By Jeff Zrebiec
2:22 PM EST, December 9, 2011
The Ravens are still hopeful that Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff will be available Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, but they have a contingency plan if his sore left calf muscle puts him on the sideline.
Shayne Graham, who competed for the team’s kicking job during the 2010 preseason, has had a tryout for the Ravens this week and he’s expected to be signed if Cundiff doesn’t respond quickly enough to kick Sunday. Graham, a former Pro Bowl kicker for the Cincinnati Bengals, was an injury replacement for the Miami Dolphins’ Dan Carpenter for two games earlier this season.
“We’ll find out. I think so. I’m hopeful. I really am hopeful,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh when asked about Cundiff’s availability. “We’ll have a backup plan for sure, and I think we’ll just see how it feels [Saturday] and then maybe into Sunday. It’s not a major thing. Basically his calf cramped up, but we’ll take every precaution between today and Sunday.”
Cundiff missed practice for a second consecutive day today, prompting the need for the Ravens to explore backup plans. Graham, who was beaten out by Cundiff for the starting kicking job before last season, was 4-for-5 in two games for the Dolphins this season. All his makes were from under 30 yards, and his one miss was a 47-yarder on Thanksgiving Day against the Dallas Cowboys.
Graham has kicked for parts of 10 seasons in the NFL, seven of them with the Bengals. He spent parts of last season with the New England Patriots and New York Giants.
Cundiff is 26-for-34 on field goals this season. He did miss two of three in the Ravens’ 24-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.
“I’ve seen him in the training room, but that’s all I know,” said Ravens punter Sam Koch. “I haven’t even talked to him much today. He’s doing everything he can, I’m sure, to get himself ready for this game. He doesn’t want to sit out. He wants to be there for the game, so he’s going to do everything he can to be out there on Sunday. … You have to wait until you're out there to see how it really affects you. He hasn't kicked since it happened. He doesn't know how it's going to affect him. It could affect, it could not affect him. It's just kind of wait-and-see how it all goes."
Koch hasn’t kicked since high school, but he said he converted 4-of-5 field goals in practice Thursday. Asked what is his range, Koch joked, “I’m feeling pretty good. If I have to, I’d be honored to do it. I’d go at least 63. I’d say 63 would be my max. I’d push it back to 64 if we could tie the record.”
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