Ravens relieved: Marion gets qualified OK to play Surgery isn't likely for shoulder-blade injury

month's rest is ordered

March 23, 1997|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

The Ravens received some good news yesterday when team doctors announced that safety Brock Marion's shoulder injury does not presently require surgery, and the early prognosis is that he will be able to play the entire 1997 season.

Marion, a free safety who injured his left shoulder blade with the Dallas Cowboys last season, was examined by Dr. John Bergfeld on Friday in Cleveland, where Bergfeld also compared CT scans of the injury taken by the Cowboys and by Ravens team physician Dr. Claude Moorman.

"We were encouraged on Thursday and we're more encouraged now," said Ravens owner Art Modell. "There is no rehabilitation planned, just prescribed rest. He'll rest one month and undergo another examination. We'll do the same thing again in two months. The examinations revealed he is healing, but not as fast as doctors would like.

"But they said he could work out and practice with the team now, if necessary; he just couldn't have contact," Modell said. "We've been talking with his agent and we're working on restructuring his contract. I think we'll sign him soon, maybe as early as this week."

Ravens trainer Bill Tessendorf said Marion can lift weights and run, gradually working his way up to the more strenuous physical techniques used in games.

Marion, 26, and the Ravens agreed Tuesday on a four-year contract worth $8.4 million, which included a $2 million signing bonus.

The team had planned to announce his signing Thursday, but a last-minute CT scan revealed that his left shoulder had not fully healed.

Marion suffered the injury -- two fractures of the shoulder blade -- on the final play of the first half in the Cowboys' 20-17 overtime win against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 10.

He initially was expected to miss two to three weeks, but ended up not being able to play in the final six weeks of the regular season.

A restructured contract might be based on games played or months he is on the active roster, Modell said.

One reason the Ravens will schedule another examination in a month is because it allows the team to evaluate Marion before the draft in late April.

"We will give him some of his signing-bonus money soon as a gesture of good faith," Modell said. "We feel that he is a quality person and player and we're confident he is going to add a lot to our football team this season."

Pub Date: 3/23/97

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