Broken hand costs Allen 4-6 weeks


No free agents available, team decides to stand pat

November 14, 2001|By Brent Jones and Jamison Hensley | Brent Jones and Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Running back Terry Allen's fractured left hand will keep him sidelined from four to six weeks.

Allen sustained the injury in the second quarter Monday night, his first action since spraining an ankle three weeks earlier.

He was hit by Titans lineman Josh Evans, resulting in a fumble that the Ravens recovered.

This injury could force Allen out of the next five games with only seven left.

"We'll have to see in terms of what he needs," coach Brian Billick said. "Is it really more like four [weeks] or more like six? And what are the alternatives?"

One would be putting Allen on injured reserve, thereby opening a roster spot for another runner.

But with the free-agent running back market barren, Billick said the team might wait out Allen's injury with the hope of him returning to contribute in the playoffs.

For now, Jason Brookins will continue to start, and Moe Williams may have an increased role.

"Moe was down for us [inactive] Monday night," Billick said. "We hated to do that ... but having [kicker] Danny Kight up, we had to make some tough decisions along those lines. But I still have faith that Moe can carry the running load for us along with Jason Brookins."

Short week blues

Billick saw this week coming and could do nothing about it.

Now that it has arrived, all he can do is worry and ready his team as much as he can to play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at PSINet Stadium.

"I saw back in August, this week concerned me, regardless of who we are playing," Billick said.

The concern comes from the shortness of the week due to Monday night's win at Tennessee. It is a week made even shorter by Billick, who gave the players off yesterday and today.

"I've given the extra day off. I don't like that," Billick said. "I would have loved to come back [today]. But there is no way, shape or form I can ask this team, after what we've been through the last month, to come back."

Billick said the team will work tomorrow and Friday as a normal Wednesday and Thursday, while increasing Saturday's workload.

The hitting started early

During pre-game warm-ups on Monday night, Ravens defensive tackle Sam Adams took a swing at teammate Mike Flynn, the team's center. The blow appeared to have connected on Flynn's chin.

Flynn declined to comment on the incident, but Adams said the matter has been rectified.

"I love Mike Flynn like I love the rest of my brothers, but I can get upset with my brother like he can get upset with me. That's what it's all about. It ain't like we're playing tiddlywinks."

Billick chalked up the fight to fervor of the event.

"It was a feisty group," he said. "It was Monday Night Football, nerves on edge. I think Mike said something about Texas A&M [Adams' college] and Sam said where the hell is Maine [Flynn's college]? It's just personalities, emotion and let's have at it."

Slippery fingers, Part 1

Cornerback Duane Starks could have prevented the craziness.

Starks had a chance to intercept Titans quarterback Steve McNair on the third to last play of the game. With Tennessee at the Ravens' 6 and 24 seconds left, McNair scrambled outside the pocket and delivered a pass right to Starks, his third dropped would-be interception of the game.

The next play, McNair completed a pass to Kevin Dyson who was stopped at the Ravens' 1, which set off one of the more bizarre endings in Monday Night Football history.

"I dropped three that were in my hands," Starks said. "The first one was a real surprise, No. 2 should have been offensive pass interference. And in the final seconds, [McNair] threw that ball so hard."

Still, he took solace in being in good position, a week after what he called his worst game ever.

"I just played the way I know, sound technique-wise," he said. "My opportunities were coming, but I just didn't take advantage of it."

Slippery fingers, Part 2

Kyle Richardson's hard times against Tennessee continued Monday night.

Richardson, who had three punts blocked by the Titans in the previous three meetings, failed to handle an eye-high snap early in the third quarter.

Instead of giving up two points and taking a safety, Richardson threw the ball to safety Anthony Mitchell, who was stopped at the Ravens' 8-yard line. That led to a 27-yard field goal by Joe Nedney for the first points of the game.

"When I came to the sideline, Billick said he thought I should have taken the two [safety]," he said.

Extra points

The Ravens' Nov. 25 game at Jacksonville has been moved from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. to accommodate the CBS broadcast. ... Steve Turnbaugh, coach at Hereford, is the 10th and final recipient of the 2001 Ravens' High School Coach of the Week award. Ravens Champions of the Week are Keith Williams of Glen Burnie and Christina Restivo of Hereford.

Next for Ravens

Opponent: Cleveland Browns

Site: PSINet Stadium

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 13/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line: Ravens by 8

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