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Reader questions about Ravens answered
Each week Sun reporter Jamison Hensley will answer fan questions about the Ravens. To submit a question, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your name and phone number so we can verify the e-mail.
Ron Brunk, Nashville, TN: How much is Ray Rice going to play? Is McGahee ready to go, or will Rice get the start this week? Thanks.
Jamison Hensley: Willis McGahee could be a game-time decision because he's been slow to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery in training camp. The Ravens' mindset right now is that Ray Rice will be starting. If McGahee is ready, that will be a bonus. Even if McGahee plays, Rice could split time with him because McGahee won't be at full strength. So, drafting Rice in the second round might have been a surprise, but it seems like the Ravens' best move on draft day.
Mikael Rassat, Villeparisis, France: Hi, I'm a huge French fan of the Ravens, and I'm very concerned by our secondary ... C-Mac ( Chris McAlister), Samari (Rolle) and Fabian (Washington) seem to be unhealthy and our backups (Walker, Ivy and Martin) have been regularly torched during the preseason. ... Ed Reed is maybe done for the year. ... Can Leonhard hold the job? ... Are we going to sign a veteran DB? I don't want to see big passes against our defense again this year.
Jamison Hensley: You're not the only one who is concerned about the secondary. In addition to Reed possibly missing the game with a neck and shoulder injury, the Ravens will be without nickel back Fabian Washington and reserve cornerback Derrick Martin because they are both suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Plus, cornerback Chris McAlister isn't looking like he is at full strength after missing the preseason with a knee injury. Jim Leonhard, who would replace Reed, has surprised the Ravens with his play but Reed is an elite player. It could be a long day against Carson Palmer, who has had success in the past when the Ravens were healthy.
Shawn Berriman, Arlington, VA: There has been a lot of discussion amongst fans in the blogesphere [sic] about the Ravens picking up Culpepper from free agency to help support Flacco at QB for one season. I've been searching but can't seem to locate any journalist having ever put this question to Ravens management. Any chance you could please ask and report their response? Many thanks.
Jamison Hensley: The Ravens weren't the only team ignoring Culpepper, who ultimately decided to retire today because no one was interested. It's hard to believe that Culpepper's stock could have dropped so drastically. He was one of the NFL's best quarterbacks only a few years ago. But injuries and age caught up quickly. Culpepper just couldn't play anymore. If he could, NFL general managers would have been calling.
Carl Hopf, Baltimore: Will Kelly Gregg be playing Sunday, I don't remember reading anything about his status for Sunday's game?
Jamison Hensley: Throughout training camp, the Ravens were optimistic that Gregg would be ready for the season opener. Now, it would be a surprise because he hasn't practiced all week. Gregg is one of the keys to the Ravens' run defense. They'll try to replace him with Marques Douglas and Justin Bannan, but this could be a major loss for the Ravens.