Ravens Notebook

OWINGS MILLS – Although Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jarret Johnson didn't practice for consecutive days due to a back injury, he predicted that he won't have any problems playing Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. He's listed as questionable on the injury report.

He's listed as questionable on the injury report. "I'm good," Johnson said Friday after practice. "I'm good to go."



Johnson is known for his durability. And he downplayed the severity of the injury, which involves back spasms.



The last time Johnson missed a game was seven years ago: Dec. 21, 2003. "We decided not to take a chance of putting it back into spasms," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "So, they do a good job of taking care of that."



Meanwhile, tight end Todd Heap expects to play Sunday after being limited in practice for the past two days with a strained right shoulder. "I'm feeling better every day," Heap said. "I feel good right now. I have to see how it feels on Sunday. It felt better."



Rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody is hoping to make his NFL debut after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee during the preseason. Cody was out for the opening game against the New York Jets, but practiced on a limited basis this week and is questionable on the injury report. "I feel like it's pretty good," said Cody, who indicated that his knee isn't quite 100 percent yet. "The only thing that could stop me is if the coaches don't let me play. I'm just real excited to get out there and show what I can do and how much of a good player I am." Middle linebacker Ray Lewis said that his foot injury isn't a big issue. He practiced all week, but is questionable on the injury report as well as inside linebackers Jameel McClain (knee) and Tavares Gooden (thigh).



"I'm good," Lewis said. The Ravens appear to be getting cornerback Lardarius Webb ready for Sunday.




He's no longer on the injury report. "I think there's a chance he'll play," Harbaugh said. "It just depends on how he feels as we get close to the game. We said last week he practiced 100 percent, and he did. And he's practiced 100 percent again this week. So, he's doing well." Webb, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Dec. 20 against the Chicago Bears, predicted that he'll be a game-time decision. "Ain't nothing really changed," Webb said. It's the same thing, going to be the same decision." BLOCKING ODOM: The Ravens have to contend with Bengals defensive end Antwan Odom, one of the top pass rushers in the league.

Odom is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy, but is being allowed to play while he goes through the appeals process. "Is he going to be in the game?" Harbaugh said. "Darn, I still had my hopes up for that. He's a premier pass rusher, got to account for him. Got to know where he's at all times." As a rookie last year, Michael Oher shut down Odom after the veteran entered the game with a league-high eight sacks.

"He's a good player," Oher said. "He's a proven player. You definitely got to come to play." Odom ended last season on injured reserve after tearing his Achilles' tendon. Odom wasn't especially effective in a loss to the New England Patriots last season, but he has the Ravens' full respect.

"He's a darn good football player," offensive tackle Marshal Yanda said. "It looks like he's back and healthy, so he's a good pass rusher. He gets a bunch of sacks. We need to look out for him and do our best against him." The Ravens don't plan to change their offensive line configuration. Yanda will remain at right tackle and Chris Chester will start again at right guard. INJURY UPDATES: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was upgraded to full participation in practice Friday after being limited Thursday with a thigh injury. He's listed as probable as well as wide receiver Marcus Smith



The Bengals ruled out defensive end Jonathan Fanene (hamstring).



Running back Cedric Benson (shoulder) participated fully again and is probable. Linebacker Keith Rivers (foot) was limited and is listed as questionable as well as running back Brian Leonard (foot). Cornerback Brandon Ghee (head) and wide receiver Andre Caldwell (foot) are probable.

LEARNING THE ROPES: The Ravens have used cornerback Josh Wilson sparingly since acquiring him in a trade from the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson only played on special teams against the Jets.



"I guess so," Wilson said. "I can't call it." The former University of Maryland standout said he has absorbed the playbook.

"I'm good to go," he said. "I'm out there practicing every day. I've picked everything up." FOOTBALL RUNS IN THE FAMILY: Lewis isn't the only member of his family that's off to a good start on the football field this year.

Ray Lewis III, a sophomore running back and linebacker at Lake Mary Prep (Fla.), gained 504 all-purpose yards in a win over Windermere Prep last week.

Ray Lewis' son rushed for 104 yards, gained 101 yards on kickoff returns and had 206 yards and two touchdowns on punt returns with 27 receiving yards and 66 yards passing on 6 of 6 accuracy. He also recorded six tackles and deflected a pass. "It's funny, man, because my kids are putting pressure on me now," Lewis said. "I'm telling them, ‘I'm getting ready to one day tailgate so I can chase y'all.' You know? My oldest boy had his game Friday night, and then my 10-year-old had his game Saturday, and both of them scored three times, and the text I get and the phone call I get is, ‘It's your turn.' I'm like, ‘Well, how do I show up 500 yards?' You can't show up 500 yards."



Lewis III led his team in rushing and tackles last season as a freshman.



The 5-foot-9, 186-pounder was 5-foot-5, 140 pounds two years ago as an eighth-grader.



"He's bulked up and looks great out there," Lake Mary coach Buck Gurley told the Orlando Sentinel. "He hits the weights hard over the summer. He's far advanced for his grade level. He's definitely going to be a Division I prospect."

Lewis, whose Ravens beat the New York Jets 10-9 Monday night as he recorded a huge hit on tight end Dustin Keller, is extremely proud.

"He's a great kid, a great kid, all of my boys," Lewis said. "I give them hard criticism even when I watch their films and watch the things they do on tape. Whether it's the ball is in the wrong hand, whether you should have used a stiff-arm, whether you should have went outside, inside, whatever it is.

"I don't critique them to down them, but the effort is kind of what I always keep up with. And just to see what I saw on tape about what he did this last week, just his effort and his leadership on how he kept his team involved, there's no greater reward for a father than to see that, than to see your son."

Lewis said he's the type of parent who isn't shy about voicing his approval whenever he gets a chance to attend a game in person.

"Oh yeah, every bye week I usually see him," Lewis said. "I'm faithful to it. I'm not the parent that's going to sit back and be quiet. I'm the one that runs all the way. If you run 100 yards, I'm running 110. So, good thing."



BIG GAME: Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura is eagerly awaiting his return to Cincinnati, where he played collegiately for the University of Cincinnati.

"I have a lot of friends and family that are going to be there," said Nakamura, a Cleveland native. "It's a second home to me. You don't want to screw up in front of family."



Nakamura graded out highly for his work as a nickel back, guarding the Jets' slot receivers.

"It will probably be something similar this week," Nakamura said. "Everybody said I did a great job. It's just one of those things where it was fun being out there. I got a lot of texts from Cincinnati people. They said to make sure I don't do it against them."



TOUGH MATCHUP: It's impossible to miss hard-hitting Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga.



He's a big, talkative presence who's extremely active against the run. "I'm going against another great linebacker, but the game I had last week against the Jets I could be pretty much ready for any game throughout the season," fullback Le'Ron McClain said. "This is a big challenge. He's a downhill, fast-flow type of guy. He gets to the ball fast. He uses his hands well."



Maualuga was a standout at USC, but fell to the second round due to concerns about off-field issues involving alcohol. After being arrested for driving under the influence this offseason, Maualuga went to a rehab center.



"He's just a good football player," offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. "I think we all saw it in college, and he's played well since he's been in the league. He plays hard. He's not afraid. He's aggressive. He's downhill. Good football player."

The Ravens are game-planning for Maualuga.

"He's physical, he's kind of like a Bart Scott," Yanda said. "Runs fast, downhill type of guy."

QUICK HITS: Rookie wide receiver David Reed was credited with four tackles on special teams against the Jets. Reed normally is a kickoff returner, but excelled in kick coverage in his first NFL game. "I tell you, he's come a long way with that," Harbaugh said. "He never did it before. He really struggled early. He was kind of getting his rear end handed to him early on, and then all of a sudden, about halfway through camp, he started flipping that. He did a nice job."

… Jameel McClain recorded six tackles in his first regular-season game starting at inside linebacker. "He did a good job," Mattison said. "He did a good job. I thought he was very physical, and he helped us." … Rookie punt returner Prince Miller said he doesn't know yet if he'll be returning punts Sunday or Tom Zbikowski. "It feels good to be back," Miller said. "I had a good week of practice." … Running back Willis McGahee is involved in a promotion with baltimoreblackout.com, which is encouraging fans to wear black T-shirts and wave black towels at the Ravens' Sept. 26 home opener against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Money goes toward McGahee's charitable foundation.


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