Chester hospitalized with skin issue

Starting right guard could be back by Sunday, but Moll is ready

November 19, 2010|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Starting right guard Chris Chester was hospitalized with a "skin issue" last night, which could pave the way for Tony Moll to make his first start at that position since Sept. 21, 2008.

Coach John Harbaugh revealed the reason behind Chester's absence from Friday's practice, but was unsure of his availability for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers.

"It's not serious, but it was something that was causing a lot of pain," said Harbaugh, who acknowledged that he didn't know the exact diagnosis. "They're going to work on the infection and make sure it's OK. So we think he'll be there for Sunday, but you never know with those things."

Moll took all of the snaps at right guard Friday, and he said he is prepared to play.

"This is the position I was acclimated to in my rookie year," said Moll, who was drafted by the Green Bay packers in the fifth round in 2006. "I played mostly at right guard throughout [my time in] Green Bay. It's not really a big deal. I don't feel any pressure or anything like that playing right guard. It's just one of those things we do. That's why every day at practice, you see people playing every position."

Moll, who has worked at the tackle and guard spots, said he thinks the transition to join the first offensive line will be seamless because of the chemistry the unit developed in offseason workouts and training camp.

"Tony knows the offense, and Tony's been here long enough," right tackle Marshal Yanda said. "Me and him will talk probably every play just to make sure that we're on the same page, and we'll just go out there and roll."

Moll shrugged off a question about pressure on him to fill in for Chester, who has started all nine games at right guard.

"If anything, you put the pressure on yourself and that gets you where you need to be," Moll said. "If you do that, I think you'll have the right amount of focus that you need to sustain. Being the sixth man or whatever, if you get called up, you're ready to go."

Washington plans to play

Fabian Washington returned to practice Friday, and despite a head cold and headaches that limited him in practice Wednesday and forced him to miss Thursday's session, the cornerback declared himself healthy enough to play against Carolina .

"I felt good today," said Washington, who was removed from the team's injury report. "I'm just trying to get my legs back under me. I haven't practiced in two days. You've got to get back into shape. I ran a lot more than what I was used to running in practice."

Harbaugh agreed, saying, "He was 100 percent today, so he'll play."

Tight end Todd Heap (chest) and linebacker Tavares Gooden (head) are probable for Sunday.

Zbikowski could return next week

The Ravens are looking to get safety Tom Zbikowski back for next Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Zbikowski has been ruled out for Sunday with a bruised right heel. It's the fourth straight game that he'll miss.

"We were targeting this week. We were hopeful, but it didn't happen," Harbaugh said. "We're shooting for next week."

Harbaugh essentially guaranteed that Zbikowski will play again this season.

"There's no chance that he'll be put on IR [injured reserve]," Harbaugh said.

Rosburg re-emphasizes ball security

Despite limited opportunities on punt returns, Lardarius Webb actually leads the Ravens with an 8.5-yard average on two returns thus far.

But Webb's performance in that area was marred when he was stripped of the football in the second quarter of the team's 26-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons Thursday night, and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg re-emphasized that ball security must be the primary objective for returners.

"You know, the first priority we have whenever we go out there in our return game is to give our offense the ball," Rosburg said Thursday. "And when you put the ball on the ground, there's no possible way of assessing anything else if you're doing that. You just can't do that, and he's aware of that, and [it's] something we've been working on and we have a high priority in ball security. We practice it, we preach it, and he's aware of it. He just didn't use good fundamentals. So we've been practicing his fundamentals, we got him back there in practice today working on it some more, and so we'll see what happens this week."

Yanda has a baby boy

Yanda and his fiance Shannon welcomed a baby boy to their family. Graham Yanda was born at 7:43 p.m. Thursday, weighing in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces and measuring 21¾ inches.

"It was awesome," Yanda said after Friday's practice. "It was the best day of my life, no question. Watching him come out and then to be able to hold him and stuff, it was awesome. There was nothing better. People always tell you that's a life-changer, and you keep it in the back of your mind, but you don't ever prepare for it until it comes out like that. It was just an awesome day."

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