Todd Heap's status to be a game-time decision

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens two-time Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap will be a game-time decision Sunday against the Cleveland Browns due to his pulled right hamstring, according to coach John Harbaugh. Although Heap has improved all week, whether he plays will still depend upon how warmup drills go during the cold conditions at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

"I think he's done really well," Harbaugh said. "I just talked to him, he told me he felt very good. I think we'll wait ‘til gametime just to see for sure and see how it feels up there with the weather and everything. We'll make a decision right before the game."

Heap has missed the past two games and been replaced in the lineup by rookie Ed Dickson, who caught a touchdown last week. He has been limited in practice all week. "I'm feeling better," said Heap, who pulled his hamstring against the Pittsburgh Steelers while running a pass route on the first play from scrimmage."It's a day-to-day thing, a long process. We'll take it to gameday and see how it feels. The game's not tonight, so I don't have to worry about that.

"We're at the point in the season where you've got a couple goals ahead of us. One of them's right in front of us, and I've got to be smart with how we go about it and how I handle it. So, we'll see what happens. I've taken some reps and was out there looking through it. It's been ups and downs, so we'll see how it feels Sunday." Heap said he has to be smart with this injury and be careful not to re-injure himself. "Definitely, I've been thinking about that this whole time," Heap said. "I went through it a couple years back, four years ago, and when I did it the first time, I came back too early and probably hurt myself and ended up missing a lot of that season. "So, you kind of know what it's like. You're not ever going to get up to the type of speed that you will in a game in practice. It just doesn't to happen. It's just an extra gear that you get to. So, like I said, I'm going to test it out on Sunday and just be smart."

Meanwhile, the Ravens ruled out rookie wide receiver David Reed (concussion) and safety Tom Zbikowski (back). Reed hasn't been cleared to play this week following a concussion because he hasn't passed the mandatory baseline test yet. Jalen Parmele is slated to be the primary kickoff returner Sunday. "We'll keep testing him," Harbaugh said of Reed. "Those things you just never know about." A disappointed Reed said he hopes to play next week.

"If they need me, I'll be ready," said Parmele, who had a 38-yard return in relief of Reed against the New Orleans Saints. "It's really just a matter of everyone executing and avoiding negative plays. You just want to move forward." The news isn't encouraging about Zbikowski. He has a bulging disc in his back. However, the team isn't placing him on injured reserve at this time. He has been sidelined ever since hurting his back against the Houston Texans weeks ago. "It's something that we think he has a chance to play with," Harbaugh said. "He doesn't have anything radiating into his legs. That's a very good sign.

"There might be a little bit of a ligament strain in there that we've treated with some cortisone this week. We think we have a chance to get him back. We just have to see how it responds to that."

Cornerback Chris Carr (illness) is questionable, but is expected to play.

The following players are probable: linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (knee), center Matt Birk (knee), safety Haruki Nakamura (illness), offensive guard Tony Moll (illness), wide receiver Derrick Mason (ankle), linebacker Jason Phillips (illness), defensive end Cory Redding (illness) and wide receiver Marcus Smith (shoulder).

For the Browns, tight end Robert Royal is doubtful with a shoulder injury. Linebacker Eric Alexander (groin), nose guard Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip) and defensive end Kenyon Coleman (knee) are questionable.

The following players are probable for Cleveland: running back Peyton Hillis (knee), quarterback Colt McCoy (illness), wide receiver Josh Cribbs (foot), linebacker Marcus Benard (shoulder), cornerback Sheldon Brown (shoulder), wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (thigh), offensive tackle John St. Clair (ankle)and offensive guard Floyd Womack (knee).

Ayanbadejo said he feels much better after sitting out of practice Thursday. "I'm 100 percent for Sunday," he said. "The game's not until Sunday and I'm already feeling a lot better. Nothing's going to keep me out of this game. I'm fine."

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