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As expected, cornerback Chris Carr and center Matt Birk did not practice Thursday in preparation for the Ravens' upcoming showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Saturday's AFC Divisional playoff game.

A thigh injury that limited Carr Wednesday forced him to take a seat Thursday. Carr said earlier Thursday that he expects to be able to play Saturday.

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Birk missed his second consecutive day of practice. Birk did not practice last Wednesday because of a left knee injury, but he did return on Thursday and Friday and did play in the Ravens' 30-7 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday's AFC Wildcard round.Wide receiver Donte' Stallworth, who sat out Wednesday's session due to illness, was back, and he fully participated. Both safety Tom Zbikowski (bulging disk in back) and linebacker Tavares Gooden (dislocated left shoulder) practiced fully for the second straight day.

The Steelers welcomed back Troy Polamalu (Achilles). The starting strong safety practiced fully after missing Wednesday's session. Starting cornerback Bryant McFadden (abdomen) was also upgraded from limited to full participation.

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Starting defensive end Aaron Smith (triceps) was limited for the second consecutive day.

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