Grubbs in doubt for scrimmage against 'Skins

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens first-round pick Ben Grubbs is questionable for Saturday's scrimmage against the Washington Redskins at M&T; Bank Stadium because of a sprained knee.

Grubbs, only the second offensive lineman in franchise history to be selected in the first round, did not practice yesterday at McDaniel College in Westminster after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during special teams practice Tuesday afternoon.

"It's just day-to-day," said Grubbs, who watched practice in his jersey and black shorts and wore a knee brace. "I continued practicing even after I got hurt. Right now, it's just a little bit sore, and there's some swelling going on, but once that goes down, I'll be ready to go. So I'm not looking to be out for long. Just taking precautions."

Fellow rookie Antwan Barnes, a linebacker, was carted off the field during the afternoon practice session after twisting his right ankle. Barnes said the injury wasn't serious enough to keep him out of the scrimmage against the Redskins.

"I think it should be a go for Saturday," said Barnes, the team's fourth-round pick in April.

Grubbs said he injured his knee when a teammate's leg inadvertently swiped his leg out from under him. The knee swelled overnight, and Grubbs underwent a magnetic resonance imaging yesterday morning.

"My ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] and other major ligaments are fine," he said. "So thank God it was nothing serious."

Asked if the injury could sideline Grubbs for a significant period of time, coach Brian Billick said, "Hope not."

Grubbs said he would have to wait until the team's trainers cleared him to practice again, but he said he hopes to be able to play in the scrimmage.

"We haven't talked about it," Grubbs said of the possibility of missing the scrimmage. "Like I said, it's going to be a day-to-day thing. I'll start doing things gradually, and I should be back into the swing in no time. I'm trying my best to get out there."

Bannan happy to be back

The summer heat and two-a-days might be an unpleasant combination to some players, but not to Justin Bannan. The backup defensive tackle is happy just to be healthy and practicing again.

Bannan's 2006 season ended prematurely when he dislocated his toe against the Pittsburgh Steelers in November. The six-year veteran had off-season surgery to correct the problem and is eager to pick up where he left off.

"For a guy like me who was out towards the end of [last] season, it's good to get back in the swing of things," said Bannan, 28, who played some with the first team yesterday in place of Kelly Gregg (right thigh bruise). "I'm not really minding camp. It's good to get the pads back on and practice."

Scrimmage tickets

Tickets are still available for the scrimmage at M&T; Bank Stadium, which begins at noon. Lower-level tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under, while club-level seats cost $25 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under.

To buy tickets or for more information, call 410-547-SEAT(7328) or 410-261-RAVE(7289) or visit

The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation has purchased 1,250 tickets for area youth to watch the scrimmage. The Ravens have also invited 800 family members of the Maryland National Guard deployed in Iraq to the scrimmage.

End zone

Besides Gregg and Grubbs, tight end Quinn Sypniewski missed practice yesterday with the stomach flu, which is the same affliction that kept rookie linebacker Prescott Burgess from participating Tuesday. "I think it's going around just a little bit," Billick said. "Got to be careful." ... A day after Billick stopped practice to emphatically remind the players of the need to be attentive, yesterday's sessions moved much more smoothly. "There just needed to be some emphasis points in terms of how we transition, and they got the message because they transitioned to a couple of things very well," he said.

Sun reporter Patrick Gutierrez contributed to this article.

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