OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (8-4) returned to 1 Winning Drive Wednesday, getting an extra day of practice ahead of their Monday Night Football showdown with the Houston Texans (5-7) at Reliant Stadium.
LB Jameel McClain informed members of the media Wednesday that he was going to appeal the $40,000 fine handed down to him by the NFL Monday. The league fined McClain for a hit on Steelers TE Heath Miller in a Week 13 loss to Pittsburgh at M&T Bank Stadium.
In a letter to McClain, the league said McClain “unnecessarily struck a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area.” The league determined McClain was in violation of Rule 12, Section 2. Article 8 of Rule 12, Section 2 in the NFL rule includes the following bylaw…
“(g) if the initial force of the contact by a defender’s helmet (including facemask), forearm, or shoulder is to the head or neck area of a defenseless player.”
“It’s a man going to try to make a play” McClain explained to reporters Wednesday. “I was within the strikezone, I was going the way that I was taught to proceed in the game throughout my whole life. If I let off on that play and he catches the ball and possibly streaks down the field for possibly 50 yards then it’s a different story what we’re talking about.”
McClain said he had not yet met with his agent to discuss the appeal process, and he said he didn’t expect to change the way he plays.
“You gotta play this game physical, you gotta play this game fast. I’m not out there trying to hurt (anybody).”
DT Haloti Ngata declined to comment Wednesday about the $15,000 fine the league gave him for a hit on QB Ben Roethlisberger in the loss to the Steelers.
HEAP “DAY TO DAY”: TE Todd Heap said his injured hamstring had “gotten better” since leaving the Sunday Night Football game during the team’s first offensive possession.
Head Coach John Harbaugh had expressed initially that Heap’s chances didn’t “look good” for Monday night’s game, but then said Tuesday on his weekly radio show that there was an “outside chance” Heap could see the field.
“We’re taking it day to day right now” said Heap. “We’ll see where it is come gametime.”
Heap appeared to be walking without a noticeable limp Wednesday, but told reporters he had not yet attempted to run or take part in football activity. Heap said he was relieved the injury wasn’t as significant as it appeared it could have been.
“It could have been worse. You never know with a hamstring injury what the timeframe is. Hopefully it’s sooner than later. My goal right is just to get out there as quickly as possible. We’ve got this stretch run we’re trying to make, all of these games are important for us. That’s my main focus, just trying to get on the field and help the team as soon as I can.
If Heap does miss Monday night’s game, rookie TE Ed Dickson is expected to start in his place. Dickson said Wednesday he’s been taking the majority of snaps with the first team offense in practice this week.
Dickson does not lack confidence in his ability to play when on the field.
“I know I’m gonna get a couple more rocks this week” said Dickson. “I came in like I was ready to play. I’m a competitor. I’m going to continue to grow and get better.”
NOTES: Hear from now J. McClain, Heap, Dickson, WR Derrick Mason, WR Anquan Boldin, DT Kelly Gregg and FB Le’Ron McClain NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Dickson is scheduled to join Drew Forrester Thursday at 7:15am on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST……Bill Leavy’s crew will officiate Monday night’s game……The Ravens will return to practice Thursday, with Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, LB Ray Lewis, RB Ray Rice and others expected to meet the media. Wednesday’s practice was not open to the media, nor was an Injury Report released Wednesday