OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Returning to the practice field to begin preparations for the hapless Indianapolis Colts, the Ravens were without two starting members of their offensive line on Wednesday afternoon.
Center Matt Birk and left guard Ben Grubbs were present but not working during the portion of practice open to the media as the team practiced in helmets and shells. Birk left Sunday’s game in Cleveland with a sprained right shoulder before returning shortly after being examined in the locker room.
Grubbs did not appear to suffer any injury in the win over the Browns, but he continues to deal with the right toe injury that sidelined him for six games earlier this season. Since returning to action in the Ravens’ win in Pittsburgh on Nov. 6, Grubbs has not missed a practice as he continues to play with pain in the toe.
Less surprising were the absences of linebacker Ray Lewis (toe) and cornerback Chris Carr (back), as neither was present during the open portion of practice on Wednesday. Lewis has missed three straight games with a turf toe injury suffered last month while Carr has missed two straight games with a back injury and six games overall this season.
Ravens-Chargers staying on Sunday night
After much speculation that the Ravens’ Week 15 game in San Diego would be moved from its originally-scheduled 8:20 p.m. slot to the afternoon, the game will remain on NBC’s Sunday night broadcast after all.
Unable to appease CBS and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who both wanted New England’s game against Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos to remain in the afternoon, the league has elected to keep Baltimore-San Diego in the prime-time slot despite the Chargers sporting a 5-7 record in the AFC West. The decision means the Ravens will play a night game on the West Coast before flying back to Baltimore on Monday morning and immediately beginning preparations for the Cleveland Browns on a short week.
When asked about the league’s delay in making the call regarding their Week 15 contest, the Ravens maintained the company line in terms of the league’s wavering over the decision.
“I’ve been instructed to say, ‘No, I don’t care,’” coach John Harbaugh said. “I’m supportive of the decision. Whatever the league says, we support it.”
Safety Ed Reed shared a similar sentiment to his head coach, but the veteran acknowledged the league-wide appeal of watching the Broncos quarterback in a nationally-televised game.
“I don’t know if [the networks] want to see Tebow or they just want to change the schedule, so people can see Tebow and him play the Patriots.”
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