Compared to having already waited three years to play football after an errantly-tossed penalty flag damaged his eye, waiting one more week isn't overly vexing to Brown. The Ravens play the Washington Redskins next week at FedEx Field, where Brown is likely to make his season debut. "I'm not cleared to play so I'm staying," said Brown, who will be replaced by Ethan Brooks at right tackle. "I don't want to stay, but it's not up to me. I've got to take care of these bumps and bruises. I just want to get these wheels right so I can play next week."
Meanwhile, tight ends coach Wade Harman said Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap, who practiced this week after experiencing back spasms earlier in camp, might play a few snaps. The team will make that determination based on how Heap feels during pregame drills. Terry Jones and John Jones will play a lot regardless of Heap's health.
Rookie outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, the Ravens' first-round pick, is making the trip to Atlanta, but is unlikely to play after missing the last few days with a sore neck. A magnetic resonance imaging exam didn't indicate any structural damage, and Suggs said he has no history of neck or spinal problems. "We don't want to compromise Terrell's safety is what it amounts to," trainer Bill Tessendorf said. "It's probably more of a game-day decision. The consensus is we don't want him getting hurt and the neck is still a little weak. "He has lost a couple of days and we need him in September. The last thing we need is any miscues."
Suggs' work will be split between defensive end Adalius Thomas and undrafted rookie linebacker Nick Stamper. Ravens coach Brian Billick declined to elaborate on who wouldn't play against the Falcons. He did say receiver Randy Hymes, who left the field Thursday because of dizziness, is feeling fine.
Here's the group of players who definitely won't play against the Falcons: tight end Trent Smith (broken leg), receiver Javin Hunter (ruptured Achilles' tendon), center Mike Flynn (knee), running back Musa Smith (knee), linebacker Cornell Brown (hamstring), safety Ray Perryman (shoulder), linebacker Bernardo Harris (broken leg), receiver Frank Sanders (toes), cornerback Tom Knight (hamstring), fullback Harold Morrow (knee) and punter Dave Zastudil (hamstring). Receiver Todd Devoe (hamstring) and defensive lineman Joe Salave'a (knee) have been practicing for the last few days and are likely to be available. Salave'a said he's slated to play.
SIMILAR SURFACE: Because the Georgia Dome has been outfitted with FieldTurf, a synthetic surface similar to M&T Bank Stadium's Momentum Turf System, Billick isn't as reluctant to play some banged-up players. "You don't have to be as cautious because the surface is like what we have at our stadium, much more forgiving, much more like grass," Billick said. "If it were the old surface that they had, you'd have to think long and hard about some of the guys that have missed some time coming back on that surface."
HOMECOMING: Running back Jamal Lewis, safety Anthony Mitchell and offensive tackle all attended high school in Atlanta. Kicker J.R. Jenkins, offensive guard Jason Thomas and wide receiver Marcus Robinson are Georgia natives, too.
Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.