Mason determined to play against Giants

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason is determined to play Sunday against the New York Giants in the wake of dislocating his left shoulder against the Houston Texans. Mason, 34, is going to attempt to play despite not practicing all week after landing awkwardly while leaping for a pass during a 41-13 victory over the Texans.

Although his arm is no longer in a sling, his streak of 99 consecutive games is in jeopardy.

"My body typically responds well whenever I have had injuries," Mason said Wednesday. "Just because I'm a little bit older doesn't mean it's not going to respond well again. So, I'm not putting any pressure on myself. I'm going to make the trip to New York, and I expect to be on the field."

However, Ravens coach John Harbaugh is taking a more cautious approach toward the status of his leading receiver.

"He's going to be day-to-day," Harbaugh said. "It's going to be a game-time decision. He has a dislocated shoulder, so he's not going to practice this week. It will just be a matter of whether he can go on Sunday or not."

Mason leads the Ravens with 46 receptions,and 598 yards. Injured in the first quarter against Houston, he returned in the second half to finish with three catches for 41 yards and a two-point conversion.

"Sunday after the game, it was sore," Mason said. "Monday, it was sore. I went in and got treatment the last two days and now it's feeling a lot better than it did Monday.

"Some people are hurt. Some people are injured. If it's unbearable, then, of course, you've got to sit down and be smart. If you think you have an opportunity to go out there and help your football team win a game, then you go out there."

Stretching for rookie quarterback Joe Flacco's high passes could be an issue for Mason due to the susceptibility of his shoulder to re-injury.

"I mentioned it to him, I said, 'Just put it in the framework of my body and I should be able to deal with it,'" Mason said. "He got on e a little bit outside my framework, but when the adrenaline is going you typically don't feel it."

Mason hasn't missed a game since October 2002 when he was with the Tennessee Titans. He's convinced that he can not practice all week, then start against New York.

"I think when you get to a certain point in your career practice is important, but I don't think you need it as much as you would if you were a first, second or third-year player," Mason said. "I don't think me not practicing will hurt me at all."

INJURY REPORT: Offensive tackle Willie Anderson seems unlikely to play Sunday because of a sprained ankle that's encased in a large walking cast.

Anderson is getting around occasionally without the assistance of a large cane he's been carrying around, insisting he's not out.

"I'm playing Sunday, I'm playing," Anderson said. "Right now, I'm just stretching out my hamstring.

"How many weeks? I'm going to play Sunday. I heal fast."

Nonetheless, Adam Terry is preparing to start in Anderson's place.

The Ravens are extremely thin at receiver with Mason not practicing as well as Terrance Copper (shoulder stinger).

Free safety Ed Reed (hamstring) didn't practice.

Cornerback Samari Rolle (neck) and tight end Daniel Wilcox (thigh) were limited.

Both Rolle and Copper wore red jerseys Wednesday, signifying they are off-limits to contact.

Cornerback Chris McAlister was placed on injured reserve earlier this week as McAlister underwent surgery Monday at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables, Fla., to repair his posterior cruciate ligament and cartilage damage.

He was joined on IR by strong safety Dawan Landry due to the discovery of additional problems following a spinal cord concussion against the Cleveland Browns. Landry is still experiencing tingling sensations in his neck, but is expected to return next season.

"Dawan's situation was there was a little more damage, there's more of a bruise than we originally thought there was on the second MRI," Harbaugh said. "Once they found that, then he wasn't going to be able to go again this year. He'll be back for next year, just like Dwan Edwards."

QUICK HITS: Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting two passes against the Texans. ... Rolle is wary of big=2 0Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress getting away with pushing off to position himself for high passes. "He does the Vlade Divac sometimes," Rolle said. "He'll just flop here and there, but he's having a great year." ... Harbaugh doesn't necessarily accept the excuse of the so-called rookie wall where first-year players wear down mentally and physically because they're accustomed to a shorter college schedule. "I would say that I believe in the rookie wall for the guys that aren't mentally tough enough to handle an NFL season as a rookie," Harbaugh said. "We want to challenge our guys to be mentally tough enough to handle the whole NFL season. I'm sure they're intending to beat that." ... Flacco said he's looking forward to playing on the road again as he makes his debut at raucous Giants Stadium. The Ravens have won three road games in a row. "It's fun to hear everybody against you," Flacco said. "It's kind of fun hearing everybody get real quiet." ... Defensive end Trevor Pryce started laughing when Ravens center Jason Brown said, "There's nothing more gratifying than a Ben Grubbs or a Ben Chester looking at me and giving me a wink like, 'Man, we just had a great double-team.'" After Pryce's guffaw, Brown clarified his statement: "It might not be a wink. I think a wink is a little over the top." ... Giants running back Reuben Droughns (neck), linebackers Jonathan Goff (concussion) and Gerris Wilkinson (knee) and cornerback Corey Webster (groin) didn't practice. Safety James Butler (knee) and cornerback Kevin Dockery (back) were limited.


Ravens Insider Top Stories