The Ravens are contemplating whether to reinstall Cundiff as their kicker for this pivotal regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals as he recovers from a left calf injury, or stick with Graham for the second game in a row. A decision could come down as soon as today. "Yeah, I think so," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It's an injury situation, so you always want to see how things respond. Billy did some kicking this week. We'll just have to see where we are come Sunday."
Cundiff practiced on a limited basis and is listed as questionable. Having missed three of five field goals this month, Cundiff was rested last week against the Cleveland Browns.
He made some progress this week.
"It felt good to practice," Cundiff said. "When you're getting over an injury, it's not going to be 100 percent for a while. I think it's getting to the point where I'll be much better than when I tried to play last time. That's for sure.
"I have no idea. I'm not the decision-maker. So, we'll let the decision-makers decide. I feel pretty good about where I'm at. I'm in a much better position than I've been in almost about a month."
The Ravens could make a decision after their walkthrough today prior to their charter flight to Cincinnati, or take it up until shortly before kickoff.
However, Harbaugh has said he doesn't plan to carry two kickers on the roster.
"I don't know," Cundiff said. "It's kind of the mystery of the Ravens."
After working diligently to get healthier, it would bother Cundiff if he's not back in the lineup. He missed his last field goal attempt, a 36-yard chip shot against the San Diego Chargers.
Cundiff has no intentions of playing it safe and sitting out until the playoffs.
"I would be disappointed because I'd like to play," Cundiff said. "It was tough for me to watch last week. I've been doing the most I possibly can to get ready to play. So, I hope that happens."
Graham connected on kicks from 48 and 43 yards against the Browns and made all of his extra points.
In his second injury replacement stint this season after kicking for the Miami Dolphins in place of Dan Carpenter earlier this year, Graham said he's prepared for whatever comes.
"I don't really know what kind of expectations to have," Graham said. "We've both kicked in practice. I guess at this point it's all up to how he feels and what their decision is. I plan on being ready if asked. I'm sure he wants to get back in.
"I'm sure they'll figure it out. It's not in my control anymore. So, if I do get to play, I look forward to it. If he plays, I hope he's rested enough. I hope he does well. You guys literally know as much as I do."
For seven years, Graham kicked for the Bengals and made one Pro Bowl.
His tenure ended when he missed a pair of field goals in a divisional round playoff loss to the New York Jets.
He's experienced, though, at Paul Brown Stadium.
"There's always comfort levels for having the same surroundings," Graham said. "I kicked on that field for practice and games for seven years."
Grateful to be back on an NFL team, Graham is hopeful of contributing at least one more time as the Ravens chase a first-round bye and an AFC North division title.
"I really can't imagine complaining about anything right now," Graham said. "So, I hope I play, but yet I hope Billy is OK, too. I don't want to really put a damper on any side of that because we're both competitors. We both want to play. My job has been to come in here and play while he's hurt.
"If he's not 100 percent or they decide he's not 100 percent or whatever, then I'm ready to go. If he's ready, then I'll cheer him on. I try not to really think of any disappointment in that situation. I've been fortunate that the team has trusted in me enough to bring me and rely on me. It's been good to be in that position."
Notebook: Yanda doubtful for Sunday
OWINGS MILLS – Although Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda returned to practice for the first time since suffering a rib contusion, he's still officially listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Limited in practice Friday, Yanda is making progress.
"It felt all right, it felt OK," said Yanda, who's also dealing with a bruised thigh. "Just playing through the rib and the leg a little bit, but it felt all right. We've got 48 hours yet, but we'll see what happens. I felt OK out there, so we'll see what happens come Sunday. Still don't know yet, we'll see."
Yanda said this is one of the most painful injuries he's ever dealt with.
"I cut a guy on a screen and took a knee right in the ribs real bad, and then I got leg-whipped on a play, too," Yanda said,. "Between five plays I got leg-whipped and then got cut and took some knees on a screen. So it was a tough stretch there. I'm feeling a little better every day.
"The ribs are tough because they obviously hurt like hell on Sunday and I really couldn't breathe well. My breathing is getting better, but I still feel them. I'm still dealing with them right now, so we'll see."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal on whether Yanda will be able to play Sunday after not finishing the game against the Cleveland Browns last weekend.
If Yanda can't start, then Andre Gurode is slated to replace him.
"Marshal got out early and did some things," Harbaugh said. "So, we'll just have to see how that progresses.
Yanda said he felt like he needed to practice to have a chance at playing.
"If I wanted to give myself a legitimate shot of even thinking about playing Sunday, I felt like I had to at least do a little bit and see how it felt," he said.
If at all possible, Yanda said he prefers to play this week and not sit out until the playoffs.
"I'm not thinking about that," he said. "I'm just thinking like another week. If I was good enough to go, I'd play. So we'll see how it goes come Sunday."
Declared out earlier this week after undergoing knee surgery on a slightly torn meniscus, wide receiver Anquan Boldin was upgraded to doubtful.
He returned to practice on a limited basis Friday after undergoing surgery eight days ago.
" Anquan was out here earlier, absolutely very encouraging," Harbaugh said. "Those guys rehab hard. Anquan is a very tough guy. They want to do everything they can to play, and I think they are all doing everything they can to play as soon as they can."
WILLIAMS NOT CLEARED:
Starting cornerback Cary Williams still hasn't been cleared for contact following his concussion last week, but is expected to play.
If Williams is unable to go, rookie Jimmy Smith would start in his place.
However, that's not expected to happen.
"Cary has actually done really well," Harbaugh said. "Cary has been limited in participation, but he looks pretty good right now. He has not been cleared as of yet, though, and it is a concussion. Cary is very tough."
Williams wasn't allowed to conduct interviews under NFL protocol governing players with post-concussion symptoms.
Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe still has concussion symptoms and is listed as doubtful. He didn't practice all week and isn't expected to play.
William is listed as questionable as well as defensive end Cory Redding (right ankle) and kicker Billy Cundiff.
"I'm pumped and ready to end the regular season with a bang!," Redding wrote on his Twitter account. "C-Redd is back!"
The Ravens removed strong safety Bernard Pollard and defensive tackle Arthur Jones from the injury report.
Pollard and Jones missed practice Thursday and Wednesday due to illnesses.
For the Bengals, safety Taylor Mays (hamstring) and linebacker Dontay Moch (illness) are doubtful.
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap (hamstring) is questionable.
Rookie wide receiver A.J. Green (sprained AC joint), strong safety Chris Crocker (knee), offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee), cornerback Brandon Ghee (toe) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (neck) are probable.
Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins is extremely difficult to block, recording eight sacks and two forced fumbles this season. He had one sack and six tackles against Baltimore earlier this season. "You've got to block him," Harbaugh said. "You've got to block him really well. He can defeat pretty much any block. He's playing at a very high level. He's a second-year guy who is really emerging as one of the better tackles in the league."
Harbaugh expressed no emotions when told the Bengals didn't display other NFL scores at Paul Brown Stadium last week. "No, I couldn't care less," Harbaugh said. "I don't care if they do."
The Ravens are impressed with Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, and for good reasons. Whitworth has allowed only four sacks all season. And Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs has just 1 ½ sacks against the Bengals since Cincinnati drafted Whitworth in the second round five years ago. "He's solid," Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said. "You don't see this guy get beat. He's really, really steady. He's hard. He's a big man. He's tough to get around, and once he gets his hands on you, it's hard to beat him. He's been really solid for them." The Ravens regard Whitworth as underrated.
"He's funny because he doesn't get a lot of respect," outside linebacker Jarret Johnson said. "Nobody really talks about him and you watch him on tape and he just blocks everybody. Nobody beats him. So, he's a really good player. I've got a lot of respect for him. He plays hard, not a dirty player. He just blocks people."
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