Ravens Notebook

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason once played for the majority of a season with essentially one arm. So, he's determined and confident that he can get by for the remainder of this season with a right pinkie finger that he's now broken twice in two separate spots.

After initially breaking his finger against the New England Patriots and having it surgically repaired with a pin inserted during the bye week, Mason broke it for the second time against the Atlanta Falcons last Thursday night while catching a six-yard touchdown pass at the Georgia Dome.

… Mason said he won't be hampered by the injury "That's the way I was brought up: you play through pain," Mason said. "Whatever it may be, you play through it. If you can go out there, run and catch the ball, then do it. Right now, I believe I feel better than I've ever felt before at this stage of a season. "Especially the last three years. If I've got to play through an injury, so be it, because these last seven games are big. If you can play, you need to play and put aside your aches and pains." Despite an injured finger, Mason said it's not difficult for him to catch passes. Mason ranks second on the team with 34 receptions for 447 yards and three touchdowns. "It's not tough," Mason said. "It's like riding a bike. Once you've been doing it, you don't forget how. When you're in a game, your adrenaline is going so you don't feel it. I just go out there and I play.

… "Unless somebody really takes a shot at it, then I kind of feel it then. After a while, the pain kind of subsides and I continue on with the play. For the most part, I don't feel it at all because I'm so tuned in and so focused on what I've got to do as a player." Mason is practicing with a split and a bandage to protect the finger.

… Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he'll leave it up to Mason whether he chooses to play. "If the trainers say, we don't think he should be playing, it's over," Harbaugh said. "You don't even have a conversation about it. If it's one of those things where he can play but it's a pain tolerance issue, believe me, there are some things out there that hurt so much that a guy just can't perform through it. "Other times they can. We do have some guys like Derrick Mason that because a guy has played so many games for so many years, you've got to assume he's got a pretty good pain threshold. And Derrick caught the ball well. So, he looks fine."

… REED INJURED HIS ANKLE: Free safety Ed Reed injured his ankle against the Falcons when quarterback Matt Ryan was sliding into the turf, banging into the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

… Reed said he suffered ligament damage on the play. It took him a while to get up. Reed appeared to elbow Ryan when he lowered his helmet, but he wasn't sure what happened. "Once he hit my ankle, I have no clue what hit him," Reed said. "Once he hit my ankle, I knew he was down already. I was just like, 'Oh, my God, he slid right into my ankle.' "

… INJURY REPORT: Both Reed and Mason aren't listed on the injury report. Free safety Tom Zbikowski didn't practice and is expected to miss his fourth consecutive game since bruising his right heel against the Patriots.

… Cornerback Fabian Washington was initially listed as not practicing due to an illness, but was upgraded to limited work. Tight end Todd Heap (chest) and inside linebacker Tavares Gooden (head) were limited. Heap and fullback Le'Ron McClain weren't involved in contact drills. Meanwhile, the following Carolina Panthers didn't practice: linebacker Jon Beason (knee), quarterback Jimmy Clausen (concussion), safety Marcus Hudson (ankle), wide receiver Brandon LaFell (concussion), running back Jonathan Stewart (concussion), running back Tyrell Sutton (ankle) and offensive tackle Travelle Wharton (toe).

… Defensive end Greg Hardy (concussion), linebacker Nic Harris (knee) and defensive end Charles Johnson (hip) were limited.

… SCOUTING REPORT: Practice squad quarterback Hunter Cantwell was with the Panthers last season and on the team through training camp before being released during the final major roster cut.

… So, Cantwell was asked to provide some inside information about the Panthers (1-8) to the coaching staff this week.

… "The coaches had me come in and watch film with them and talk about some of the things I had seen when I was there," Cantwell said. "It's funny how nothing is hidden in this league. Talking to Harbaugh and [Cam] Cameron even before I had said a word out of my mouth, they had pretty much already had on paper, everything I could tell them.

… "That's a testament to them and how well they prepare and get this team prepared. I wanted to do my part to help. The coaches already had it down."

… Harbaugh insists that Cantwell did give the team an assist with his knowledge of the Panthers' schemes and personnel.

… "He's helped us," Harbaugh said. "I'm sure they expect that. We met with him long and hard on Monday and Tuesday.

… "Guys don't remember as much sometimes as you would like for them to do. He didn't bring a notebook. We did ask about that."

… STAYING IN THE LINEUP: Now that he's a starter after replacing Washington, cornerback Josh Wilson has no intentions of giving up the job. "I know one thing: I'm going to try to keep my spot," Wilson said. "That's the most important thing, to make it so I take care of my side and position and whatever the coaches decide from there is on them. I control my own destiny." Wilson said he always saw himself becoming a starter after being acquired via a trade from the Seattle Seahawks.

… "I envisioned becoming a starter when I got here," Wilson said. "I guess I'm not a guy who likes to sit on the sideline and watch the game. I don't like to pay for my tickets; I like to be on the field playing for my ride on the bus." Shoved to the ground by Falcons wide receiver Roddy White on a 33-yard touchdown pass that won the game for Atlanta, Wilson said he's not looking for an explanation from the league for the lack of an offensive pass interference penalty.

… "For me, I'm past that play," he said. "I'm on to Carolina. The NFL rarely explains anything to me. So, I'm not really expecting to get that letter in the mail. I'm past it. Nothing's going to change it.

… "The most important thing is not what happened to me, what happened to the defense, that we lost. You're not going to change a loss. So, anything other than that really doesn't matter." Wilson said he'll try to learn from the play where White knocked him down.

… "Of course, that's not how I wanted it to happen," Wilson said. "You've got to play your technique and you've got to understand where your help is and your leverage is. Personally, I thought I played good technique and held my leverage and just tried to do what was asked of me on that play. And it was made kind of hard." Wilson admitted that he's aware of the rising criticism of the Ravens' cornerbacks.

… "It's called the NFL," Wilson said. "You're going to have your good days and you're going to have your bad days. You've got to weather them all. Of course, when the bad ones come, everyone wants to come for your head.

… "And when the good days come, everyone is going to pat you on the back. You just have to weather the storm and understand that every once in awhile it's going to happen."

… QUICK HITS: The Ravens have never defeated the Panthers during the regular season. "It doesn't really bother me or bother us," Reed said. "They're an NFL team, like anybody else. We're not going to prepare any less or more than what we would do for any other team." Added linebacker Terrell Suggs: "We've never beat them? I've only played them one time in the regular season. Wow. Why would you come up with a stat like that right now? You've got to tell us that after the game, man. Now I'm going to think about that all week. I don't like numbers like that. But it's just like the past is the past and you've just got to play the next game. I only remember them smashing on us once. Steve Smith had a hell of a day that day."

… Even though Stewart is injured and DeAngelo Williams was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury, Harbaugh is impressed with the Panthers' 24th-ranked running game. "Running the ball," Harbaugh said when asked what the Panthers do well. "They run the ball as well as anybody in the league." The Panthers are averaging 93.8 rushing yards per game. Mike Goodson rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries last week. "All of their guys can play," Harbaugh said. "So, the run game is going to be the bottom line

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