Heap takes a step closer to playing Sunday

Todd Heap appears to be closer to playing Sunday against the Cleveland Browns after a two-game absence because of a pulled right hamstring.

The Ravens starting tight end participated in his third consecutive practice Friday. Heap, who had been limited Wednesday and Thursday, did not seemed hesitant or timid as he ran and caught passes.

Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (knee) and safety Haruki Nakamura (illness) returned after sitting out Thursday’s session. Wide receiver Derrick Mason (ankle) also practiced after being limited the past two days.

Rookie kick returner/wide receiver David Reed (concussion) and safety Tom Zbikowski (back) were absent from the portion of practice open to the media Friday.

If Reed is unavailable Sunday, Jalen Parmele could be the primary kick returner against the Browns.Four players who participated fully Thursday – center Matt Birk (knee), offensive lineman Tony Moll (illness), wide receiver Marcus Smith (shoulder) and linebacker Jason Phillips (illness) – were present.

Maybe because it was Christmas Eve and players were feeling jovial, several traded jerseys. For instance, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and strong safety Dawan Landry wore each other’s jerseys, and free safety Ed Reed and running back Willis McGahee exchanged jerseys.

Cornerbacks Chris Carr and Fabian Washington were not seen, but they may have taken part in the jersey exchange.

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