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While Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis was holding out hope that Chad Ochocinco could play the Ravens this weekend, the star receiver told media that he wasn’t even going to make the trip to Baltimore.
“The Ravens are the Ravens. They always have a great defense but we’ll be fine. Jerome (Simpson) will be fine,” Ochocinco said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Simpson is the third-year player who lit up the San Diego Chargers for 124 yards and two touchdowns last week, playing in place of the six-time Pro Bowler, who was inactive with an ankle injury.
Ochocinco finished the season with 67 receptions for 831 yards and four touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the Ravens might have a concern of their own in covering the Bengals’ receivers, as safety Ed Reed showed up on the Thursday injury report. He didn’t practice because of a neck injury.
Reed, who was recently named to his seventh Pro Bowl, was not listed on Wednesday’s report.
Reed leads the Ravens with six interceptions, including two last Sunday in Baltimore’s 20-10 win over the Cleveland Browns.
According to Ravens Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison, Reed’s mere presence in the secondary can change the way an opposing offense attacks.
“I would think that every quarterback, when they see Ed Reed back there, they have to be a little sharper,” Mattison noted Thursday. “And they sometimes can’t take the gambles that you would take, because he may be thinking exactly the same way that quarterback is thinking and he’s standing there.”
In addition to Reed, Ravens linebacker Prescott Burgess (illness), linebacker Tavares Gooden (shoulder) and safety Tom Zbikowski (back) also missed practice.
Wideout David Reed (wrist/head) was limited, and center Matt Birk (knee), tight end Todd Heap (thigh), wideout Derrick Mason (ankle/abs), tight end Dennis Pitta (head) and cornerback Fabian Washington (back) fully participated.
For the Bengals, Ochocinco, cornerback Johnathan Joseph (ankle), tight end Jermaine Gresham (knee) and linebacker Dan Skuta (back) were held out of practice. Running back Bernard Scott (toe) was limited, and defensive end Carlos Dunlap (shoulder) fully practiced after being limited in Wednesday’s session.