OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (2-1) returned to work at 1 Winning Drive Wednesday to prepare for Sunday’s AFC North showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) at Heinz Field.
The Ravens made what appeared to be an explosive announcement this morning, as they terminated the contract of DE Trevor Pryce and re-signed S Ken Hamlin. However, head coach John Harbaugh didn’t believe the news to be so significant.
“Trevor’s a big part of what we’re doing here. We anticipate getting back” said Harbaugh. “It’s just what we had to do for now.” Harbaugh appeared aggravated by further questions regarding Pryce, repeating that the termination of his contract was “just a roster move.” He put Pryce questions to bed by exclaiming “Trevor’s a valuable part of this team and he’ll be back with us.”
Fellow Defensive Lineman Kelly Gregg shed some more light on the situation, saying the team told players Pryce “would be back next week.”
Harbaugh appeared happy to have Hamlin back, saying “we said before we wanted him back. He’s part of our team, he was a big part of it the first few weeks. He figures into our plans the rest of the year.”
Without Pryce Sunday in the Steel City, the Ravens are expected to rotate Defensive Linemen. Should he be available, Cory Redding (concussion) would be expected to start, with Brandon McKinney likely to be the top reserve. Terrence Cody, Arthur Jones and Lamar Divens are all possibilities to play as well, all three were inactive for the Ravens’ Week 3 win over the Cleveland Browns.
WINLESS IN PITTSBURGH: Since taking over as head coach and starting quarterback respectively in 2008, Harbaugh and Joe Flacco have gone 0-3 in trips to Pittsburgh. The team has lost three very close games during the stretch; including the 23-20 overtime loss in September of ’08 on Monday Night Football, the 23-14 loss in the AFC Championship Game in 2009 (which was 16-14 before a 4th quarter Troy Polamalu INT return TD) and a 23-20 loss in December 2009.
Flacco appears unfazed by his inability to win in Pittsburgh. “We’ve played up there three times, and we’ve played pretty good up there. Besides the playoff game, we’ve played really good up there. We just haven’t come up with wins.”
Flacco began his college career with the Pitt Panthers in 2004, but he played in only three games and did not make a start.
Flacco knows exactly what the Ravens need to do for him to be victorious at Heinz Field for the first time in his career. “We’ve got to finish games – and this is going to be another good game – and we’ll have to finish it in the fourth quarter when it comes down to the time to do that.”
Future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis said he was unaware that Harbaugh and Flacco had never won in Pittsburgh as Baltimore Ravens. “I don’t know if they’re worried about it…I won’t even bring it up.”
PRACTICE REPORT: RB Ray Rice (knee) came out to the field at the tail end of media availability during Wednesday’s practice; did not participate. Rice was also made unavailable to the media during the day. Rice walked both in the locker room and on the field without any sort of noticeable limp.
Redding and OL Tony Moll (leg) did not participate in practice either. WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot), LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) did not participate, they have been ruled OUT for Sunday.
Jared Gaither (back) returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since August 5th at McDaniel College during Training Camp. Gaither’s status for Sunday remains unknown. Also listed as limited Wednesday was LB Jarret Johnson (back). C Matt Birk (back), OL Chris Chester (back) and TE Todd Heap (shoulder) were full participants.
For the Steelers, QB Dennis Dixon (knee), G Trai Essex (ankle) and DT Chris Hoke did not participate in practice Wednesday.
NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Flacco, Lewis, Gregg, Johnson, WR Anquan Boldin, LB Terrell Suggs, FB Le’Ron McClain and RB Willis McGahee NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Boldin was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance Sunday against the Browns (8 catches, 142 yards, 3 TD’s). Boldin was dismissive of the honor, saying it “doesn’t matter”……When asked if he thought he’d be active Sunday against the Steelers, Cody responded “(You’d) have to ask the coaches…I think I’m ready.” When asked if he thought he had played well enough in practice to warrant seeing the field Sunday, Cody responded “I wouldn’t say that”……McKinney is scheduled to join Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST Thursday morning at 7:00am.