Pierce sounds optimistic for AFC title game

Pierce sounds optimistic for AFC title game
January 16, 2013, 5:30 pm
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Bernard Pierce had limited practice Wednesday, but he contends he’ll be ready for Sunday’s AFC championship game at the New England Patriots.

Pierce, who was coming off games of 123, 89 and 103 yards rushing, only had 5 carries for 14 yards in last week's divisional playoff victory at the Denver Broncos. He was nursing a knee injury going into the game.

"I feel good," he said Wednesday.

Cornerback Asa Jackson (thigh) was the only Raven to not take reps, with RB Anthony Allen (head), G Gino Gradkowski (head) and WR David Reed (thigh) having limited participation.

Pierce's role is vital for Sunday. In combination with Rice, the duo is difficult to contain and can keep the Patriots' high-powered offense off the field. Winded by the high altitude, Rice carried 30 times for 130 yards against Denver. 

"I don’t expect anything. Whatever they feel like doing, I just follow the game plan," Pierce said of getting the extra workload late in the season. "I know my man can't do it all himself all the time. I knew I was going to get put in and start having more of a role." 

The Ravens listed 16 others on the injury report, but they practiced fully: WR Anquan Boldin (shoulder), CB Chykie Brown (shoulder), DT Terrence Cody (ankle), LB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle/back), DT Arthur Jones (thigh/knee), FB Vonta Leach (knee/ankle), LB Ray Lewis (triceps), LB Albert McClellan (shoulder), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (knee), S Bernard Pollard (chest), S Ed Reed (shoulder), CB Jimmy Smith (abdominals), WR Torrey Smith (back) LB Terrell Suggs (Achilles/biceps) and G Marshal Yanda (shoulder). 

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