OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (10-4) gathered at 1 Winning Drive Monday, less than 24 hours removed from a 30-24 win over the New Orleans Saints (10-4) at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens also used Monday to begin making preparations for Sunday’s tilt against the Cleveland Browns (5-9) at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Head Coach John Harbaugh told reporters Monday during his weekly press conference that TE Todd Heap (hamstring) could return to action Sunday. Heap has not played or practiced since being forced to leave the team’s Week 13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1st quarter.
“Just talking to (Head Trainer) Bill Tessendorf just now, he’s fairly optimistic he’s going to play this week” said Harbaugh. “A hamstring is so hard to determine. I think Todd needs two or three good days of practice realistically. So if that tips our hand a little bit, so be it. We’re gonna try to get him ready for this game because we think we’re going to need him.”
Harbaugh said he didn’t believe Heap was in risk of ending up on Injured Reserve (IR).
“I’m certain he’ll play. I assume it will be before the end of the regular season.”
Harbaugh did not have further details on WR/KR David Reed, who suffered a concussion in the win over the Saints and was forced to leave in the first half.
“We’ll just have to see. I don’t know if we’re optimistic or not. I just don’t think you know on a concussion. He could fine tomorrow or he could be out for a couple of days.”
S Tom Zbikowski (back) also remains an injury concern, he missed Sunday’s game after being hurt in the team’s Week 14 win over the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Harbaugh had said last Friday IR could be an option if Zbikowski was unable to return quickly.
ROSTER MOVE: The Ravens announced a roster move Monday, waiving OL Bryan Mattison and activating TE Davon Drew from the practice squad.
Drew is a 6’4″, 255 pound TE in his 2nd year out of East Carolina. It will be the first stint on the active roster for the team’s 5th round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
“He’s come a long way” said Harbaugh. “If you go all the way back, he was a guy who was a college quarterback there for a couple of years and they moved him to TE at East Carolina. I think he was behind the curve as far as the nuances of the position. (Tight Ends Coach) Wade Harman has done a great job with him. He’s also had a chance to work with (Offensive Consultant) Al (Saunders) to a large extent, especially in the passing game. He’s got a lot of skills.”
Harbaugh said the team hopes to keep both Drew and Mattison moving forward.
“We got our hand forced a little bit. At this time of year, people are coming after our practice squad players. We made basically a roster decision that we think is best for our team long term. We’re trying to hold on to two players and we just gotta have our fingers crossed that we were able to do that.”
NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……LB Tavares Gooden joined Drew Forrester Monday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, that chat is also available in the Audio Vault……The Ravens will be off Tuesday (the NFL’s mandatory off day) and will return to practice Wednesday. Harbaugh, LB Ray Lewis, QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice are expected to meet with the media Wednesday……Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will call Sunday’s game for CBS