Ravens kicker Cundiff’s status up in air, backup plan in place

December 09, 2011 | Luke Jones

Ravens kicker Cundiff’s status up in air, backup plan in place

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens welcoming 0-12 Indianapolis to town on Sunday, you wouldn’t expect them to need a field goal in the closing seconds to secure a victory.

However, they may not have the services of Billy Cundiff in the unexpected event that they need one. Cundiff is listed as questionable on the final injury report and will be a game-time decision on Sunday.

The kicker missed his second straight practice on Friday as he continues to deal with a left calf injury. Cundiff is suffering from a left calf injury that “cramped up” earlier in the week, according to coach John Harbaugh. He has not attempted to kick with the injury and has been receiving treatment the last few days.

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“We’ll find out,” said Harbaugh when asked about his kicker’s chances of playing against the Colts. “I think so. I’m hopeful. I really am hopeful.”

In the event that Cundiff cannot play, multiple reports say the Ravens will sign veteran kicker Shayne Graham to fill in against the Colts. Graham and Cundiff competed for the kicking job in Baltimore during last season’s training camp when the latter won the job at the end of the preseason.

Graham was most recently with the Miami Dolphins after their regular kicker Dan Carpenter went down with an injury. He kicked in two games for Miami, making 4-of-5 field goals with the longest being only 28 yards. Should the Ravens decide to sign Graham, the move would likely come sometime Saturday after further evaluating Cundiff.

“We’ll have a backup plan for sure,” Harbaugh said. “I think we’ll just see how it feels [Saturday] and then into Sunday. It’s not a major thing; basically his calf cramped up. But we’ll take every precaution between now and Sunday.”

Cundiff is 26-for-34 on field goals this season, all eight misses coming on the road. He missed two field goals in the sloppy conditions in Cleveland on Sunday, raising concerns about his ability to make kicks away from M&T Bank Stadium.

The 2010 Pro Bowl kicker signed a five-year, $15 million contract in January.

“He’s doing everything he can, I’m sure, to get himself ready for this game,” punter Sam Koch said. “He doesn’t want to sit out. He wants to be there for the game, so he’s going to do everything he can to be out there on Sunday. … You have to wait until you’re out there to see how it really affects you. He hasn’t kicked since it happened. He doesn’t know how it’s going to affect him. It could affect, it could not affect him. It’s just kind of wait-and-see how it all goes.”

Koch told reporters he has kicked field goals this week in practice, making four of five attempts during Thursday’s practice. He has not kicked field goals since high school but says he would be honored to try if called upon Sunday.

What kind of range does the Ravens punter have if pressed into field-goal duty?

“I’d go at least 63,” Koch quipped. “I’d say 63 would be my max. I’d push it back to 64 if we could [break] the record.”

Lewis getting closer

Linebacker Ray Lewis missed his third straight practice this week and is expected to miss his fourth straight game on Sunday.

He has not practiced since the week of the San Francisco game when he was listed as a “limited participant” during the walk-through practice the Ravens conducted on a short week. It is believed that Lewis did not partake in much activity at all during those workouts.

However, speculation persists that Lewis and the Ravens are targeting a return in the nationally-televised prime-time game in San Diego next Sunday night. The 36-year-old linebacker suffered the turf toe injury in the Ravens’ loss to Seattle on Nov. 13

“I think he’s very close,” Harbaugh said. “It’s one of those injuries that you just have to see how it goes. You have to take everything into consideration. Maybe he could have played the last couple weeks; maybe we decided to just mitigate the risk. We just have to see where we’re at.”

Lewis had not missed more than two consecutive games since 2005 when he missed the final 10 games of the season with a torn hamstring that required surgery.

Odds & ends

Jenna Bush of “The Today Show” was at the Ravens’ Owings Mills facility on Friday doing a feature story on rookie receiver Torrey Smith. Bush, of course, is the daughter of former President George W. Bush. … Referee Clete Blakeman and his crew will officiate Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Indianapolis. … Sunday’s forecast calls for clear skies with the temperature in the mid-40s.

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear more from John Harbaugh and Sam Koch as well as Jarret Johnson’s conversation with Drew Forrester on Friday’s edition of “The Morning Reaction” right here.

 

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