Notebook: Mason to play despite broken fing

OWINGS MILLS – Despite a broken right pinkie finger, Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason is expected to play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Mason broke the finger again during the fourth quarter of a 26-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

Mason underwent surgery on his finger during the bye week after initially breaking it against the New England Patriots last month. Mason took part in practice Monday.

"He's got it wrapped up, got it in a splint of some kind, and it looks like it's swollen a little bit," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He had some kind of procedure done on it. I don't know exactly what, but he should be fine for Sunday. As he says, it goes with the territory." RAVENS WAITING FOR AN ANSWER: Falcons wide receiver Roddy White already admitted that he committed an offensive pass interference penalty on his game-winning touchdown when he shoved Ravens cornerback Josh Wilson to the ground. The Ravens submitted the play to the league office to be reviewed.

"We turned in the Josh Wilson play and we turned in a number of other plays," Harbaugh said. Although the Ravens spoke with NFL vice president of officiating Carl Johnson on Friday, the coach didn't disclose what the league had to say about the lack of a flag. "I'm not allowed to say what the conversation was," Harbaugh said. "We haven't got the final report back yet or I would be fined. So, that's how it works."

QUARTERBACK QUESTION: Because of Jimmy Clausen suffering a concussion, the Carolina Panthers might have to start fellow rookie quarterback Tony Pike on Sunday against the Ravens. Clausen is regarded as questionable for the one-win Panthers. Pike is a tall sixth-round draft pick from the University of Cincinnati, a fairly immobile pocket passer. "It's going to be interesting to see what happens," Harbaugh said. "We're going to have to prepare for Tony along with Clausen. Obviously, they've got two very good, young quarterbacks there.

"You don't always know what you're going to get with a rookie quarterback. It could be really good or it might not be so good." Given the inexperience under center from their opponent, the Ravens figure to unleash their blitz packages and more deceptive coverage schemes. "We're going to test them, either one of them, to find out really what they're made of," Harbaugh said. "I think that's what you have to do with a rookie quarterback, and whichever one it is, we'll find out how ready they are. That's our job." Meanwhile, the Ravens are also preparing for Armanti Edwards.

The athletic wide receiver is a converted quarterback from Appalachian State, a third-round draft pick.

Edwards defeated Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's University of Delaware team in the Division I-AA national championship, throwing three touchdowns with no interceptions in a 49-21 victory. Flacco passed for 334 yards and one score. Edwards also led an upset win over the University of Michigan three years ago. "Wasn't he the guy that had the win against Michigan?" Harbaugh said. " Yeah, a pretty talented guy. We don't know much about him. That is a wildcard. We'll probably have to be ready for some Wildcat-type stuff." STICKING UP FOR ED REED: Harbaugh pulled out his best vocabulary to defend free safety Ed Reed. As far as Harbaugh is concerned, there's no connection between the former NFL Defensive Player's return and the Ravens going from third in the NFL in pass defense to 14th overall. "It's a spurious correlation," Harbaugh said. "It means that's not the connection, that's not the reason."

Since Reed was activated from the physically unable to perform list following offseason hip surgery, the Ravens have allowed seven touchdown passes after only giving up four in the first six games. They're also allowing 41 more passing yards per contest.

"If we're not playing as good of pass defense, which I'm not sure that's true, but if that's the case, then it's not because of Ed Reed or that he's back there or that we've got to find some formula with Ed," Harbaugh said. " It's specific things to specific plays." The Ravens have intercepted five passes in the past three games, including three from Reed to lead the team.

"Ed has played well," Harbaugh said. "I don't think there's any play you can point to and say, ‘Well, Ed's not playing well.' He's had three interceptions. He's a factor pretty much in every play. So, if there's anything specific in the passing game that we haven't done a good job with, it doesn't really relate to Ed." The defense has become more aggressive with Reed, who's known for gambling on the field and relying on his instincts.

"You build around your players, I think," Harbaugh said. "You build around the guys you have. It probably builds differently around Ed Reed than it builds around another safety. QUICK HITS: The Ravens have allowed 66 points in the fourth quarter after giving up just 62 last season. In three of the past four games, the Ravens have either lost the game or allowed their opponent to tie the game in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. "There's not many times this Ravens team's going to let our fans down and let our city down," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We're going to come through more times than not." … Despite the rash of injuries to quarterbacks around the league, Harbaugh said he's not inclined to reconsider his decision to only have two on the active roster in Flacco and Marc Bulger. "We're not going to react to what happens around the league," he said."If you do that, you'd be back and forth all the time. We've made a decision what way we want to go. If we were to lose both of our quarterbacks in a game, that would be a problem. We've made a decision to balance out the fact that that's so highly unlikely, although it can happen, the fact that we'd rather have an extra player on the roster. So, if that happens, we'll probably go with Anquan Boldin and try to win a football game." How's Boldin doing as the emergency quarterback?

"Oh, he's dynamic, he's dynamite," Harbaugh said with a laugh about the former Florida prep all-state and Mr. Football quarterback. "He's zipping it all around. He shreds our defense on a regular basis."

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