By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun
5:42 PM EST, December 28, 2011
Four days after limping out of M&T Bank Stadium with a 20-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens had starting cornerback Cary Williams, starting defensive end Cory Redding and kicker Billy Cundiff in practice Wednesday. However, right guard Marshal Yanda, a first-time Pro Bowl selection, remained sidelined by the rib contusion he suffered Saturday.
Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (concussion), defensive end Arthur Jones (illness) and wide receiver Anquan Boldin (knee), who is out for the rest of the regular season, were also absent from practice, which was relatively well-attended considering four Ravens were knocked out of Saturday's win.
"I don't have anything new to report on injuries," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Everybody's progressing. They're getting treatment. … There's nothing new to talk about there."
Williams was limited in practice, but his presence was encouraging after he left in the second quarter Saturday with a concussion he described as "mild." Williams said he was feeling better and that he was optimistic about his chances of playing Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals before a Ravens media relations employee stepped in and made him unavailable to reporters.
Redding, who missed the win over the Browns with an ankle injury, also practiced on a limited basis. He said he plans on playing Sunday, though he also made the same claim last week.
Cundiff said this was "probably the first stretch of two or three days" when he has been able to walk without pain that he and hasn't experienced tightness since injuring his left calf three weeks ago. The kicker said it was tough sitting out Saturday — while replacement Shayne Graham made both his field goal attempts — but he believes resting was the smartest thing for both him and the team.
"It's not very fun watching from the sidelines, I'll tell you that much," said Cundiff, who was limited in practice. "It almost speeds the healing process because mentally it gets frustrating to watch someone else in your position. … I'm pretty optimistic about this week. I'm going to try it out and see how it responds."
In other injury news, wide receiver and kick returner David Reed, who tore his ACL Saturday, was put on injured reserve Monday. Offensive tackle D.J. Jones replaced him on the active roster Tuesday.
Webb not upset about not making Pro Bowl
Seven Ravens were voted into the Pro Bowl, but cornerback Lardarius Webb, who is having a breakout season, was a notable omission from the AFC roster.
Webb, who believes he will make it to Hawaii eventually, said he wasn't disappointed.
"I'm not upset," the third-year player said. "The guys that were voted in, it was well-deserved. [Darrelle] Revis, Champ Bailey, Johnathan Joseph. Man, they've played great ball all year. You can't be mad because look at that list. I just want to congratulate all the guys on this team that made the Pro Bowl, and I hope that in the years to come I can get there one or two times."
Webb leads the Ravens with five interceptions and 18 passes defended. He is fifth on the team in tackles (65), has recorded a sack and forced one fumble. He has scored on a punt return, too.
Flacco wants the offense to stay aggressive
After leading the Browns 17-0 at halftime Saturday, the Ravens offense mustered just three points, five first downs and 112 yards of total offense as the Browns rallied in the second half.
On Wednesday, quarterback Joe Flacco suggested that the Ravens offense got too conservative.
"There [have] been games this year where we've come out throwing the ball because we've been down a lot and you guys have all complained about it," Flacco said. "And now this week we came out and we honestly played conservative, and when we didn't, we missed a couple of plays. ... I wish you guys would help me out a little bit and start complaining that we played a little bit too conservative and put pressure on our coaches to not do that."
Pollard on stopping Simpson's air show
Bengals wideout Jerome Simpson scored one of the season's most spectacular touchdowns in a Week 16 win over the Arizona Cardinals. After catching a pass from quarterback Andy Dalton, he leaped and flipped over a would-be tackler and stuck the landing in the end zone.
After seeing that, Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said "you don't know how you're going to tackle him."
"If [they] want to go airborne, [they] go airborne," he said. "But I think for us, when they come down, him them. Make them pay for it. But he's a great athlete. He has talent out of this world."
Simpson has 20 catches for 275 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games against the Ravens.
Suggs says Defensive POY award is in Tebow's hands
Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who has a career-high 13 sacks this season, will likely be considered in the media's NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting at the end of the regular season.
Suggs says he isn't sweating it, and he also took a playful jab at Denver Browns quarterback Tim Tebow, who remains a popular subject among players and media due in part to his open religious beliefs.
"I pretty much will leave it in God's hands, leave it in Tebow's hands," he said, drawing laughs.
Bengals game sold out
The Bengals announced Wednesday that they've sold out Sunday's 4:15 p.m. game against the Ravens. It's just the second time this season they've had a sellout, according to reports. The first was against the Steelers.
Cincinnati can clinch the final AFC wild card with a victory.
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