Nagging injury mystifies Swayne

Ravens notebook

Bruised leg has trainer perplexed, too

Boulware is team's Block recipient

October 18, 1999|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Harry Swayne was supposed to be back on the practice field by now. Two weeks after suffering a severe bruise on his lower left leg, Swayne did not figure to be on the Ravens' injury list.

But when the team returned yesterday to resume practice after a day off, its starting right tackle was too sore to dress for the workout.

Swayne, listed as questionable for Thursday night's game against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, was at a loss to explain the lack of progress in his recovery.

"It's a very mysterious injury," said Swayne, 34, who missed the Tennessee Titans game on Oct. 10 after being injured a week earlier in Atlanta. "I had a setback on Friday morning. I woke up and it was hurting like I had played a game Swayne the day before. I thought it was on its way [to healing]. I got a lot of treatment over the weekend, but it didn't respond."

Said head trainer Bill Tessendorf: "It's a little bit puzzling. We're scratching our heads over this one. We attempted to do some running [yesterday], and I thought [Swayne] was going to cry. We've gone from treatment to exercise to strictly treatment."

Tessendorf added that Swayne most likely would not practice today.

"This is not a game I want to miss. It's a team I know well," said Swayne, who played with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos from 1991 through 1998 and grew familiar with Kansas City in the AFC West. "I can help this team, and this would be a fun one to play in. We're at home on national television at night. You can't beat that."

Boulware wins Block award

Outside linebacker Peter Boulware has been selected as the Ravens' 1999 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award. The award, named after the late Baltimore Colts trainer, honors players who have overcome obstacles and shown notable courage and dedication to the game.

Boulware, who going into yesterday was tied for third in the NFL with five sacks, has played with an injured right shoulder that has bothered him since his Pro Bowl season in 1998.

Boulware re-injured the shoulder four months ago at the team's final minicamp and did not appear in game action until the team's preseason finale. He has worn a harness to keep the shoulder from popping out during the regular season.

"Some people were telling me, `You're not going to play this year,' or `You won't make it for long.' I'm still making it. I'm just happy to be out there on the field," Boulware said. "It's a cool award. What makes it neat is your teammates vote. It's a privilege and an honor to have it."

Boulware will be honored at an awards dinner on Oct. 28 at PSINet Stadium. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit St. Vincent's Center, a residential program serving young children with behavioral or emotional disorders.

All 31 NFL teams select an Ed Block Courage Award winner, and each team will be represented at the national awards dinner at Martin's West on March 7.

The pain of his injury, which might require off-season surgery, has been with Boulware all season. The harness also severely limits the movement of his right arm.

"I'm not over it, I'm used to it," Boulware said. "I know more about what I can and can't do, about what types of things I can do with my arms. I think I've found my limitations. Before, I could go out there and play a loose game and not pay as much attention to fundamentals. Now, I'm playing with one arm, and everything else has to be sharp, like your footwork. You can't let any one part of your game slide."

Ex-Ravens return

The Chiefs will bring a host of ex-Ravens to Baltimore this week. Assistant coaches Al Lavan and Richard Mann worked in Baltimore. So did wide receiver Derrick Alexander, who left here after the 1997 season by signing a five-year deal with the Chiefs.

The biggest member of the reunion party will be running back Bam Morris, who also is the biggest member of the Chiefs' committee of running backs, which includes Donnell Bennett and Rashaan Shehee.

The Ravens expect the Chiefs to run the ball at least 35 times, and they expect Morris -- who played here in 1996 and 1997 with some success before the Ravens grew tired of his off-the-field problems -- to be inspired.

"We very much anticipate [Morris] being ready to go. I anticipate Bam coming in here ready to prove something," said defensive end Rob Burnett. "Even if he doesn't have it in him for the rest of the year, he's going to have it in him for this game, I guarantee you."

Morris, 6 feet, 260 pounds, has been slowed by injuries. He has 93 yards on 33 carries with one touchdown this season.

"He's a big man with quick feet and great balance," Burnett said. "He's going to be trouble for us if we let him get his shoulders turned."

Pub Date: 10/18/99

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