

"I think it was less of the missed tackle and more that Josh played great," Washington said. "I know if I was Josh and I wasn't starting after a performance like that, I would need some answers. I think he played well. So I think it's more than fair for him to be starting."

If Wilson does make his second career start with the Ravens (he started when the Cleveland Browns opened the game with a three-receiver set on Sept. 26), the former Maryland product said he expects to perform.

"One thing about it is, I think I've done enough in this league that I can go out there and play with anybody at anytime," Wilson said. "But I'm not here to step on anybody's toes or change anybody's system. I'm doing whatever it takes to help us win every week."

As for Washington who has been a starter since the organization acquired him from the Oakland Raiders in a draft-day trade in 2008, he appeared to be handling the demotion very well.

"I'm grown now," he said. "I went through this situation three years ago in Oakland and didn't handle it anything like this. I acted like a spoiled brat. Now I'm grown, and I know that in this business, things happen, and you've got to keep on playing. My time is going to come again. I'm not done being a starter in this league at all."

Injury report

There was little change to the injury reports released by the Ravens and Falcons Tuesday.

Free safety Tom Zbikowski missed practice for the second consecutive day. Zbikowski has sat out the last two games because of a bruised right heel, and Harbaugh sounded pessimistic about Zbikowski's chances.

"He hasn't practiced, so [he is] probably not going to make it," Harbaugh said after Tuesday's practice.

Arthur Jones missed practice to attend a funeral, the rookie defensive tackle wrote on his Twitter account.

For Atlanta, three starters in wide receiver Roddy White (knee), outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (knee) and center Todd McClure (knee) did not practice for the second straight day.

White currently ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards with 796, and his coach, Mike Smith, said he expects White to play.

"All indications now is that Roddy should be ready to go," Smith said.

Another starter, middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (knee), was limited in practice for the second consecutive day.

Adjusting indoor kicking

After dealing with wind and weather conditions through the first eight weeks of the season, kicker Billy Cundiff gets his first crack at kicking indoors inside the Georgia Dome Thursday night.

Cundiff, who has converted 14-of-17 field goals this season, said kicking indoors has its fair share of difficulties.

"It should be easier, but you've got to remember that in the NFL, there's no such thing as an easy kick," he said. "Look at New Orleans where Garrett Hartley missed a 29-yarder in overtime and they ended up losing to the Falcons. Jeff Reed missed a 51-yarder versus the Saints. Just because it's indoors doesn't mean it's a guarantee. It just means that you don't have the excuse of the wind."

Ellerbe on deactivation

Two days after being deactivated for Sunday's game against the Dolphins, inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was still uncertain why he was scratched.

"I really didn't have a reaction," Ellerbe said after Tuesday's practice. "It's not up to me. I can't get mad over something that I have no control of."

Ellerbe said he was equally unclear on his status for Thursday night, adding, "It's hard [not knowing], but it teaches you to keep alert because at any given time, you could be thrown out there."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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