OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (8-4) returned to 1 Winning Drive Monday, following a 13-10 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3) Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens began the process of shifting focus to a Week 14 Monday Night Football showdown with the Houston Texans (5-7) at Reliant Stadium.
Head Coach John Harbaugh offered good news Monday regarding injured FB Le’Ron McClain (ankle), who missed the loss to Pittsburgh.
Harbaugh said McClain was “close” to being ready to play in the Sunday Night Football contest, adding “maybe he could have got through it healthy.”
The head coach offered little doubt about McClain’s availability for the team’s upcoming contest against the Texans, saying “he’ll be back for sure this week.”
Reserve FB Jason McKie was also not active for Sunday night’s loss. His roster spot could be in jeopardy.
The news wasn’t nearly as good regarding TE Todd Heap, who was forced to leave the loss to the Steelers in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
“I think Todd’s probably the one that we really are concerned about” said Harbaugh. “I don’t want to rule him out yet, but it doesn’t look good for next week. It’s one of those hamstring pulls that’s going to be tough.”
Harbaugh did not appear concerned that Heap’s injury would end his season.
“I don’t think so. That’s not something (Head Trainer) Bill (Tessendorf) told me today. We’ll just have to see. I think we’ll know probably (in) 3-4 days, just see how it responds over the next couple days.”
While Heap is out, the TE responsibilities will fall on rookies Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta, who both played in the Ravens’ loss to the Steelers.
“The young guys are gonna have to step up” said Harbaugh. “They both played well last night. I’m glad we got them.”
JAMEEL MCCLAIN, NGATA FINED: LB Jameel McClain was fined $40,000 by the NFL Monday for a crushing hit on Steelers TE Heath Miller in the Ravens’ loss.
NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello had said earlier Monday via Twitter that a fine was coming.
Harbaugh said Monday he didn’t believe McClain deserved to be fined and was “absolutely not” concerned that McClain could be suspended for the hit. McClain was not penalized for the hit, although Aiello had previously confirmed NFL VP of Officiating Carl Johnson believed the hit should have drawn a flag
DT Haloti Ngata was also fined $15,000 for the early hit on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger that broke Big Ben’s nose.
NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, Michelle Tafoya and Suzy Kolber will be the broadcast team for Monday night’s tilt with Houston……The Ravens have not finalized a practice schedule for this week, but players will be off Tuesday……CB Fabian Washington is scheduled to join “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester Tuesday at 9:40am on AM1570 WNST