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Cundiff aiming to return vs. Bengals

Kicker says rest helped problematic left calf

By Edward Lee

8:00 AM EST, December 25, 2011

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Not playing Saturday against the Cleveland Browns aided the healing process for Billy Cundiff’s sore left calf, but the Ravens kicker is eager to return for Sunday’s regular-season finale at the Cincinnati Bengals.

“I’m definitely hoping to be back next week,” Cundiff said while changing in the locker room under M&T Bank Stadium after the team’s 20-14 win against the Cleveland Browns. “But we’ll kind of base that off of how things go with the trainers. We just don’t want a setback. That’s the big thing because by playing each week, the problem was, I could make it maybe through the first half and then in the second half, I wasn’t really able to kick. You can’t do that. If I could only kick for 30 minutes and not have to kick off, it would be a good deal, but we don’t play that way. I’m expected to kick off and kick off well, and until I can actually do that, that will kind of be the determining factor of getting back on the field.”

Filling in for Cundiff, Shayne Graham connected on field goals of 48 and 43 yards and made two extra points. The only criticism is that he didn’t register a touchback – only the second time this season that the Ravens failed to post a touchback in a game.

Cundiff, who had entered the weekend ranked fifth in the NFL in touchbacks with 42, said the time off was beneficial for the health of his calf.

“We’re going to find out next week,” he said. “Right now, it feels much better than it did last week, but that really doesn’t matter until we actually kick and see how it holds up.”