Rolle to IR, Lewis, Heap out

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens' problematic injury situation hit a new downward spiral Friday as cornerback Samari Rolle was placed on injured reserve and middle linebacker Ray Lewis and tight end Todd Heap were all but ruled out for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Rolle's season-ending shoulder injury means that the Ravens (4-10) will be without both starting cornerbacks against the NFC West champions' explosive passing game as Chris McAlister was placed on injured reserve a week ago due to a strained right knee.

Rolle played in just six games this season due to the shoulder injury and a bout with epilepsy.

"It just doesn't have the strength," Ravens coach Brian Billick said regarding Rolle, whose arm has been in a sling.

Rookie cornerback Willie Gaston will start his second consecutive game opposite Corey Ivy.

Meanwhile, Lewis is likely out after missing his third consecutive day of practice with a dislocated finger on his left hand.

"It's not looking good," Billick said of Lewis, who's officially listed as questionable.

Lewis injured his finger during the second half of the Ravens' 22-16 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins, an injury that split the knuckle and required stitches.

Former New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars backup Nick Greisen will start in Lewis' place. "The guys have had this week to get used to me," Greisen said. "It's a big challenge, but I'm ready for this."

Quarterback Kyle Boller was declared out on the injury report due to lingering effects from a concussion, including headaches and sensitivity to light.

The Ravens promoted undrafted rookie quarterback Cullen Finnerty from the practice squad to back up rookie quarterback Troy Smith, who will make his first NFL start. Finnerty is a former Division II star at Grand Valley State, who went 51-4 in college while passing for 10,905 yards and 110 touchdowns while running for another 31 scores.

"I never thought I would be in this situation," said Finnerty, who was signed to the practice squad when starter Steve McNair was placed on injured reserve. "It's pretty crazy, but it's fun. I've been hitting the books hard all week so I can be ready in case they need me."

Heap, who has missed eight of the past 10 games with a strained hamstring is listed as doubtful.

"Not good, not likely," Billick said regarding Heap's outlook.

Quinn Sypniewski and Daniel Wilcox (thigh, doubtful) will take Heap's snaps at tight end. Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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