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 OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -Instead of having Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs putting the pressure on Ben Roethlisberger in the AFC championship game, the Baltimore Ravens could end up filling his position with a backup tight end, an undrafted free agent and a reserve defensive end.
Suggs missed a second straight day of practice Thursday with a strained right shoulder, and it's quite possible the Ravens' sack leader will be sidelined against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. If Suggs can't go, his position will be filled by players with limited experience.
Edgar Jones played in only seven games during the regular season, most of them as a blocking tight end. Jameel McClain, the only rookie free agent to make the team, received most of his action on special teams, and Marques Douglas is better suited on the line than at linebacker.
ens made him a first-round draft pick in 2003. But at least they're healthy. Suggs is not.
``If I feel that being out there will hinder us, that we'll be playing out there with 10, then the decision is obvious: I can't go,'' he said. ``But I have all the faith in the world in E.J., McClain and Doug.''
Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan may end up rotating all three in place of Suggs, who had a career-high 102 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions during the regular season.
``Our defense is a group effort anyway, as you know,'' head coach John Harbaugh said. ``If anybody can't go on our defense, it will be packages designed by Rex Ryan and put guys in spots to do what they do well.''
Jones has played in 13 NFL games, but the 6-foot-3, 263-pounder has been working overtime studying his playbook and game film to get ready for Sunday.
``I don't know exactly what will happen,'' said Jones, a former defensive end at Southeast Missouri. ``I want to be sure I'm prepared if I'm starting. This is the chance, so you've got to take advantage of it. A lot of people are going to be like, 'Who is Edgar Jones?' My teammates believe in me, so that's all that matters.''
McClain set a franchise record this season by getting two safeties. He played in all 16 games and excelled on special teams.
said. ``It's just playing the game. Ray Lewis said it the best: Be prepared and play this game like you're going to start, even if you're not. I don't know what's going on or how it's going to work, but coach Rex will come up with the best plan.''
Suggs didn't completely dismiss the possibility of playing Sunday, but he wore a sling on his right arm Thursday and was not his usual jovial self during an 8-minute media session.
``I didn't even want to come talk to you guys,'' he said. ``This is the first time I've really been injured. Everybody plays hurt, anybody can play hurt, but there's a good chance I possibly won't get to lineup and play for the championship with my team. Not ever missing a game in the past and to make this my first one, it's not really something I'm going to be happy about.''
Suggs was playing in his 96th consecutive game when he hurt his shoulder while tackling Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins in the second quarter of Baltimore's 13-10 victory last Saturday. He did not return for the second half and has limited movement in the arm.
Suggs is conceivably as important to the Ravens as safety Troy Polamalu is to the Steelers, and Polamalu has already declared that a calf injury won't keep him out of Sunday's game.
Asked if he expected to have Suggs in the lineup, Baltimore safety Ed Reed said, ``Oh yeah, of course. You would have to strap him down. Just like Troy's calf, I know the competitor he has in him.''

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