Ravens notebook

OWINGS MILLS – Veteran defensive end Trevor Pryce's exit from the Baltimore Ravens' roster figures to be a temporary one, according to coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens cut Pryce on Wednesday morning as safety Ken Hamlin rejoined the team. However, Harbaugh characterized the chances of Pryce returning as a high possibility. It could happen as soon as next wee

However, Harbaugh characterized the chances of Pryce returning as a high possibility. It could happen as soon as next week.

"Trevor is a valuable part of this team," Harbaugh said. "He'll be back with us. You have roster issues that you deal with, and that's not something we wanted to do. Trevor is a big part of what we're doing here, and we anticipate getting him back. It's just what we had to do for now."

Although Pryce was released, his locker still contains his clothes and other personal belongings.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive end lost his starting job last season when he was replaced by Dwan Edwards and he has one tackle in three games this year.

"We just felt like we had to make a roster move," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. Pryce led the Ravens with 6 ½ sacks last season accepted a $2.5 million pay cut during the offseason, and is making $2 million this season. He has started 42 games since joining the Ravens. Pryce, 35, is expected to be re-signed as soon as next week, and will receive his usual game check for this week.

"It's a shock, but they told us they're going to bring him back next week," nose guard Kelly Gregg said. "Trevor is definitely missed. I don't know what to do with myself. He's the guy I usually hang out with, but he'll be back. At least he's getting a paid vacation. It works out good." Harbaugh indicated that Hamlin's return isn't just for special teams.

"It's just a roster move," Harbaugh said. A former Pro Bowl safety, Hamlin had primarily played on special teams until being cut last week. "He figures into our plans the rest of the year," Harbaugh said. "We have to work the numbers." Hamlin, 29, said he discussed his options with Newsome last week.

"Me and Ozzie discussed a few things here and there," Hamlin said. "It's good to be back. I'm back, so it's not about being surprised. I'm glad to be back with the organization I'm with. I'm ready to get back to work. It's business.

"Nothing has changed. I'm still going out to work every day. I still have to produce in practice and show what I can do. Hopefully when I get on the field, if I get on the field, I'll make some things happen."

GAITHER RETURNS TO PRACTICE: Offensive tackle Jared Gaither returned to practice for the first time since suffering a thoracic disc injury to his upper back during the opening week of training camp when he was carted off the field with back spasms.

Gaither took part in practice on a limited basis. He was able to get into a three-point stance. Gaither could be sidelined for the next two to three weeks before he's able to get back into football shape and push for a starting job at right tackle.

If that happens, Marshal Yanda would move back to his natural right guard spot. "It's good to see him back," fullback Le'Ron McClain said. "He can help us a lot."

INJURY UPDATES: Starting defensive end Cory Redding remains out with a concussion that he suffered Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. He didn't practice and it's unclear if he'll be able to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Cory will be ready if he's ready," Harbaugh said. "It's a concussion. It's just not predictable. We just don't know." The Ravens ruled out inside linebacker Tavares Gooden (dislocated left shoulder) and wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (broken foot). Running back Ray Rice (bruised knee) didn't practice, but did walk onto the field to observe. Offensive tackle Tony Moll (hip) didn't practice. Meanwhile, linebacker Jarret Johnson (back) was limited.

Center Matt Birk (back), offensive guard Chris Chester (back) and tight end Todd Heap participated fully.

For the Steelers, quarterback Dennis Dixon (torn lateral meniscus), offensive guard Trai Essex (ankle) and defensive tackle Chris Hoke (knee) didn't practice.

KRUGER, CODY COULD BE ACTIVE: With Redding potentially sidelined with a concussion, defensive end Paul Kruger could be activated for the first time this year. "I don't know Cory's situation, but it definitely looks like an open door," Kruger said. Drafted in the second round last year, Kruger sprained his shoulder in the preseason finale against the St. Louis Rams. "I definitely feel ready," Kruger said. "It's basic soreness."

Kruger intercepted a pass during his rookie year last season against the Steelers last November, a key play in the Ravens' 20-17 overtime win. "It's always a big game," Kruger said. "I'm excited to be able to play if I am. I can't wait for Sunday. The coaches have given me good feedback to keep going hard and good things will happen.

"I think that's always a good sign. Keep doing what you're doing. I was at least doing something right." Meanwhile, rookie nose guard Terrence "Mount" Cody is also looking for his first playing time of the season.

Cody underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The second-round draft pick could help a run defense that faltered against the Cleveland Browns, allowing 144 rushing yards to Peyton Hillis.

"I can help out a lot, just being a big body in the middle to stuff the run and keep the linebackers free," Cody said. Cody said he has remained patient while waiting for his opportunity.

"It hasn't been frustrating," Cody said. "It happens to the best of us. All you can do is work hard and stay in shape."

OLD FRIENDS: Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher played at Ole Miss with Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace, and they remain good friends. " I look forward to playing him every time," Oher said. "He sends me a message on my wall on Facebook. He's one of my good friends. I love being out there with him and seeing him perform. We wish each other luck all the time." Wallace is a gifted receiver who caught two touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hauling in scores of 46 yards and 41 yards. He's the first Steelers receiver to have two 40-plus touchdowns in a single game since Louis Lipps on Dec. 4, 1988.

He finished the game with three catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

As a rookie last season, Wallace caught 39 passes for 756 yards and six touchdowns. His 19.4 reception average led the NFL. So far this year, Wallace has caught seven passes for 187 yards for an average of 26.7 per catch. "He's a great talent," cornerback Lardarius Webb said. "He has the whole package: speed, route running, smart player. You have to be focused every time he's on the field."'

BOLDIN HONORED: The NFL named wide receiver Anquan Boldin as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week following his eight-reception, 142-yard , three-touchdown game against the Browns. Boldin didn't appear to be enamored of the award, though.

"It doesn't matter," Boldin said. When asked what he gets for the award, Boldin laughed and said, "Just a mention." What would he like to win? "Another day off," Boldin said without hesitation.v

LEWIS, ROETHLISBERGER STAYING IN TOUCH: Ravens All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis has provided moral support for embattled Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before and after his four-game suspension that concludes Sunday.

"He texted me," Lewis said in a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters. "It's a respect we have for each other, but more importantly it's a respect you got to have for yourself." Roethlisberger was investigated for an alleged sexual assault on a 20-year-old Georgia woman and was ultimately not charged with a crime. However, he was punished under the NFL's personal conduct policy.

"We texted each other whenever he was going through what he was going through, I was there for him," Lewis said. "It's more of a brotherhood. The game always takes care of itself on the field, but off the field if we don't look out for each other nobody else will."

SUGGS DOESN'T LIKE THE STEELERS: The Ravens' blood rivalry with the Steelers is unparalleled. "I'd be lying if I told you this was just another game," Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "This is the game on the schedule that we circle. This one has a little more importance than any other division game. .. "Maybe we don't like these guys. We respect them, but we don't like them. It's just for bragging rights."

QUICK HITS: Gregg has been impressed with Steelers rookie center Maurkice Pouncey. Pittsburgh cut veteran Justin Hartwig and installed the first-round draft pick as the starter. "Hartwig was good, but this kid is a good athlete," he said. "They definitely got a good offensive line." … Running back Willis McGahee isn't dwelling on the brutal hit from Steelers safety Ryan Clark that knocked him unconscious in the AFC title game. "That's over with, man," McGahee said. "That was three years ago. That's behind me."

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