J. Lewis' knee holds up well after his return

Ravens notebook

First game in 19 months produces no swelling

Pro Football

August 18, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The aftermath was as encouraging as the performance for Ravens running back Jamal Lewis.

A day after Lewis had four carries for 24 yards in Thursday's loss to the New York Jets, he experienced no swelling in his knee and just minor soreness. Yesterday, he was back at practice running with the starters and showing no signs of weariness, surprising considering it was Lewis' first game action since the 2001 Super Bowl 19 months ago.

"I felt a little ache, but it felt pretty good," Lewis said. "It was good not to have the swelling, and to not be really fatigued on it. I didn't have to go into the training room and get treatment on it. I feel like I'm back in the physical form before I left."

Lewis was in for seven plays and left to a standing ovation after a 7-yard run. It was the first time Lewis had been hit since he tore up his knee early in training camp last year.

"In those four carries, I really got a lot of confidence," Lewis said. "I got that first one out of the way, and that was a good one. And in the second one, I got piled on by a couple of guys, and the leg held up pretty good."

Lewis has been vocal about wanting to return to his old form and dominate defenses - going so far as to make a Superman comparison - but he admitted there was a seed of doubt in his mind that he could actually do it.

"I did have doubt, that's just honest. The rest of that was just confidence talk," Lewis said. "But I held up pretty good, and went in the game not thinking about it and it felt great. Now there is no doubt in my mind that I can compete with the top five backs in the league."

Lewis will not play in Friday's game at Philadelphia because of the questionable field conditions at Veterans Stadium. Last season's Ravens-Eagles preseason game had to be canceled because of problems with the artificial turf.

The Ravens feel they got enough of a preview of what Lewis can do this season against the Jets.

"The great thing about the other night with Jamal was we saw him do a little bit of everything," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

Baxter update

Cornerback Gary Baxter, who is still nursing a strained hamstring, will play this preseason, but he doesn't know whether it will be this week's game or next week's preseason finale.

"It's kind of up in the air because I haven't really exploded off it," said Baxter, who is making the switch from safety to cornerback. "If it's not this week, then it's definitely next week."

A second-round pick in 2001, Baxter hasn't practiced since injuring his hamstring on Aug. 5 and has missed the first two preseason games.

Redmon's fumbles

Running back Tellis Redmon said he plans to limit his fumbling problem to one game. Redmon had two fumbles against the Jets, though the Ravens lost just one.

"I need to come out this week, work harder, hold on the ball, make all reads, try to hit the holes right to help out my team, and not fumble the ball," Redmon said. "I need to not sway the ball so much and keep it closer to my body. That's my fault. It's something that happened that game, but it won't happen again, though."

End zone

There was no movement yesterday in negotiations with Sam Adams. Adams said last week that he hoped to sign with a team within a week and is deciding among the Ravens, Seattle and Denver. ... The Ravens waived guard Ken Farrar. ... Members of the Baltimore Burn, a team in the National Women's Football League, attended yesterday's practice. ... The Ravens will have one of the last padded practices of training camp today. The team will break camp Wednesday.

Sun staff writer Jamison Hensley contributed to this article.

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