McClain misses practice but is hopeful about Sunday

December 02, 2010|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Despite not practicing for the second consecutive day, Ravens fullback Le'Ron McClain said he is hopeful that he will be available for the Sunday night showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

McClain has been bothered by a sprained left ankle suffered in last Sunday's 17-10 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he said the ankle is healing.

"I'm just improving and getting this ankle better every day," he said after Thursday's practice. "Just getting ready for Sunday, is my mindset."

McClain said he has been studying playbook to understand the game plan for Sunday, but he conceded that he would like to at least practice once.

The possibility of beating the Steelers is a tempting carrot, but McClain acknowledged that he has to be smart about the injury.

"Whatever I do, I don't want to go out there and be 60 percent and hurt the team," he said. "If I play on Sunday and I can't be 100 percent, I'd be a letdown out there. So I'm just doing whatever I can to get back Sunday."

In other injury news, strong safety Dawan Landry said he is no longer suffering headaches stemming from the concussion he sustained this past Sunday and said he plans to be available for Sunday night.

Landry passed a test to return to practice for cardio activity and took another test that will be evaluated by an independent neurologist later this week.

"I feel fine," said Landry, who was limited in practice for the second consecutive day. "I feel good. No problems."

If Landry is unavailable, Tom Zbikowski's return could be quite timely. Zbikowski has not played since suffering a bruised heel against the New England Patriots on Oct. 17, but the safety said he's ready to play.

"Last week, it was just a little sore from my first time being back out there," said Zbikowski, who is no longer on the team's injury report. "But it's been feeling pretty good all week."

Right guard Chris Chester appears to be closer to regaining his role as the starter after fully practicing for the second straight day.

"There's still a little bit of soreness in there, and there's still the [process of] getting back into it and stuff after a couple days off," said Chester, who has sat out the last two games due to a bacterial leg infection. "But I think I'd be very optimistic about playing this week."

Gaither improving

Speaking for the first time since the Ravens placed him on injured reserve on Oct. 23 and ended his season, Jared Gaither said Thursday that his back injury is improving.

"I'm doing better," said the offensive tackle, who has not opted for surgery on his thoracic disk injury. "I had some time off, been rehabbing and conditioning and stuff like that to make sure I'm still in shape. But I'm feeling better."

Gaither, a fifth-round selection in the 2007 supplemental draft, is in the final year of his rookie contract, and there's some question over whether the organization would be willing to bring him back. For his part, Gaither said he would like to return.

"This is where I started my career, and I would love to end my career at the same place," he said. "With that being said, even if I didn't [return], I love this organization,. I love the camaraderie of the team."

Fine coming for Oher?

Michael Oher fully expects the NFL to fine him for accessing his Twitter account during the Ravens' 17-10 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday.

Although the starting left tackle deleted the tweet claiming that he would play against Pittsburgh after suffering a sprained right knee during the fourth quarter Sunday, the league prohibits coaches and players from using social media like Twitter and Facebook 90 minutes before a game, during and shortly afterward.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco was fined $25,000 for tweeting during a preseason contest in August, and teammate Terrell Owens was docked $5,000 for tweeting an hour before the Bengals and Buccaneers clashed on Oct. 10.

"I'm pretty sure something's going to happen," said Oher, who fully practiced for the second consecutive day. "And if it does, I've just got to move and be smarter about it next time."

Washington still in limbo

A healthy scratch for the first time in three years last Sunday, Fabian Washington said he has not been informed of his status for Sunday night.

"Not yet," the cornerback said. "I'm just doing what I usually do — practicing. That's pretty much it. They usually inform players right before the game. So I'll probably know when you guys know."

Washington has gone from being a starter through the first eight games of the season to losing his job to Josh Wilson to being scratched last Sunday. It's been a bewildering ride for Washington, who has insisted that he's not disappointed.

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