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SUGGS TO SIT OUT HIS FIRST GAME

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Terrell Suggs won't play this week against the Colts - the first game he will have missed in his career - and he could be out much longer. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Suggs has a sprained ligament in his right knee, which occurred when Browns quarterback Brady Quinn hit him low after throwing an interception in Monday's 16-0 win.

"He's out this week, that's the ruling that we know," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "It's got to heal on its own. There is no procedure that can be done. We'll just see how it goes."

Suggs didn not speak with the news media Wednesday, but he did limp down the hallway from the locker room to the cafeteria wearing a heavy brace on his knee. When teammate Ray Rice asked Suggs how he was doing, the linebacker just shook his head, which said plenty about his status and his state of mind. Though the Ravens are ruling him out only for this week's game, the sense is the injury will keep him out for at least several weeks.

The NFL fined the Browns' second-year quarterback "a good amount," according to him, but Quinn did not disclose how much.

Quinn again apologized for the hit, which came seconds after he was intercepted by Ravens cornerback Chris Carr.

"I wasn't trying to go for him. I was trying to go for the ball carrier," Quinn said. "Unfortunately, a thing like that can happen. I'm praying for him. Hopefully, he'll be all right."

Harbaugh said he didn't think Quinn was trying to hurt Suggs, but that did not totally erase what happened.

"I was disappointed," Harbaugh said. "I don't think Brady Quinn is the type of guy who goes out and tries to hurt anyone. He's a class kid, always has been. But that's an illegal block. The reason it's illegal is because it causes injuries. There is no reason to do that, and we're disappointed with that."

Ray Lewis, critical of Quinn after the game, did not soften his criticism when asked if he still felt the same way.

"Respect the game the way the game is supposed to be played," Lewis said. "I understand what Brady Quinn is saying after the fact. But when you go diving at a man's knee when he doesn't even have the football? Whatever. You penalize us as defensive players so much for doing our jobs, and then you see someone not doing his job, just spearing a man's knee? That ain't good football.

"You can't just apologize and say, 'Oh, I didn't mean to do it.' People don't realize that's life-changing. That's someone's career," Lewis said. "There is no dollar amount on losing someone like [Suggs]. So to lose a man on a play that's not within the rules of the game? That hurts."

Ngata getting ready

A sprained right ankle has kept Haloti Ngata on the sideline for the past two games, but the defensive tackle said Wednesday that he's gearing up to play Sunday.

"The ankle feels good. I was warming up for the game on Monday [against the Cleveland Browns], but just a few little things where I didn't feel entirely good. Like changing direction quickly. But that was probably the only thing. Hopefully, we'll get that better this week and I'll go on Sunday."

Ngata said the decision to deactivate him Monday night was precautionary, saying, "Didn't want to aggravate the injury and make it a long-term deal."

Asked to give a percentage on the health of his ankle, Ngata said, "I'm probably like 75 to 80 [percent]. It's feeling good. Just some little things I've got to work on. I feel like I'm going to be definitely playing on Sunday."

Linebacker Tavares Gooden, who is dealing with a concussion, declined to talk about the injury or say whether he will play against the Colts. "I can't answer any questions about injuries," he said.

Heap doesn't practice

Ravens tight end Todd Heap limped off the field Monday after taking a hard hit to the chest early in the game, an injury the team was classifying as bruised ribs. Heap attended practice Wednesday but was dressed in a baseball cap and sweats, and his status is unclear. If he is limited against the Colts, that could mean more playing time for tight end L.J. Smith, who has just one catch this season. But Smith said he wasn't looking at it that way.

"I suppose it's possible. I'm not really sure of [Heap's] status right now," Smith said. "But I'm just going to do whatever I'm asked to do. I'm not sitting back saying, 'Oh, I can't wait to get in there.' Football is a game of opportunities.

"The main thing for me is when I get in there just to contribute as if I was a starter."

The Ravens released their first injury report, and Lewis and free safety Ed Reed were not included, which means the duo practiced despite not being present during the portion of practice open to the media. Center Matt Birk (neck) and running back Matt Lawrence (knee) did not practice.

Ngata (sprained right ankle) was limited. Linebackers Jarret Johnson (left shoulder) and Tavares Gooden (concussion) and quarterback Joe Flacco (knee) fully participated.

For Indianapolis, four starters - defensive end Dwight Freeney (undisclosed), cornerback Kelvin Hayden (knee), free safety Antoine Bethea (foot) and wide receiver Pierre Garcon (ankle) - did not practice.

What would you do?

So what would Harbaugh do Sunday if he's faced with the decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 from his own 28-yard line, or punt the ball and take his chances trying to stop Peyton Manning in the final two minutes?

"That's a great question," Harbaugh said, laughing at the allusion to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick's decision to go for it against the Colts with the Patriots clinging to a six-point lead. New England got only one yard from a Tom Brady pass to running back Kevin Faulk, and the Indianapolis Colts scored the game-winning touchdown to emerge with a 35-34 victory.

"I understand trying to win the game. What you're trying to do as a head coach is everything you can do to try to win a game and give yourself the best chance to win," Harbaugh said. "And sometimes you've got to look past the criticism you're going to take. When you're standing there and trying to make a decision, you flash a lot of things through your mind, and one of them is that if this doesn't work, how bad is this going to be?

"Bill Belichick's been around a long time, and he's a proven coach and probably if you look at it, the odds were probably with him. I look at it this way: He's got Tom Brady, he's got [Kevin] Faulk, he's got [Randy] Moss, he's got [Wes] Welker, he's got a bunch of players he could throw the ball to. So he's got a pretty good chance of picking that up.That's no disrespect to the defense. It's just the fact that these guys can win the game for me on this play, and he took a shot at doing it, which was pretty gutsy."

End zone

Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura, who was carted off the field after he broke his leg on the opening kickoff against the Browns, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, ending his season. Harbaugh said the team had a pair of safeties work out at the Ravens' facility in Owings Mills but no decisions had been made. Rookie safety K.J. Gerard was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. ... The Ravens signed defensive back Marcus Paschal to the practice squad. ... ESPN.com is reporting that defensive end Dwan Edwards was fined $5,000 for the hit on the Browns' Joshua Cribbs on the final play of Monday night's game.

Baltimore Sun reporters Edward Lee and Ken Murray contributed to this article.

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