Lindsay is ready to tackle Jaguars in place of Swayne

Mulitalo gets first start at guard

knee sprain keeps Folau out of lineup

Ravens notebook

November 11, 1999|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

Ravens coach Brian Billick said yesterday starting left guard Everett Lindsay will move to right offensive tackle in place of the injured Harry Swayne, while rookie Edwin Mulitalo will make his first start at left guard Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Ravens had contemplated using No. 2 tackle Spencer Folau on the right side, but Billick made the decision after Folau worked out with the team yesterday. Billick said Folau is still limited because of a knee he sprained earlier this season.

Swayne was put on injured reserve yesterday after he had surgery to repair a bone fracture in his right foot. The Ravens claimed former tackle Sammy Williams, cut by the Ravens earlier this season, off waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday to replace Swayne.

"Just watching Spencer get through the workout, you can tell he is not quite ready," said Billick. "Everett needs all the snaps he can get at the position. I'm quite comfortable with Everett at that position; he started two games at tackle for us last season. Mulitalo is not quite ready, but he has to go."

Said Folau: "I could play if I had to. But I'd rather have a guy who can play at 100 percent instead of 80 percent. It's better for the team."

Mulitalo, who played offensive tackle at the University of Arizona last season, was one of two fourth-round picks for the Ravens in 1999. Williams, 6 feet 5 and 318 pounds, was a sixth-round pick for the Ravens in 1998 out of Oklahoma. He spent the year on injured reserve with a foot injury. He lasted through training camp until Sept. 5, the final cutdown date before the start of the 1999 season.

The Ravens are also hoping often-injured offensive lineman James Atkins will be ready for Jacksonville on Sunday.

"James is healthy, but he needs to be in better football shape. He'll also have to brush up on his assignments, the whole package," said Billick. "If he can show he is ready to play, that would be a plus for us given our offensive-line situation. Anytime you lose a lineman of Harry's status, it's a concern, especially against a team that leads the league in sacks."

Progress for Poindexter

Rookie safety Anthony Poindexter has already made one step, but the next one will create a lot of euphoria.

The Ravens activated Poindexter off the physically unable to perform list. He has been practicing with the team for the last three weeks, and the team had to either activate him Tuesday or place him on injured reserve. Poindexter is now on the roster. The next step is to play.

"That's going to be a great feeling because I have been watching these guys for eight weeks," said Poindexter, who tore three ligaments in his knee while at the University of Virginia. "A lot of people thought I wouldn't make it back, but it's nice to be here and healthy. I'm in shape, but not in playing shape yet.

"Everybody here has been supportive and happy about the situation," he said. "I've worked hard, and I'm trying to get everything back together. I thank the Ravens for giving me this opportunity and taking the chance."

Before his knee injury, Poindexter was projected as a first-round draft pick. He signed a one-year contract with the Ravens, who selected him in the seventh round. His injury usually takes two full years to heal, but Poindexter doesn't question himself about coming back too soon.

"It's been hard trying to be the same player that I was," said Poindexter. "I lost money up front and have had to work my way from the bottom up. If I blow out all three ligaments again, I'll probably hang it up."

Poindexter, 6 feet and 200 pounds, could be playing on special teams in the next two to three weeks.

"Initially, we're talking about a special teams role," said Billick.

"He has got to be in football shape. It's been a year. That's a long time for him to physically be away from the game, from the off-season workouts and training camp. He has missed that. He is moving around out there. He is energetic about it. He feels good and is confident about his knee. As we progress, we want to see more confidence. That's what we have to see first."

Safety Perry signed

Safety Darren Perry, who signed a contract Tuesday to play for the remainder of the season, did not show up yesterday, but he is expected to join the team soon, according to Billick.

The Ravens believe that Perry, 30, can catch on quickly because he is familiar with the system used by defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis. Both played under the same system years ago in Pittsburgh with the Steelers.

Jags: tough test

Starting quarterback Tony Banks has improved during his past two starts, but he'll get his toughest test against the Jaguars, who have the league's No. 1 defense.

"They have no real Bruce Smith kind of guy," said Banks. "They have all real good players across the board who play within their scheme. This will definitely be the toughest team we've played all season. But I'm becoming more comfortable with our receivers. I'll always throw with some zip on the ball, and it will be there when they come out of the break."

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