Atkins makes short-lived return to offensive line


Guard exits in 1st quarter with groin strain

Stokley hurts shoulder

October 22, 1999|By Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston | Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

The return of James Atkins did not even last for one quarter.

Atkins, who went into training camp as the team's starting left guard, lost that job to Everett Lindsay after he tore his right hamstring midway through training camp.

Atkins made his first appearance of 1999 against the Chiefs last night -- as a starter at right tackle and a replacement for the injured Harry Swayne.

And the return of Atkins, who collected a $1 million roster bonus in March, was short-lived. Near the end of the first quarter, he limped off the field with a strained groin muscle.

The loss of Atkins forced the Ravens to go to a two-man left guard rotation of veteran Mike Flynn and rookie Edwin Mulitalo.

Mulitalo, playing in his first NFL game, helped to spring Errict Rhett on an 18-yard run in the second quarter. He also was penalized for holding in the third quarter.

Stokley has painful evening

Rookie wide receiver Brandon Stokley finally got a taste of live action last night, and his evening ended disastrously.

Stokley, who had not played since the season opener, staggered off the field with a dislocated shoulder with just over a minute left in the first half.

Stokley, who did not catch a pass last night, dislocated both shoulders in training camp.

Had quarterback Stoney Case performed better, Stokley would have gone to the locker room with two touchdown receptions to show for his efforts. But Case missed him on both counts.

During the final minute of the first quarter, Stokley had cornerback James Hasty beaten on a slant-in route inside the Chiefs' 10, with no one behind Hasty to help. Case's pass was behind Stokley and nearly intercepted by Hasty.

Then, near the end of the first half and just before he suffered his shoulder injury, Stokley got behind cornerback Eric Warfield down the left sideline, only to be under-thrown inside the Chiefs' 5, where Warfield leaped to bat away another possible touchdown.

The injury to Stokley apparently means second-year receiver Patrick Johnson will be playing a lot in the coming weeks. Johnson and Stokley had been alternating active roster spots. Johnson was inactive last night.

Moore makes appearance

Veteran safety Stevon Moore made his first appearance on defense, after Kim Herring left the action in the third quarter with a heel injury.

Herring rejoined the action in the fourth quarter.

Moore lost his job at strong safety before the team's first minicamp. Herring, a third-year player and second-round draft pick out of Penn State, entered last night's contest ranked seventh on the team with 17 tackles.

Boulware racks up sack

Linebacker Peter Boulware moved into a tie for the NFL sack lead, racking up his sixth in the first quarter.

Had it not been for a last-second move by Chiefs quarterback Elvis Grbac to get out of the end zone, Boulware would have provided the Ravens with their only points in the first half.

Instead, Boulware's 6-yard sack put the Chiefs back at their own 4.

"We played very well in the first half," Boulware said. "We only gave up the one play for the touchdown."

Boulware finished the first half with four tackles.

Sharper contains Vanover

Linebacker Jamie Sharper continued his outstanding play on special teams -- this time making it a point to contain one of the NFL's most dangerous punt return men, Tamarick Vanover.

Sharper stopped Vanover after a 5-yard put return in the second quarter. Sharper made a similar open-field tackle on the speedy Vanover in the first quarter after a 6-yard gain.

Unfortunately for Sharper, he got beat in his primary role as linebacker at the start of the fourth quarter by Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez for a 22-yard touchdown.

Sharper finished the game with four tackles.

Nedney sits out

Coach Brian Billick brought in Joe Nedney for kickoffs but has yet to activate him.

Nedney spent his second game on the inactive list. Initially, Nedney was to handle the kickoff duties with Matt Stover kicking the field goals.

Stover missed a 37-yard kick in the first quarter after first making a 32-yarder, which was nullified because the Ravens had too many men on the field.

When the referee marched the ball back 5 yards, Stover hit the right crossbar.

It ended any momentum the Ravens had after moving the ball 46 yards on 10 plays with the help of two pass interference calls.

Billick's dirty dozen

Billick jokingly refers to them as "the dirty dozen." He has called them a collection of talent taken off "the trash heap" of the NFL.

Billick is talking about his offense, which entered last night's game against Kansas City ranked 24th in the NFL, including the 28th-ranked passing game. Specifically, Billick is talking about players like quarterback Stoney Case, wide receivers Qadry Ismail and Justin Armour, running back Errict Rhett and tight end Aaron Pierce.

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