J. Lewis questionable for Sunday

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis is officially listed as questionable on the initial injury report due to a nagging hip injury. Just one breath after saying that he'll let the coaches judge of how much progress he's made, though, Lewis pretty much let it be known that he shouldn't be viewed as a 50-50 proposition for availability Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

When asked how many carries he could handle, he replied: "Oh, I can go. I can go as many as I need to go. That's no problem. What I've been doing as far as working out and getting extra conditioning and things of that nature is to prepare myself for game time." Lewis suffered a strained left hip flexor while running sprints prior to training camp and nursed the injury throughout last month. The Ravens shut him down for the final two preseason games to allow him to recuperate. He has said that he has regained his burst and ability to cut. "It's totally different than the first time I got in there for the preseason," said Lewis, who missed a portion of team drills Wednesday. "I feel much better, and I'm really just trying to play it out and just see where I'm at. I'll leave it up to the coaches and let them know how I feel." Lewis' actual condition might be a slight mystery, and he's coming off the worst season of his career. However, that hasn't diminished Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden's opinion of the former NFL Offensive Player of the Year. "You can't deny that Jamal is one of the most physical backs in football and what he did a couple of years ago created him as one of the best backs in all of football," Gruden said. "He's a beast. You have cut-ups of him that are vivid in everyone's mind of him splattering people between the tackles and he has breakaway speed." ISOLATED?: The Ravens don't seem concerned that rookie safety Dawan Landry will be exploited by the Buccaneers' passing game. His primary responsibility is likely to be guarding Alex Smith, an adept pass-catching tight end. "I wouldn't think he would have a problem because he's a part of our defense and he's done a great job as a rookie earning a starting job," cornerback Samari Rolle said. "I don't worry about Dawan." A fifth-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech, Landry replaced four-year starter Will Demps. During the preseason, he led the defense with 19 tackles, including 16 solos and a sack. "Dawan is a football player," safety Ed Reed said. "You can't take that out of him whether it's Little League or the NFL." Landry acknowledged that he'll likely experience some nerves in his first real NFL game. He has a plan for how he'll deal with his emotions: "I'm going to go out there and hit somebody." TRAINING ROOM: Besides Lewis, the Ravens listed running back P. J. Daniels, defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin, wide receiver Derrick Mason and cornerback Chris McAlister as questionable with thigh injuries. They all missed a portion of team drills. The Buccaneers listed offensive guards Dan Buenning (ankle) and Davin Joseph (knee) as questionable along with middle linebacker Shelton Squarles (groin). QUICK HITS: The Ravens are 0-2 all-time against Tampa Bay, being outscored by a combined 47-10. … Tight end Daniel Wilcox and cornerback Corey Ivy both earned Super Bowl rings with the Buccaneers in 2002. "It definitely brings back memories going back there," Wilcox said. "It seems like about half the defense is still there." … The University of Miami's loss to Florida State was felt throughout the Ravens' locker room, particularly with alums Ray Lewis and Reed. "I was hurt deeply," Lewis said. Reed was adamant in denying that the Hurricanes on a downward spiral: "No, Miami is not down." … Going back to Raymond James Stadium has sparked memories for Ray Lewis, who was named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXV at that venue six seasons ago. "That feeling alone when you go back home and walk into that stadium, of course, the butterflies will feel the same way," he said. "Hopefully, I'll play the same way, too." Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times.

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