OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens (4-2) held their final open practice Friday at 1 Winning Drive before Sunday’s contest with the Buffalo Bills (0-5) at M&T Bank Stadium.
Safety Tom Zbikowski (foot) did not participate in practice for a 3rd straight day, he suffered a bruised heel in the team’s Week 6 loss to the New England Patriots in Foxborough; he will not play Sunday against the Bills. With Zbikowski out, the Ravens’ picture at safety is cloudy. Regular starter Ed Reed has not yet been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, and may not be activated before the game. The team has until 4pm Saturday to clear a roster spot should they decide to activate Reed and/or LB Brendon Ayanbadejo, who each practiced for a third straight day Friday.
Should Reed not be available Sunday, Haruki Nakamura would be expected to start at free safety opposite Dawan Landry with Ken Hamlin backing up both positions.
Neither Reed nor Ayanbadejo would confirm whether or not they would play Sunday, and the same can be said of Harbaugh. Harbaugh told reporters Reed “had a really good week of practice”, but said he’d probably be “cautious” in making a decision regarding Reed.
Harbaugh said the team was “feeling pretty good” about both Reed and Ayanbadejo. “It’s just a matter of how much they can go, we don’t want to have any setbacks.” Ayanbadejo said he might not be 100 percent ready to get back on the field. “Ideally I’d like more time, but we have a bye coming up the next week so I’ll have plenty of time to recover.” Ayanbadejo added “I think it’s a great opportunity for me to get in the game. The goal would be to finish the game and be ready for a good week of practice after we beat the Bills.”
MORE FROM PRACTICE: WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) practiced for a second straight day, but he has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder) returned to practice for the first time since injuring his shoulder in the team’s Week 2 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium, but Gooden has also already been ruled out of Sunday’s game. OT Jared Gaither (back) has also been ruled out of Sunday’s game and has not returned to practice.
Harbaugh said it was “fair to say” that the team’s Week 9 game against the Miami Dolphins in Charm City could be a target date for both Stallworth and Gooden to return. Gooden wasn’t ready to confirm he could return for Week 9, saying only that “it would be fun” to return in time to play the Fins.
TE Todd Heap (neck) and WR David Reed (thigh) were listed as questionable for Sunday’s game on Friday’s injury report.
OL Tony Moll (eye) returned to practice after not participating Thursday, he’s probable to play Sunday. Also probable for Sunday’s game are LB Jarret Johnson (back), LB Edgar Jones (thigh), DE Paul Kruger (knee), WR Derrick Mason (ankle/finger), RB Ray Rice (ankle), WR Marcus Smith (back) and CB Josh Wilson (thigh).
For the Bills, OT Cornell Green (knee) and CB Terrence McGee (back) have been ruled out of Sunday’s game. LB Keith Ellison (knee) and NT Kyle Williams (ankle) are questionable to play. S Jon Corto (wrist), LB Arthur Moats (elbow), TE Shawn Nelson (groin) and S Bryan Scott (knee) have all been listed as probable to play.
HEAP BREAKS SILENCE ON MERIWEATHER HIT: Heap spoke Friday about the helmet to helmet hit he was on the receiving side of from Pats safety Brandon Meriweather in the team’s Week 6 loss at Gillette Stadium. Heap had declined to comment about the hit following the game and was not available to the media Wednesday or Thursday.
“It is what it was” said Heap. “I think he’ll learn his lesson by that. It’s not my place to enforce anything, but at the same time, looking back on it and seeing the hit-it was something that I think could have been avoided.”
Meriweather was flagged for a 15 yard personal foul penalty and fined $50,000 for the hit by the NFL.
“I don’t think he meant anything by it, I think he was trying to play football-but he made a bad decision” Heap added. “It’s over and done with, we can put it behind us.”
NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Ayanbadejo, Gooden and Heap NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Edgar Jones joined Drew Forrester Friday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, you can hear that chat in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Weather.com/The Weather Channel says Sunday’s weather is expected to be 73 degrees and mostly cloudy. There is no rain currently in the forecast……Pete Morelli’s crew will officiate Sunday’s game……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Saturday morning prior to Sunday’s game. Saturday’s walkthrough is closed to the media……Former CB Chris McAlister will not attend Sunday’s 10 Year Anniversary celebration of the Super Bowl XXXV winning team. McAlister originally committed to attending the event, but later told the team he had a schedule conflict. McAlister left Baltimore on uneasy terms with Harbaugh