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OWINGS MILLS — Change could be afoot on the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive line.
The Ravens are considering reinserting rookie Marshal Yanda into the lineup at right tackle after having veteran Adam Terry start the past three games since returning from a sprained ankle.
A third-round draft pick from Iowa, Yanda has drawn strong reviews in six starts this season. He was informed by offensive line coach Chris Foerster to be prepared to play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium, although he hasn’t been told yet if he’s starting.
"Yeah, I’m playing this week," Yanda said following Thursday’s practice. "They haven’t decided if it’s going to be me or Adam that’s starting.
"Coach Foerster told me I’m playing some this week. He just said, ‘be ready.’ We’ll see what happens."
The Ravens allowed six sacks in a 33-30 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns last week. Terry is regarded as a natural left tackle and has admitted being uncomfortable on the right side in the past.
Drafted 86th overall, Yanda has been lauded for his toughness and technique by teammates and coaches.
"You’d expect more problems with a rookie right tackle than we’ve had," Ravens coach Brian Billick said earlier this season. "You just keep getting through the games and realizing, ‘Gee, the kid played well the whole game.’"
INJURY UPDATE: Cornerback Chris McAlister sat out his second consecutive day of practice due to a strained knee, but Billick said he’s basically being rested.
"Hopefully, he’ll be available for Sunday," Billick said. "It’s one of those minimal activity during the week and see what we can get on Sunday."
Meanwhile, Billick said the team doesn’t anticipate needing to be cautious with cornerback Samari Rolle, who is scheduled to play Sunday following a bout with epilepsy that has been controlled with medication after three seizures and six missed games this year.
"We wouldn’t put him out there if there were any limitations on him," Billick said. "We always worry anytime a guy has been dealing with something the entire season, but he seems ready to go, energetic. We feel very good about him."
Tight end Todd Heap (strained hamstring) didn’t practice again and isn’t expected to play Sunday.
"Itâ€™s huge," Billick said. "Heâ€™s a big part, obviously, with what they are able to do defensively when they donâ€™t have to adjust to the tight end position the way they have to with a Todd Heap. It makes a big, big difference.â€
Defensive tackle Justin Bannan (ankle) was upgraded to limited work in practice after being held out of Wednesday’s session.
Center Mike Flynn (stomach flu) didn’t practice.
QUICK HITS: The Ravens practiced outside on Thanksgiving before rushing out of the training complex to celebrate the holiday. The team travels to the West Coast today, capping an eventful week that began with the disappointment of a a bizarre ending to the Cleveland game. "There are definitely the distractions, but we have a lot to prove," quarterback Kyle Boller said. "I think a lot of guys are going to be really focused, ready to get out there and hopefully execute to get this thing rolling in the right direction." … The Chargers are hoping to get standout center Nick Hardwick back from a foot injury Sunday. Star defensive tackle Jamal Williams has been resting his knees in practice this week. Defensive end Luis Castillo (ankle) has been ruled out. … Inside linebacker Bart Scott delivered a couple of quips, joking that he may cut the prices on his "Mad Backer" T-shirts and caps considering the Ravens’ 4-6 season. He also said he’s nearly ready to send out a call for special reinforcements. "We need the help, man," Scott said. "I said a couple weeks ago that we didn’t need FEMA help, but I’m about ready to call the government." … Baltimore’s Marching Ravens became the only NFL band to ever perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. The band was featured for a few minutes on NBC’s broadcast Thursday morning.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.