Putting the pain aside

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said running back Willis McGahee's ribs are the only serious injury concern as the team prepares for the AFC South-leading Tennessee Titans to visit M&T; Bank Stadium on Sunday.

McGahee was limited to just one carry for 1 yard in the second half of Monday night's 23-20 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers after he injured his ribs with 1:31 left in the second quarter. It's unclear whether the injury involves the same ribs that were broken in Week 16 last year and forced McGahee to miss the season finale against Pittsburgh.

"He's got a rib issue," Harbaugh said yesterday during his weekly news conference at the team's training facility in Owings Mills. "We think he's going to be OK. We'll just have to see how the rib goes this week, but other than that we have nothing serious."

McGahee carried the ball 12 times for 41 yards in the first half but left the game after a 1-yard gain up the middle.

He lay on the turf for a few minutes before walking off the field to the locker room with assistance from trainer Bill Tessendorf and an aide.

McGahee did return on the Ravens' second series of the second half with 6:44 left in the third quarter, but he carried the ball just once.

"He was in pain," Harbaugh said. "He wanted to play."

Fullback Le'Ron McClain also left the contest briefly with 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but he returned in overtime.

Mad 'backer

Linebacker Bart Scott was visibly displeased with himself after Monday's game for not taking down Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the second time. Roethlisberger shook off Scott's sack attempt and connected with wide receiver Hines Ward for a 49-yard gain that led to 19-yard field goal by Jeff Reed to give Pittsburgh a 20-13 lead with 9:19 left in the fourth quarter. "I've just got to keep my head and play fundamentally sound," Scott said. "He goes down just like everybody else."

Back to business

Preparation for Sunday's game against the Titans (4-0) began last week, and this week should be business as usual - except for some slight alterations, Harbaugh said.

"I wouldn't say we're going to lighten the load," he said. "The workload's going to have to be the same because we have to get ready to play a very good team, and the challenges are the same. We may change up drills, tempo drills and things like that as far as coming off of a physical game and making sure we are recovered as much as we can be. But the workload itself will be the same."

Harbaugh said he didn't think he would have to talk to the players about not dwelling on the loss to the Steelers.

"It's a big challenge, but I think it's something that guys in the NFL learn how to do. They move on pretty quickly," he said. "We'll probably be looking back at the game or the fans will certainly be looking back at the game for a couple of days, but the players are already over it, and they've already moved on to Tennessee. You have to."

End zone

Wide receiver Derrick Mason dismissed the notion of a moral victory. "We had it, but in this game, you've got to play 60 minutes of football," he said. "You either win or you lose - point-blank." ... The Steelers paid a price for Monday night's win, losing first-round draft pick running back Rashard Mendenhall (fractured left shoulder) and starting right guard Kendall Simmons (torn right Achilles tendon) for the rest of the season. Third-string running back Carey Davis (sprained ankle) and linebacker Andre Frazier (spine) also were injured and could be out for some time.

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