Ravens on the bubble; injury report

OWINGS MILLS -- It's a critical time for linebacker Cornell Brown and receiver Ron Johnson, among several other players trying to make the Baltimore Ravens' 53-man roster.<br><br> Linebacker is a crowded position. Plus, veteran T.J. Slaughter can play inside or outside and rookie Roderick Green has impressed as a pass rusher.

As for Johnson, a fourth-round draft pick three years ago, he has caught two passes for 14 yards. His special-teams ability could help him stick on the roster even if he's the fifth option at wide receiver.

"I just play hard and I can't make mistakes," Johnson said. "I can't worry about anything else. I just have to worry about doing my job."

NFL teams are required to shave their roster to 53 players by Sept. 5.

TRAINING ROOM: Tight end Todd Heap (bruised shoulder), cornerback Corey Fuller (bruised lower leg), defensive end Marques Douglas (elbow), defensive end Tony Weaver (high ankle sprain), center Mike Flynn (broken collarbone) won't play against New York along with linebacker Peter Boulware (knee) and quarterback Anthony Wright (shoulder), who are on the physically unable to perform list.

Cornerback Javin Hunter (sprained abductor), receiver Travis Taylor (groin), receiver Devard Darling (quadriceps) and linebacker Ed Hartwell (strained quadriceps) are highly unlikely to play, but haven't been ruled out officially. Hunter indicated that he wouldn't be making the trip and would stay behind to rehabilitate his aching lower back.

Fullback Ovie Mughelli (hamstring, sprained knee) has returned to practice and said he'll be able to play.

QUICK HITS: The Ravens' defense is ranked first overall in the preseason, allowing 218.7 yards of total offense per game. … Their rushing offense is ranked second overall, averaging 155.7 yards. … Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will host a back to school kickoff Friday at Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary, handing out backpacks, school supplies and snacks to more than 1,200 grade-school students. Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley is scheduled to attend.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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