Staying grounded

The Baltimore Sun

If the Ravens' offensive linemen are seeking compliments for their performance in Sunday's 17-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, they're not expecting any from their coaches or even themselves.

Despite surrendering no sacks and paving the way for the offense to rush for 229 yards - the sixth most in franchise history - the offensive line shrugged off any temptation to gloat.

"It's a start," right offensive tackle Adam Terry said. "We've got to do it next week and the week after that in order to say that's what we're about. But initially, it's a start."

Questions swirled around a unit that watched 11-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden retire in June, lost Terry and left offensive tackle Jared Gaither to ankle sprains for much of the preseason, and hadn't played its first group of Terry, Gaither, guards Ben Grubbs and Marshal Yanda, and center Jason Brown until Sunday.

"We're still building that chemistry," Gaither said. "Day by day, we're going to get better and we're going to build more chemistry, and we're going to be that much better. We're going to work hard and we're going to strive for perfection. Until that goal is accomplished, we will be working very hard."

The offensive line helped the Ravens convert all six of their third-and-one situations, but coach John Harbaugh joined the linemen in reining in the praise.

"They came off the ball, and they were physical," he said. "They were physical for four quarters, and they can be more physical."

Injury report

Defensive tackle Kelly Gregg said he plans to test his surgically repaired left knee tomorrow with an eye on being ready to play against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

"We'll put some pads on this week and see how she feels, and hopefully, I'll get out there," Gregg said. "I thought there might be a chance [to play against the Bengals], but I didn't get out there with pads last week. So no reason to risk it with the way the guys played."

Harbaugh said running back Willis McGahee, who suited up but did not play Sunday, will take a more active role in practice this week.

"He needs to be ready to go, and I'm very confident he'll be ready to go this week," Harbaugh said of McGahee, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last month. "If he can do the job, he'll be out there."

Harbaugh also said free safety Ed Reed (nerve impingement in neck and shoulder) will continue to be listed as day-to-day despite his performance in Sunday's win.

Cornerback Corey Ivy called his right ankle sprain "minor" and said he suffered no ligament damage. "It feels good," Ivy said. "Just taking it day by day, getting treatment, and I'll be ready for Sunday."

Harbaugh expressed hope that linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (leg bruise) would play. Harbaugh said a more detailed update on players such as Ayanbadejo and tight end Todd Heap (back bruise) would be provided tomorrow.

End zone

After Sunday's win, Harbaugh did not award a game ball to a specific player or unit. Instead, he said the game ball "goes to the entire team." So equipment manager Ed Carroll has ordered 94 footballs painted to commemorate the victory for the 53 active-roster players, nine for the practice-squad players, eight for the injured-reserve players, 23 for the coaching staff and one for team owner Steve Bisciotti. ... Hurricane Ike is in the Caribbean and projected to make its way to the Gulf Coast - with some saying the storm could hit Houston before Sunday's game. Harbaugh didn't seem fazed by that possibility, saying: "The game's inside [Reliant Stadium, which has a retractable roof], right? We'll be good to go. We'll play." ... The Ravens wore white jerseys with black pants for the first time since the 1998 season, according to Carroll, who is in his 20th season with the organization.

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