Zbikowski preparing to return kicks vs. 49ers

Safety won't confirm scenario, but is ready for another opportunity

November 23, 2011|By Edward Lee

If the Ravens’ 31-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday was any indication, Tom Zbikowski could be the first to get a shot at returning kicks on Thanksgiving night when the San Francisco 49ers visit M&T Bank Stadium.

Zbikowski isn’t confirming that scenario, but he said that’s his mindset.

“It might be like last week where we’ve got multiple returners,” Zbikowski said after Wednesday’s practice. “You’ve just got to be prepared for anything and be prepared for everything. I’ll go in there expecting to get some returns because I’d rather go into that way than not be prepared at all. I’m just happy the knee’s feeling pretty good.”

Zbikowski returned one kick for 26 yards against the Bengals, but didn’t get another chance after tweaking his right knee. But Zbikowski said he did not injure the knee when he was drilled by Cincinnati safety Taylor Mays at the end of that return.

Zbikowski said he actually thinks the hard tackle helped him more than it hurt him.

“I think getting blasted like that almost calms you down because it didn’t injure you, it didn’t hurt you, and the guy hit you as hard as it could possibly get,” he said. “I held onto the ball, rolled with the hit the right way. So all the kinds of things you were nervous about. It just builds up your confidence.”

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