Ravens' injury outlook improving

OWINGS MILLS - The holding pattern on several injured Baltimore Ravens is about to end.

When the Ravens (3-2) return from their bye Oct. 24 against the Buffalo Bills, they hope to regain the services of tight end Todd Heap, center Mike Flynn and wide receiver Travis Taylor.

"The team that we put together and went into the season with, we still haven't played that game," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We're optimistic about having most everybody back for the Buffalo game."

Heap sprained his ankle against Pittsburgh. Against Cleveland, Taylor aggravated a groin injury incurred in August.

"I'll definitely be back for the Bills game," Taylor said. "There's no question about it."

Flynn broke his collarbone during training camp. He'll get another X-ray next week. He's running without pain, but hasn't done any contact other than hitting the blocking sled.

Pro Bowl outside linebacker Peter Boulware (knee) and quarterback Anthony Wright (shoulder) remain on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing off-season surgery.

Billick said that Wright will likely start practicing before the Oct. 31 game against Philadelphia, but won't be placed on the active roster. There's no specific timetable for Boulware.

Wright had surgery to repair a torn labrum in May.

"It's my understanding that he's throwing full-speed now," Billick said.

The Ravens have a three-week window after the bye to decide whether to have Wright and Boulware practice. After that point, they have an additional three weeks to decide whether the players should be placed on injured reserve, the active roster or be waived.

There's no specific timetable for Boulware. "The big test is if I can cut," Boulware said. "Once that comes, I'll be ready to play." Billick said that the team intends to keep three quarterbacks, including Kyle Boller and Kordell Stewart, when Wright becomes available. Rookie Josh Harris would likely be placed on the practice squad.

MOVING DOWN THE ROAD: The moving vans left the old Baltimore Colts' facility Monday, only they weren't from Mayflower and it wasn't a secretive journey in the middle of the night to Indianapolis.

The Ravens are only moving a few miles down the road this week to an ultra-modern football headquarters believed to have cost an excess of $20 million bankrolled by new owner Steve Bisciotti. Their new address: 1 Winning Drive in the Deer Park section of Owings Mills.

"We're going to a much better, happier place that Steve Bisciotti built us," said kicker Matt Stover, who worked at the Colts' former digs since 1996 when the former Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore. "The new place, it's got everything. I'm sure it's going to be the premier in the league."

The 200,000 square-foot facility features an indoor practice field, three outdoor fields, a full-service kitchen and cafeteria, basketball and racquetball courts, a brick and stone exterior and other amenities.

"This is the only home I know in Baltimore," Billick said. "This was my first office. These were the first crummy fields that I've ever had as a head coach. It's exciting going to a new facility, and we'll really miss this place for about 10 minutes."

CONTRACT UPDATE: Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister's seven-year contract was described as one of the richest deals among cornerbacks and defensive players by Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.

His agent, Mitch Frankel, declined to disclose terms at the request of McAlister, the team's franchise player for the last two years.

McAlister was seeking money similar to Denver Broncos corner Champ Bailey's $73 million deal that included an $18 million signing bonus, but this deal is believed to be smaller although very lucrative.

"It gives Chris the security mentally that he really wanted," Frankel said. "It was a difficult two years, but Mr. Bisciotti stepped up and took care of Chris. Without getting into the numbers, Chris took a little less money to stay in Baltimore."

J. LEWIS UPDATE: Frankel said that the Ravens expressed interest in extending the contract of running back Jamal Lewis prior to his indictment on federal drug conspiracy charges. Lewis will serve four months in a minimum-security prison and two months in a halfway house after the season stemming from last week's plea bargain. "Once all of this is behind Jamal, we hope to do a long-term contract with the Ravens," Frankel said.

Lewis pleaded guilty last week to using a cellular phone to facilitate a drug transaction and begin a two-game suspension against Buffalo. He rushed for 116 yards against Washington, 97 in the second half. The Ravens named Lewis a game captain and presented him with a game ball afterward.

Billick also made it a point to give Lewis a hug late in the contest.

"It was a very emotional time," Billick said. "I wanted him to know that we're with him, we believe in him and we'll be here when he gets back."

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