Notes: Suggs' Status in Question

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Coming off a brutal battle against the Tennessee Titans last week, the Ravens are banged up.

How that affects next Sunday's AFC Championship tilt with the Pittsburgh Steelers remains to be seen.

In his Monday press conference, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh remained vague about several key players, most notable of which was outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who injured his shoulder in the second quarter of Baltimore's 13-10 win at LP Field.

The Pro Bowler had a magnetic resonance imaging Monday.

"He's got a shoulder injury, and he's working on getting back," Harbaugh said. "I'm not going to sit here and say that it's positive and we're happy about it, and we're just going to have to see how it goes. It's going to be close. He's going to work real hard to try to get back, and that's all we know."

Suggs sustained the inujry on a routine sack of quarterback Kerry Collins. Suggs chased Collins all the way to the sideline before lunging and landing on top of the signal caller. He remained down on the turf for a few moments before leaving under his own power.

Classified as a sprain, Suggs' return was questionable, but the linebacker never returned in the second half.

After the game, Suggs was adamant that he would play against the Steelers.

"Check my track record," he said. "I don't miss games. It's nothing. I don't even feel it now."

True, Suggs has not missed a single game in his entire six-year career. Over that span, the former first-round draft pick is second in franchise history with 53 sacks, including a team-best eight this year.

Cornerback Samari Rolle and safety Jim Leonhard are two other starters that left the game and did not return. Rolle hurt his groin late in the third quarter covering wideout Justin Gage, and Leonhard suffered what he called a "mild concussion."

In addition, fullback Le'Ron McClain (ankle), tackle Willie Anderson (neck stinger) and cornerback Fabian Washington (shoulder stinger) came back to the field after being injured.

"We're concerned about a lot of guys, and Samari is one of them," Harbaugh stated. "Samari has a chance to get back there, and we'll see what happens as the week goes on."

Thanks, fans

Harbaugh elaborated about the impact the nearly 2,000 fans that crowded Baltimore-Washington International Airport to welcome the Ravens home had on the team.

"We were coming down the ramp," he said with a smile. "We go through the tunnel, and we're coming down the ramp. We couldn't see the main concourse there, but all of a sudden we heard a roar, and it was like being in a stadium. It was like being in M&T Bank Stadium.

"Our guys were just like, 'What is that?' Because you expect to see maybe 30, 40 fans out there. There were thousands of fans in there ramped on all the different levels."

Several players and coaches, including Harbaugh stopped to sign autographs.

The welcome didn't stop there, however. Nearly 100 more fans waited for the team buses at the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md.

Rex Interviews

Ravens assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Rex Ryan interviewed for the vacant head coaching positions with the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams Sunday.

While his players support him, they also acknowledge that it would be a big loss for the NFL's No. 2 defense in 2008.

"He has all the qualifications that you could ask for," safety Jim Leonhard said. "If he doesn't get a head coaching job somewhere, I'd be surprised. He's a tremendous guy to play for, and I think he'd be a great head coach.

"Obviously, as a player, I would love to play with him, whether it's here or somewhere else. I think, as Ravens, we would all like him to be back. But he has all the qualifications he needs, and he'll be a tremendous head coach whenever he gets his chance."

Now that they are one step away from the Super Bowl, however, the Ravens are glad that Ryan's defensive genius is on their side.

"I think he's been deserving of a head coaching job, and we'd all be happy for him," explained linebacker Bart Scott. "But right now he's our coordinator and we're going to go out and play hard for him."

Notable

The media frenzy that comes with playoff success began Monday, as a glut of reporters descended on Baltimore's headquarters. Harbaugh believes the players will remain focused. "I think our guys will be excited about the attention and all the media attention that you see, and that'll be around all week," he said. "Our guys can handle that. They're mature guys. But it's just a football game, at the same time, and it'll be played for 60 minutes on a field that's 100 yards long. We've got to get ready starting Wednesday for the game, and that's really what it boils down to." … Coach Ken Ozee, formerly of Sam Houston High School, was nominated for the NFL High School Coach of the Year award by Ravens wideout Mark Clayton. "As a young man, to have someone in your corner pushing you to be better is a great thing," Clayton said of his former coach. Created in 1995, the award honor coaches who profoundly impacted the athletic and personal development of NFL players. … Harbaugh honored Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, who retired Monday. Both men played football at rival high schools in Michigan, and the younger Harbaugh always looked up to the classy Dungy. "He was gracious enough over the years, whenever we might cross paths at some kind of function, to have a conversation with a young coach," Harbaugh noted. "Then, when we got the job, the next day he called. We had a chance to talk on the phone. We've talked somewhat regularly ever since. We'd consider him somewhat of an advisor and a friend. I think his impact on the league has been something transforming. He's changed the way sometimes coaches view the position, how they relate to the players and the type of values they put in place for the football team."

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