Heap to miss part of training camp

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap is expected to be unavailable for off-season minicamps and a portion of training camp following recent shoulder surgery. "Todd did have shoulder surgery," Ravens senior vice president of public relations Kevin Byrne said. "From what I understand, he will be ready sometime during training camp."

Training camp begins Aug. 1 at McDaniel College, and concludes Aug. 19. It's unlikely Heap would be ready for contact drills initially.

That means Heap would possibly be back by the second or third preseason game, either Aug. 20 against the Philadelphia Eagles or Aug. 26 at the New Orleans Saints.

The two-time Pro Bowl tight end underwent surgery on the major sprained ankle that kept him out of 10 games last season, but was unable to have the shoulder issue addressed simultaneously.

"They couldn't do both surgeries at the same time because he needed to be able to move around," Byrne said. "They did the ankle and then they fixed the shoulder."

Heap is entering the final year of his contract, and Ravens coach Brian Billick said during the draft last month that negotiating an extension for Heap and Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed are high on the team's priority list.

One of the most versatile, athletic tight ends in the league, Heap led the Ravens in receiving in 2002 and 2003, but was limited to 27 receptions for 303 yards and three touchdowns in 2004.

Entering his fifth NFL season, the 6-foot-5, 252-pound 2001 first-round draft pick has caught 168 career passes for 2,038 yards and 13 touchdowns. The shoulder surgery is a setback, but Heap is still expected to be available for the regular season, which opens Sept. 11 at M&T Bank Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts.

"It's not like we're not going to be able to have him," Byrne said. "He's rehabbing, and things are going well."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times and RavensInsider.

Ravens Insider Top Stories