Heap doubtful, McAlister questionable

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap is regarded as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, according to coach Brian Billick. Heap has missed six of the past eight games with a strained hamstring and was limited in practice all week until Friday morning, when he didn't participate at all.

Cornerback Chris McAlister also didn't practice all week due to a strained knee and is considered to be a game-time decision. Like Heap, he's listed as questionable on the injury report.

McAlister played in a 27-24 loss Monday night to the New England Patriots without incident, limiting Randy Moss to one touchdown on four receptions for 34 yards. However, the knee injury might require surgery after the season.

Safety Ed Reed returned to practice on a limited basis after sitting out Thursday with a hip injury. He's questionable, but is expected to start.

The Ravens downgraded defensive tackle Justin Bannan (sprained knee) and wide receiver Demetrius Williams (high-ankle sprain), ruling them out for the Colts game.

Cornerback Samari Rolle (shoulder) and safety Gerome Sapp (hamstring) were limited in practice and are questionable.

Fullbacks Le'Ron McClain (illness) and Justin Green (thigh) are probable and were upgraded to full participation in practice.

Linebackers Bart Scott (broken hand) and Gary Stills (knee), tight end Daniel Wilcox (hip) and running back Cory Ross (head) are listed as probable.

CHASING PEYTON: Rookie outside linebacker Antwan Barnes recorded his first NFL sack by tackling New England quarterback Tom Brady.

Now, Barnes has his sights set on making Colts All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning his next one.

"I grew up as a big Peyton Manning fan and a Colts fan," Barnes said. "I would love to get a sack on him and then take a picture with him after the game. I got my first sack, so I got the monkey off my back. Now, I want some more."

Manning has completed 125 of 199 passes for 1,454 yards with nine touchdown passes, three interceptions and a 93.7 quarterback efficiency rating during six regular-season meetings with the Ravens.

However, the Ravens contained him during a 15-6 AFC divisional playoff loss last January. He completed just 15 of 30 passes for 170 yards with two interceptions and a 39.6 quarterback rating.

"He's a great quarterback," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "Sometimes when you play a great quarterback, you've got to match him and in the past we haven't been able to put up as many points as he has.

"We're going to see everything from quick counts to stalled snaps. We're expecting everything he's got. It's always a tough matchup."

SEASON'S GREETINGS: Colts coach Tony Dungy is bracing for an unfriendly atmosphere Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium as he brings Baltimore's former team back to town again.

"It's pretty tough," Dungy told Indianapolis reporters."I've only been there twice, but it's definitely a real conducive stadium for crowd noise and that type of thing. They have a great atmosphere. And their defense is so tough, it's hard to score points there. So I would say, yes, it's one of the tougher places you go."

Added Manning: "You certainly expect it being a night game and prime-time game to be that hostile, enthusiastic atmosphere. It looks like they were rocking pretty good on Monday night. And we expect the same type of environment on Sunday night."

QUICK HITS: The Colts listed linebacker Gary Brackett (hip) as questionable along with offensive tackle Ryan Diem (knee) and wide receiver Marvin Harrison (knee). Running back Kenton Keith (illness) practiced. ... The Ravens will pay special attention to Colts tight end Dallas Clark, who has caught nine touchdown passes. "Boy, you hesitate to call him a tight end the way they use him," Billick said. "He's a slash player, half receiver, half tight end. He's special." ... Eight former Baltimore Colts employees are still with the team since its move to Indianapolis prior to the 1984 season. Executive vice-president Bob Terpening, senior executive vice-president Pete Ward, head trainer Hunter Smith, equipment manager Jon Scott, director of pro personnel Clyde Powers, videographers Marty Heckscher and John Starliper, and purchasing administrator Dave Filar all date back to the franchise's days in Baltimore. .... Indianapolis has registered its sixth consecutive 10 win season, tying the third-longest streak in NFL history, and the Colts are two wins shy of becoming the only NFL teams with five consecutive 12-win seasons. Indianapolis is currently tied with Dallas as the only league teams to accomplish that feat in four consecutive seasons.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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