Burnett misses practice with slight knee sprain End better than Thursday but questionable for game


September 13, 1997|By Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston | Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

Ravens left defensive end Rob Burnett's comeback from a HTC season-ending knee injury last October was going smoothly until a freak practice injury on Thursday turned out to be more bothersome than expected.

Burnett, who left that workout after a teammate rolled into the back of his left leg, causing a slight knee sprain, did not practice yesterday. Instead, he spent time in the team's training room and is considered questionable as a starter for tomorrow's game against the New York Giants.

"I want to play. I hope to. I should be able to. I assume I'll be able to," Burnett said. "I'm just trying to work it out. It felt real stiff today."

Backup Mike Frederick would start in Burnett's place, although coach Ted Marchibroda expects Burnett to play. The extent of Burnett's activity will be determined at game time.

Said trainer Bill Tessendorf: "Rob looked a lot better when he came in today, compared to when he went home [on Thursday]."

Marchibroda said a similar game-time decision will be made regarding slot receiver Jermaine Lewis, who aggravated his sprained knee on Thursday.

"It's frustrating, because I'm a competitor and I still don't have my speed back all the way," Lewis said.

Ryan Yarborough, who started in place of Lewis last week and caught two passes for 19 yards, again would replace Lewis as the slot receiver.

Strong safety Stevon Moore, fresh off a two-interception game last week, practiced yesterday and said his sore knee would not keep him out tomorrow.

"I don't think anything will keep me from going, unless I get some dramatic swelling that would keep me off the turf [at the Meadowlands]," Moore said. "I'm the so-called coach on the field [in the secondary], and I don't want to miss this game."

Jackson sets tone

Marchibroda had told his team earlier this week it needed to set a more upbeat tempo on Friday afternoons, the last hard practice day of the week.

No one set a better tone than receiver Michael Jackson. He dove for one touchdown reception and then stretched out for another on a quick slant that almost ended with him running into the goal post.

Then, during the team's no-huddle period near the end of practice, Jackson ran a quick slant route on cornerback Donny Brady, made a quick turn and then bolted down the left sideline for a touchdown.

"Whatever got into him, I hope it stays with him through Sunday," said Marchibroda, with a smile.

Jackson said: "Last week, Ted said we didn't have a good practice on Friday, so we wanted to make it different this time around. As part of the receiving corps, we have the opportunity to set the tone."


Ozzie Newsome, the team's vice president of player personnel, said he doesn't expect the team to make any major roster moves before the league trading deadline of 4 p.m., Oct 7. Newsome also said the team doesn't have to cut any players when running back Bam Morris returns. The Ravens currently have 52 players on the roster and are allowed to carry 53. Center Quentin Neujahr, listed as doubtful, had this to say about his sprained ankle: "It looks like Ravens purple."

Pub Date: 9/13/97

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