Ravens Notebook

OWINGS MILLS – Two days after Tom Zbikowski retreated near the Baltimore Ravens' end zone and to haul in a punt and ran sideways before nearly being tackled for a safety, a familiar punt returner is back in town. The Ravens signed rookie cornerback Prince Miller off the New England Patriots' practice squad and cut Bryan McCann.

Miller was with the Ravens in training camp before being cut one day after the final major roster cutdown. He's under consideration to return punts Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, but isn't a lock to take away the job from Zbikowski.

"Obviously, that's part of our idea," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Whether he can do that this week or not, I don't know. I probably wouldn't give it to you anyway. Obviously, that's something that he does. I'm sure they will prepare for him being back there." Miller returned a punt 57 yards against the Carolina Panthers in the opening preseason game, averaging 13.8 yards on 10 returns in the preseason.

He also muffed a punt in the preseason finale against the St. Louis Rams, a fumble that nearly went for a touchdown. "He's a rookie," Harbaugh said. "They'll feel like if he's back there, they can take the ball away from him."

Miller turned down the Ravens' offer to join their practice squad and signed with the Patriots Now, he's back on the roster for at least three weeks under NFL rules because he was signed off another team's practice squad. Zbikowski was limited to five yards on four returns with one fair catch against the Jets, but the Ravens seem inclined toward giving him another chance.

"That's what I like about Zibby, he's going to be secure with the ball," Harbaugh said. "But he's got to go north and south instead of going sideways. One of those two guys will be back there. The bottom line is we catch the ball first and run that way, and we'll be fine."

Zbikowski returned three punts for touchdowns at Notre Dame, but made a bad decision Monday night. "I didn't know I was that deep," Zbikowski said. "I was drifting back and a little to the left. I took a chance on that one, but you learn from those things. .. We have much bigger worries than returning punts."

WEBB IMPROVING: Cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee) is no longer on the injury report as well as offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (concussion), an indication that Webb could return to play this week after being held out of the Jets game. "Physically, he's very far along," Harbaugh said. "Is he quite there yet? Was he quite there yet at the game? I don't know. I don't think he felt quite ready like he was. So, we'll just have to see how it goes this week. It's a balancing act between where the knee is at structurally, which it's in really good shape, and where he's at mentally."

INJURY UPDATES: Tight end Todd Heap didn't practice due to a strained shoulder. Harbaugh had predicted Tuesday that Heap would practice.

The injury isn't regarded as serious and Heap is expected to be available Sunday. Meanwhile, All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis (foot) was limited as well as wide receiver Anquan Boldin (thigh) and linebacker Jarret Johnson (back).

The Ravens ruled out offensive tackle Jared Gaither (thoracic disc injury) and wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (broken foot). Inside linebacker Jameel McClain (knee) and wide receiver Marcus Smith (knee) participated fully. Bengals defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene (hamstring) and linebacker Keith Rivers (foot) didn't practice.

Running back Cedric Benson (shoulder) was limited. Wide receiver Andre Caldwell (groin), cornerback Brandon Ghee (head) and running back Brian Leonard (foot) participated fully.

CODY HOPES TO RETURN: Rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody isn't giving up hope of playing Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Cody has been sidelined since undergoing arthroscopic surgery late last month to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. "I should be able to play, it's getting better," Cody said. "I'm able to do a lot of things, doing a lot of running. Doing a lot of things. Getting physical, getting back on it." The second-round draft pick from Alabama missed the final two preseason games as well as the Jets game.

"Seems to be getting better," Harbaugh said. "Will he play? I don't know." The 6-foot-4, 349-pounder said he has faith that his knee will hold up. "Yeah, I trust it," he said. Cody isn't slated to practice today, but says he hopes to get a lot of work this week to get back into playing shape. "I want to get a lot of reps so I can get back in playing shape," Cody said.

DICKSON OPTED TO PLAY: Rookie tight end Ed Dickson is a new father with his fiancée giving birth to a boy shortly before Monday night's game. Dickson made up his mind to play in his first NFL game, but wasn't pressured to do so. "Family always comes first is a general rule, but you balance family with your career and your profession and the opportunity to do things for your family," Harbaugh said. "This was also his first opportunity to play in the NFL. It was Monday night, and he had prepared for it. His teammates and coaches and really everybody, the fans, everybody was counting on him to play in the game, but only the person can make that decision.

"You can't tell him what to do. We all shared our advice, the ones of us who've had kids. In the end, he had to make his own choice. It became kind of irrelevant, because the baby came so fast. They baby was born a couple hours before the game, and he couldn't get back there fast enough anyway. What would he have done if it would've been more delayed? I don't know. I think he was going to play. It was tough for him." Harbaugh said he missed practice once for the birth of his daughter.

"That was easy," he said. "Not with a game."

QUICK HITS: Quarterback Joe Flacco acknowledged that he's a little banged-up after getting hit hard in the first quarter against the Jets. "I'm a little sore in my upper body and my neck, but I feel good," Flacco said. "My legs feel good and my arm feels great. So, I'm ready to go." He said it was more painful to watch his fumble. "It hurts to see that I fumbled the ball," he said. "I don't really care too much about the hit, but it hurts to see me fumbling and them recovering." … Hunter Cantwell is getting accustomed to the roller-coaster aspect of the NFL. Cut by Baltimore last week days after being signed to the practice squad, the former Carolina Panthers quarterback is back on the Ravens' practice squad again. "Coach Harbaugh talked to me in his office about the situation," Cantwell said. "He told me they wanted me to be here and they gave me a paycheck for last week. I just missed a couple of days. It is what it is. I'm excited to be here and I hope to stay here. Whatever happens, I'm prepared."

Punter Sam Koch saved a potential touchdown when he tackled Jets punt returner Jim Leonhard on a 32-yard return. Koch was a linebacker and fullback in high school growing up in Nebraska. "You don't want it to come down to that, but, when the time comes and they need me to, I'll take someone down," Koch said. "It seems like it was a long time ago that I was tackling people." …

Terrell Suggs said he's a fan of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens' VH1 reality shows. "I like both those guys' shows, it was good TV for me," he said. "I like to see players, especially football players, on shows having fun." When asked if he thinks Ochocinco needs help getting dates since his show was themed around finding a girlfriend, Suggs replied: "I think Chad doesn't have any problems getting dates."


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