Needing insurance, Ravens sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham

December 21, 2011 | Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With 2010 Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff ailing physically, the Ravens have signed veteran Shayne Graham to the 53-man roster to provide insurance over the final two weeks of the regular season.

In a corresponding move, rookie linebacker Chavis Williams has been placed on injured reserve with a foot injury.

Despite appearing in the Ravens’ last two games, Cundiff has not practiced since Dec. 7 as he’s dealt with a left calf injury. His miss from 36 yards on Baltimore’s opening drive against San Diego made him only 2-for-5 on field goals in the month of December. Cundiff is just 27-for-36 on the season with all nine misses coming away from M&T Bank Stadium.

Cundiff admitted to reporters following the Ravens’ 34-14 loss to the Chargers that his ailing calf has hindered his ability to perform. Graham was invited to the team’s Owings Mills facility for a tryout two weeks ago and was put on standby before the Ravens deemed Cundiff healthy enough to play against Indianapolis on Dec. 11.

“It’s always a concern,” said Harbaugh earlier in the week about Cundiff’s health affecting his kicking. “I think it’s probably all wrapped up in there together. We’ve got to look at that today; we’ve got to look at that this week, because he hasn’t been able to practice the last couple weeks. That may have affected him a little bit. Nobody’s more frustrated right now than Billy with it.”

Given the healthy state of their 53-man roster, the Ravens have the ability to carry both Cundiff and Graham for now in hopes that the former will be healthy enough for the postseason. However, it will be interesting to see how the Ravens handle a delicate situation should Graham perform at an exceptional level while Cundiff is on the mend.

Graham was with the Ravens during training camp last year as he competed against Cundiff for the kicking job. He most recently played for the Miami Dolphins, filling in for the injured Dan Carpenter in November. He made four of five attempts in two games, with the longest field goal being from 28 yards.

An 11-year veteran, Graham spent seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, making him quite familiar with the AFC North. Over his career, Graham has made 212 of 247 (85.8 percent) field goal attempts.