Sanders remains optimistic about playing Sunday

OWINGS MILLS - Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Frank Sanders remains optimistic about his availability for Sunday's season-opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The starter has practiced all week, but is listed as doubtful on the injury report after dislocating two toes in his right foot a month ago and is likely a game-time decision.

"No setbacks," Sanders said Thursday afternoon. "The toes are making good progress. I'm very optimistic, but if the coaches say the guys that have been practicing have good chemistry with the quarterback I'll listen to that."

Ravens coach Brian Billick remains noncommittal about playing Sanders, but acknowledged the progress for the former Arizona Cardinals' standout.

Doubtful connotates a 25-percent chance of playing, though.

"He's jumping well, moving well and has a little trouble going to his right," Billick said. "We'll have to see for this week. He would be a great addition for us."

COMEBACK TRAIL: Although he'll likely play sparingly behind Ethan Brooks at right tackle, Orlando Brown is enthused about his first actual NFL game since a penalty flag hit him in the eye three years ago.

"I'm going to be hyped up," Brown said. "I wish I was starting, but it ain't my decision. I guess since I haven't played a whole game in so long they want to take their time to build my endurance up."

Brown said his knee feels fine, quipping that he might see action on defense, too.

INJURY REPORT: Ravens running back Musa Smith (knee) is out. Cornerback Alvin Porter (groin) is doubtful and said he's unlikely to play.

Both Smith and Porter didn't practice on Thursday.

Cornerback Tom Knight (hamstring) and center Casey Rabach (knee) are questionable. Knight said he feels better, but isn't certain of his availability.

QUOTABLE: Ravens reserve quarterback Anthony Wright on playing against the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent out of college: "The Steelers are actually the first place that gave me a chance and, hopefully, I can go back there with a victory."

QUICK HIT: Because of heavy rain, the Ravens shifted their afternoon practice to M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday.

"Fortunately, it doesn't take us long to go downtown," Billick said. "They'll probably get a nice nap going down, so it's not all bad."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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