Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Thursday that he plans on using kicker Shayne Graham in Saturday's game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Graham was signed Wednesday as injury insurance for Billy Cundiff, who hurt his left calf two weeks ago.
"We anticipate Shayne being the kicker this week," Harbaugh said. "Billy's dealing with his calf and Shayne's been practicing. Even if Billy was ready to go — and I still think he's nursing that thing back and he's not 100 percent — Shayne got the week of practice in, so we'll go with Shayne."
Graham, 34, is one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. After the Ravens released him after their 2010 training camp, he kicked in 11 regular-season games for three teams over the past two seasons, making 16 of 17 field-goal attempts. His longest field goal was 41 yards.
Punter Sam Koch, also the team's holder, believes the familiarity with Graham will be helpful.
"It was nice working with him when we had him in training camp," he said. "[Graham and Cundiff are] both kind of the same [technique-wise]. They both take the same amount of steps. It will just be him trying to get his timing down and get used to us between the snap and the hold."
Graham expects a smooth transition with Koch and long snapper Morgan Cox.
"Having the operation here, the snapper and holder, those guys are phenomenal," he said.
In other injury news, wide receiver Anquan Boldin underwent surgery Thursday to repair a slight meniscus tear in his knee and will miss the final two games of the regular season. Defensive end Cory Redding is still battling an ankle injury, but he said Wednesday that he plans to play Saturday.
When he was with the Houston Texans, fullback Vonta Leach had a tradition of wearing a Santa Claus costume over his gear for the team's final walk through for games the week of Christmas.
But with the Ravens clinging to a lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North, Leach isn't sure if Santa will make it to Friday's walk through at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills.
"I haven't really decided yet. We've still got some hours to go before [Friday]," Leach said. "I'll have to see what I've got in store. I'll have to talk to some of the guys to see if it's a good idea because I am new here. … But it's a way to break the tension a little bit and have some fun."
McCoy out; Wallace to start
Browns coach Pat Shurmur announced Thursday that quarterback Colt McCoy (concussion) has been ruled out for Saturday's game. Seneca Wallace will get the start in his absence. McCoy is unable to travel with the team to Baltimore due to post-concussion symptoms, Shurmur said.
D. Reed back in return mix
In the closing minutes of last weekend's 34-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers, receiver David Reed returned his first kickoff since fumbling twice in a Week 10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Reed, who has been working with running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery in practice to prevent future fumbles, returned the kickoff 47 yards, nearly breaking it for a touchdown.
"It felt good, man," he said. "I know that Seattle wasn't me. I'm better than that. And I'm a more capable player than I was at Seattle. I'm just happy to get past that and get out there."
Zbikowski adds another responsibility
Harbaugh and the coaching staff have praised safety Tom Zbikowski for his versatility. He can play both safety positions and he has returned kickoffs. He is also the team's backup holder.
Zbikowski, who also handled holding duties in high school when he was a quarterback, was messing around with Cox in a practice two weeks ago and impressed the coaches with his ability to get the snap down for field goals. He said he is now second on the holder depth chart behind Koch.
"Tyrod couldn't do it. He was pretty bad at it," Zbikowski jokingly said of backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who shook his head at the safety from his neighboring locker. "So once I learned, they quickly knew that I was better than him and they moved me ahead of him on the depth chart."
Flacco goes for 8-0
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has never lost to Cleveland in seven career games. He has completed 64.4 percent of his passes against the Browns for 1,396 yards and eight touchdowns for a passer rating of 97.3.
"We've played some good games against those guys. My rookie year, we were down there and we had to make a comeback and beat them," the quarterback said. "Those guys are tough and they've had a good defense since I've been here. We've had some success because basically we've gone and executed what we're supposed to do and we played a full 60 minutes."
twitter.com/mattvenselCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun