Right guard Chris Chester returned to the Ravens' practice facility Wednesday after missing the Carolina trip with a leg infection, and said he was "day-to-day."
A bacterial infection in his lower right leg sent Chester to the hospital Thursday night. Even though he did not practice Wednesday, he sounded optimistic about his return to the lineup.
"I wouldn't rule out this week," he said of Sunday's home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I'm 100 percent physically with regard to the infection. I'm day-to-day."
The problem began Thursday night when he felt pain in his right leg while watching TV with his wife. It worsened and by the time he was ready to go to bed, he was shivering with chills. That's when he decided to go to the emergency room, where the infection was diagnosed and Chester was admitted to the hospital.
Chester characterized the infection as being in the streptococcus family, and said it was not a staph infection.
How the infection started remains a mystery. Chester said he did not have an open wound or a cut on his leg, but that doctors had to cut open his leg to drain the fluid buildup.
"The infection's out and I'm on the road to recovery," Chester said.
Zbikowski close to playing
Having missed the last four games to a bruised right heel, free safety Tom Zbikowski is holding out hope that he will be available for Sunday's game.
"It's feeling good," Zbikowski said before practicing Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury Oct. 17. "I think I'll be able to tell a lot more tomorrow though, just to see how sore it is. But it's been feeling good. Worked on it yesterday and worked on it the day before, so I just want to get out to practice and see how it feels."
Coach John Harbaugh was similarly optimistic about Zbikowski's prospects. "Zibby's got a good chance," he said. "Hopefully, he'll be there. … We've got our fingers crossed."
Black jerseys return
The Ravens plan on wearing black jerseys Sunday, but the organization isn't divulging the color of the pants.
A team official confirmed Wednesday that the players will wear black tops. But when asked if the players would wear either black or white pants, the same official simply replied, "Yes."
Asked to elaborate, the official said, "You'll see on Sunday."
The Ravens are 2-0 when they wear black tops and white pants. The team has not worn black jerseys and pants since 2007 because coach John Harbaugh does not like the look.
Morris reaffirms boast
Minutes after the Bucs beat the St. Louis Rams, 18-17, on Oct. 24 to improve to 4-2, coach Raheem Morris stated, "We're the best team in the NFC. Yeah, I said it. We're the best team in the NFC." Morris has no regrets about making that statement.
"I don't think it was bulletin-board material that I was looking for," he said in a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. "I think it was instilling a belief in my team. If mentality flows into reality and we don't believe we're the best, then we've really got no chance at anybody else believing it. So when we go out and play, it's more about us than anybody else. Somebody has to finish No. 1. Why not us?"
Harbaugh campaigned for a Thanksgiving Day game for the Ravens — at home. "I'd love to have one here — have a Thursday night game for the Ravens fans," he said. "That would be cool. One of these days the Ravens are going to get a home, prime-time game that's not on Sunday night — [on] Monday night or Thursday night — one of these days. If Mr. Goodell [ NFL commissioner Roger Goodell] is listening, we'd like to get one of those someday." … Defensive end Cory Redding (arm) and safety Ed Reed (illness) missed Wednesday's practice for the Ravens. Zbikowski and tight end Ed Dickson (thigh) had limited participation in practice. … Missing the Bucs' Wednesday practice were defensive end Kyle Moore (shoulder) and tight end Kellen Winslow (knee).