OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens continued work Thursday at 1 Winning Drive. They’re in preparation for a Sunday afternoon AFC North showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Ravens are coming off a very emotional victory to open the season against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. LB Ray Lewis told reporters Thursday the win would be remembered by young players in the Ravens locker room “for the rest of their lives.” Even a future Hall of Famer like Lewis admitted that the win was special, adding that “playing against your old Defensive Coordinator (Rex Ryan), you can’t win a game like that and not put it on your top shelf.”
But when asked if winning a particularly emotional game in Week 1 could lead to an unfortunate letdown in Week 2; the Pro Bowl LB was quick to shoot down the concept. “There’s not a natural letdown” said Lewis, adding “not when you got swept by the Bengals last year. The Bengals are a very quality opponent, and we’ve got to go in and have our game ready.”
Lewis touched on a number of other subjects during his 10 minute gathering with Charm City reporters. He said he acts as a “big brother” for Cincy WR Chad Ochocinco, and has told him to “calm it down” sometimes when it comes to the receiver’s antics on Twitter, TV and elsewhere. Lewis also praised Ochocinco, saying “I think he just loves the game.” Lewis discussed the excitement of his 4th quarter hit on Jets TE Dustin Keller, describing it as being “like a quarterback throwing a big touchdown.”
Lewis also discussed his son Ray Lewis III’s recent 504 yard game at Lake Mary Prep (Florida), saying “my kids put pressure on me now”, and asking “how do I show up 500 yards?”
Lewis’ entire chat with reporters can be heard in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net; Thyrl Nelson caught up with Ray Lewis III Thursday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”, that chat can also be heard in the Audio Vault.
INJURY UPDATE: TE Todd Heap (shoulder) returned to practice Thursday; he missed Wednesday’s practice while recovering from a shoulder strain suffered Monday night in East Rutherford. He told reporters he was progressing and hoped to be ready to play Sunday. Heap was listed as being a “limited” participant in practice.
DT Terrence Cody (knee) practiced again Thursday as he continues to work his way back from an August 31 knee procedure. Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison told reporters Cody was “close” to being ready to play. Cody was again listed as “limited.”
LB Jarret Johnson (back) did not practice Thursday after being listed as “limited” Wednesday. LB Ray Lewis (foot) was a limited participant for a 2nd straight day Thursday. Lewis said “I’m good” when asked about the injury earlier in the day. WR Anquan Boldin (thigh) was also listed as “limited” for a 2nd straight day.
LB’s Tavares Gooden (thigh) and Jameel McClain (knee) were each listed as limited Thursday, neither injury is believed to be series. WR Marcus Smith (knee) was a full participant for a 2nd straight day.
WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) and OT Jared Gaither (back) have been ruled out of Sunday’s game by the team. Gaither told reporters he’s feeling “pretty good” and “recovering great”, but wouldn’t commit to a timetable for return. S Ed Reed (groin/hip) is on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, he joked with reporters that he had called the NFLPA to try to get off the list.
For the Bengals, DE Jonathan Fanene (hamstring) missed practice for a 2nd straight day; while LB Keith Rivers (foot) was upgraded to limited participation. RB Cedric Benson (shoulder), WR Andre Caldwell (groin), CB Brandon Ghee (head) and RB Brian Leonard (foot) were all listed as full participants.
NOTES: Hear from Lewis, Mattison, Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg, Gaither, Reed and CB Prince Miller NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……S Haruki Nakamura joined Rex Snider Thursday after on “The Afternoon Drive”, you can hear that chat in the Audio Vault as well. P Sam Koch is scheduled to join Drew Forrester on “The Morning Reaction” Friday morning at 7:00am on AM1570……The Ravens will practice again Friday, with Head Coach John Harbaugh scheduled to speak to the media following practice. The team will release their final Injury Report Friday afternoon, hold a walkthrough Saturday, then travel to the Queen City Saturday night.