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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-11-05

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-11-05

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-11-05
Ravens coach John Harbaugh wouldn't name his starting running back for Sunday's game at the Houston Texans.

Replacing injured Willis McGahee, rookie second-round pick Ray Rice ran for 154 yards in Sunday's 37-27 win at the Cleveland Browns, making a case for more playing time.

So, should the Ravens go with experience and start McGahee? Or should they stick with the hotter runner and start Rice?

"I don't know if we know going into the game," Harbaugh said at Monday's news conference. "We'll find out who is going to play more based on how we match up against this football team. Certainly, Ray has expanded himself with the things he can do and the confidence he builds in the coaching staff."

Harbaugh said the Ravens don't think of the decision as McGahee or Rice. They envision their running game as McGahee and Rice.

But while Rice has surged, McGahee has slumped.

McGahee has surpassed 64 yards just once this season and has averaged less than 3 yards a carry in three of his past four games.

"We're going to play all those guys," Harbaugh said.

McGahee suited up Sunday but didn't play one snap. He is battling injuries to his knee, ankle and ribs, Harbaugh said.

But McGahee is expected to play Sunday at Houston.

"I think the fact that he didn't play in this game really helped him for next week," Harbaugh said. "He should be full-go for next week."

In addition to the return of McGahee, the Ravens expect cornerback Samari Rolle to come back. Rolle has missed the past six games with a neck injury.

Harbaugh said Rolle will be back "barring something we don't know yet at this point."

"The neck is sound," Harbaugh said. "He's got 100 percent of his strength back. He's going to be in a little bit of a collar. I think when he gets that first shot, he's going to be re-assured that he's going to be fine. But until you get that first shot, you're not re-assured."

Harbaugh, though, ruled out Chris McAlister, the Ravens' other starting cornerback.

McAlister was benched Oct. 19 at Miami, but he was inactive for the past two games with a knee injury. He has seen two specialists and will seek a third opinion this week.

There is a chance that McAlister might need surgery, which could end his season.

"Hopefully, we'll know something more definitive by the end of the week," Harbaugh said. "But we thought we might know by the end of last week, and we really don't know yet. So, we're hoping to get him back. He's trying to get back."

Backup cornerbacks Fabian Washington and Frank Walker, who replaced McAlister and Rolle, were both banged up in Sunday's win. Washington re-injured his shoulder, and Walker aggravated his hamstring.

Harbaugh said both should be available at Houston.

"We should be stronger than we were last week," Harbaugh said.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 5, 2008

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Anwar Phillips Name: Anwar Phillips
Position: CB
Age: 25
Experience: 1 years
College: Penn State
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