Notebook: Gregg, Rolle, Landry out

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens will be missing three defensive starters for Sunday's football game against the undefeated Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens officially ruled out cornerback Samari Rolle (neck and right shoulder), strong safety Dawan Landry (neck) and nose guard Kelly Gregg, whose surgically-repaired left knee kept him out for the entire preseason as well as the first three games of the season.

Gregg underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery in August and is dealing with a hole in his cartilage that causes significant pain.

"We're sending his MRI pictures to a couple other doctors," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a very unusual injury from what I'm told. It's responding somewhat and we just want to get another feel for what it is. We should know something this week."

Gregg remains hopeful that he will play again this season. He has been receiving cortisone shots and injections to simulate the missing cartilage.

"I had a setback a couple of weeks ago, but I'm working toward coming back," Gregg said last week. "You bet I'll be back this year. It's a slow process. I've never dealt with anything like this."

Until this year, Gregg hadn't missed a game since 2004. Justin Bannan has been starting in his place and has a dozen tackles and a sack.

Fabian Washington is slated to start in place of Rolle with Jim Leonhard replacing Landry.

This marks the second consecutive game that Landry and Rolle are out.

Rolle wasn't at practice or seen around the Ravens' training complex.

Washington was beaten for a 38-yard touchdown pass by wide receiver Santonio Holmes in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It was his first start with the Ravens since missing the first two games due to a suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy and recovering from a bulging disc in his neck, which he didn't aggravate against Pittsburgh.

"That's my first time ever being in a dogfight like that, and we made some mistakes here and there," Washington said. "I'm going to bounce back and jump on some Tennessee film."

OPENING SALVO: Linebacker Bart Scott has been mostly low-key this season and not as prone to making fun of his opponents, but "The Mad Backer" made an exception for big Titans running back LenDale White.

White is listed at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds and leads the Titans with five touchdowns. His game is based on power and bulk in direct contrast to speedy rookie runner Chris Johnson. Johnson is 35 pounds lighter than White and clocked the fastest 40-yard dash time with a blistering 4.24 at the NFL scouting combine last winter.

When asked to compare the two runners, Scott couldn't resist.

"Let's see, a fat guy and the fastest guy in the 40," Scott said. "Not fat, I'm sorry. Plump."

INJURY REPORT: Linebacker Antwan Barnes (shoulder), return specialist Yamon Figurs (hamstring), cornerback Derrick Martin (shoulder) and running back Willis McGahee (ribs) were limited in practice.

Barnes and Martin attended practice, but didn't participate in any individual or special-teams drills.

Middle linebacker Nick Greisen (quadriceps) was upgraded to full participation.

Quarterback Troy Smith (tonsil infection) wasn't listed on the injury report for the first time this season, and Harbaugh didn't rule out the possibility that the former Heisman Trophy winner might see action at some point this season.

"We can definitely envision Troy playing," Harbaugh said. "Troy's a really good football player. He's proven that, and he's going to be on the field for us this year in some form or fashion for sure."

For the Titans, wide receiver Justin Gage (knee), punter Craig Hentrich (back), cornerback Reynaldo Hill (hamstring) and White (shoulder) didn't practice.

Quarterback Vince Young (knee) was limited.

ROSTER MOVES: The Ravens placed rookie offensive tackle Joe Reitz on injured reserve and cut quarterback Casey Bramlet, signing wide receiver Edward Williams (Lane College) and offensive guard Nathan Bennett (Clemson) to replace them on the practice squad.

Williams was cut by the Titans on Aug. 30 after being signed as an undrafted free agent.

QUICK HITS: Tight end Todd Heap was primarily used as an extra blocker against the Steelers and didn't catch a pass. For the season, though, he has just three receptions for 37 yards. "He's one of our playmakers, and we wanted him involved from the get-go," Harbaugh said. "We're going to continue to work and he's going to continue to work to be involved in the passing game. He's done the things we've asked him to do in terms of blocking, run blocking and pass blocking. Sure, we want him catching more balls and we're going to keep working on it to make sure that happens. It's really important for us to do that." ... Wide receivers Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams have combined for just 10 catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns. Williams has been dealing with Achilles' tendon and hamstring issues, but is relatively healthy now. "I feel like I'm about as close to 100 percent as I'm going to be all season, but I'm still not quite there," he said. "I'm working on getting my timing down with Joe Flacco. He's got to get used to me and I've got to get used to him. We just have to keep working." ... Wide receiver Derrick Mason leads the team with 16 catches for 223 yards. … The Titans are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history, including their time as the Houston Oilers. They have allowed 17 points or less in their past eight games.

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

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