Todd Heap expected to return Sunday

Street Talk Todd Heap expected to return Sunday

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OWINGS MILLS – Barring a last-minute setback, the Baltimore Ravens expect both tight end Todd Heap and free safety Ed Reed to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Heap is coming off a right pulled hamstring that sidelined him for three games. He’s listed as questionable on the injury report.

Reed missed practice Thursday with a neck injury, but returned to practice Friday and is listed as probable.

"Just precautionary," coach John Harbaugh said of Reed. "He was a little bit tight. We just felt like we could give him a chance to recover and rest up."

Meanwhile, Heap participated fully all week without aggravating his leg.

"We checked it out after every practice and see how it responds,” Harbaugh said. “So far, so good," Harbaugh said.

Heap said he feels much better.

"Yeah, I feel good," Heap said. "Obviously, today we went pretty hard. I came out feeling really good. I ran well and I’m looking forward to this weekend. We’ll see how it goes Sunday."

Unless something goes wrong during warm ups, Heap expects to play.

"Yeah, I would say that at this point," he said. "It’s been a while since I’ve been out on the field. I’m definitely excited."

Heap is hoping to knock off the rust before the playoffs, which could begin as soon as next week if the Ravens remain a wild-card entry as the fifth seed in the AFC.

"I think the biggest thing is obviously getting your feet back under you," Heap said. "I definitely wanted to do that. The biggest thing for me is making sure I’m full-go and I’m ready and making sure the hamstring feels how it’s supposed to feel. I don’t want to do anything to set myself back."

Heap said he hasn’t experienced any pain or tightness this week.

He was almost ready for the Ravens’ last game against the Cleveland Browns, but they opted to play it safe.

"No, it felt really good all week," Heap said. "It’s been getting better continuously. I’m looking forward to playing."

Heap said he’s not playing because of any concerns about tight end Dennis Pitta’s concussion.

"No, no, the only factor in my return is how it feels," he said. "I felt like it was ready. I’ve obviously had conversations with other guys and coaches. I talk with the doctors to make the right decisions because I’m not the smartest guy in making decisions with injuries.

"I wanted to make sure I was ready and I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision, especially with what we have at stake with the playoffs."

The Ravens ruled out linebacker Tavares Gooden and safety Tom Zbikowski.

And the Bengals officially ruled out wide receiver Chad Ochocinco with an ankle injury.

Gooden has a dislocated shoulder. Zbikowski has a bulging disc in his back.

Ochocinco has an ankle injury and isn’t making the trip to Baltimore.

Rookie wide receiver David Reed is questionable, but not because of his concussion. His wrist ligament is sprained.

He has passed post-concussion tests.

“I feel good,” Reed said. “My concussion is gone. All my symptoms are gone. I feel good. I’ve got another little something, too, which is bothering me: the wrist. We’ll just see how it goes. See what the coaches think.”

Reed caught kickoffs after practice Friday to test out his wrist.

“Just to see where I’m at,” he said. “That’s all that was for.”

Reed injured his wrist against the New Orleans Saints during a kickoff return. He didn’t play last week against the Browns.

“I just folded it the wrong way under the ball and messed it up,” he said.

If he can’t play this week, Reed definitely expects to play in the playoffs.

“Oh yeah, I’ve got to be ready for the playoffs,” Reed said. “This week, I don’t know. It’s all up to the coaches.”

Center Matt Birk (knee), cornerback Fabian Washington (back), linebacker Prescott Burgess (illness), wide receiver Derrick Mason (abdominal, ankle) and Pitta are all probable.

Bengals rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham (knee) is doubtful. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ankle) and linebacker Dan Skuta (back) is questionable.

Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (shoulder) and running back Bernard Scott (toe) is probable.

Meanwhile, Pitta said that he has passed impact tests and expects to be able to play.

"I’ve been cleared to play and so I’ve been practicing all week," Pitta said. "I guess we’ll see what happens Yes, I feel normal. I haven’t had a lot of symptoms throughout the whole week. That’s why I’ve been able to practice as much as I have. I feel good, so we’ll see.


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson


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