Sanders still mulling over a potential comeback

WESTMINSTER -- Deion Sanders is still plotting his potential comeback as a nickel back with the Baltimore Ravens. And the retired seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback said his impending decision will depend upon how his training regimen goes.

"When these hamstrings respond, to make sure I'm not going out there and blowing these hamstrings up," Sanders told Sporting News Radio. "When I know my legs can do it or my legs and my body is telling me I can't. I'll know soon and very soon."

Sanders, 37, confirmed that did consult Michael Jordan about returning to football. The Ravens would like Sanders to make a decision within the next week or two so they can gauge his readiness.

The flamboyant former NFL Defensive Player of the Year said he's unconcerned about possibly tarnishing his legacy.

"Once it's written, it's already written," Sanders said. "You can't change what's already written on paper or what's already on film. If I were contemplating this thing, I would not come back to embarrass myself, embarrass my fans and embarrass my supposed teammates at all."

Sanders hasn't played football since the 2000 season with the Washington Redskins and has reportedly hired highly-regarded personal trainer Tom Shaw to supervise his workouts in Texas.

"Who's to say that I lost a step?" Sanders said. "Who have I raced recently that assured me that I've lost a step? It's so funny that all these critics who have never played the game can criticize someone in a game that they've never played."

Sanders, who has 48 career interceptions, stressed that he wouldn't attempt a comeback unless he truly believes he's capable of playing at a high level.

"I wouldn't even come back unless I knew I could," Sanders said. "No way in the world."

Sanders referred to Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis, who is encouraging him to play for Baltimore, as a younger brother.

"I can't wait to see how this is going to play out with Deion," Ravens safety Ed Reed said. "I look up to him as a brother, especially on the football field because he did it. He did it for a long time."

TRAINING ROOM: Linebacker Peter Boulware (knee), quarterback Anthony Wright (shoulder), running back B.J. Sams (thumb), return specialist Derek Abney (shoulder), tight end Trent Smith (leg), offensive tackle Orlando Brown (family illness), offensive guard Casey Rabach (knee), defensive tackle Matt Zielinski (knee) and defensive end Marques Douglas (elbow) didn't practice and won't play tonight against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jarret Johnson will start at right end in Douglas' place. Cornerback Fred Weary (quadriceps) is doubtful.

ROTATION: Ravens coach Brian Billick said quarterback Kyle Boller will play between 25 and 30 snaps in the first half followed by Kordell Stewart with rookie Josh Harris taking the fourth quarter.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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