Sore shoulder leaves Taylor questionable

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Receiver able to practice

Johnson could fill spot

Pro Football

September 12, 2002|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ravens receiver Travis Taylor hurt his shoulder in the first quarter of the loss to the Carolina Panthers and is questionable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

Taylor said he was not able to brace himself in falling on a 36-yard reception from quarterback Chris Redman during the Ravens' second possession. Taylor's catch helped set up the team's lone touchdown.

"I think I'll be able to go Sunday," Taylor said. "I got a little pain, but it is something I have to fight through.

"I came down, didn't have time to turn with it and I came down on my shoulder. Things happen. You have to bounce back from it and play on. I just had to stay in the game. The situation was it was a close game, and I just had to stay out there."

Although he rotated with Ron Johnson through much of the game, the Ravens did not feel the injury would hinder Taylor this week. He practiced yesterday, but admitted to feeling soreness in the shoulder.

Johnson sustained a deep thigh bruise against the Panthers, but practiced yesterday and should be fine for Tampa Bay. If Taylor is unable to play, Johnson would likely start in his place opposite Brandon Stokley.

"We're a little banged-up at receiver, but I think we are OK," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

Receiver Ogden works

Receiver Jeff Ogden practiced for the first time with the Ravens yesterday after signing a one-year, $525,000 contract Tuesday.

Ogden was cut by the Miami Dolphins before the start of the regular season. He spent the previous two years there as a punt returner.

"It's an opportunity for me to get back into things," said Ogden, a fifth-year player out of Eastern Washington. "The situation fits me perfectly. They were looking for a fifth receiver, someone who's played a little bit and can help on special teams. That's been my role since I've been in the league."

Cornerback Chris McAlister will continue to return punts despite Ogden's experience. Ogden, who spent his first two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, averaged 13.7 yards a return with the Dolphins.

Rabach draws Sapp

After struggling with a decent Carolina defensive-tackle tandem, things will not get easier for left guard Casey Rabach Sunday against Tampa Bay.

Pro Bowl tackle Warren Sapp will face Rabach much of the game.

The interior of the offensive line struggled with Panthers tackles Brenston Buckner and Kris Jenkins, both of whom recorded a sack against Redman.

"I'll see [Sapp] a fair share of time," Rabach said. "He's going to flop sides, so I'll see him 50 percent of the game.

"You just have to go and bring your `A' game. You can't make those mistakes that you might get away with somebody else. Obviously, if I do well against him, which I plan on doing, then everybody else isn't going to be as good as him. So I guess you can kind of gauge yourself."

McCrary relieved

A day after a District Court judge convicted a Glen Burnie man of assault against Michael McCrary, the Ravens' end expressed relief that his name had been cleared.

Junior C. Fortney was sentenced to 18 months probation and 50 hours community service for his part in a fight with McCrary at a downtown nightclub Feb. 10.

"I'm just glad the stain was removed from my name," McCrary said. "A judge found that the guy was guilty of assault without provocation. He tried to throw a smoke screen and the judge was able to see right through it. It showed I was telling the truth the whole time."

End zone

The Ravens had perfect attendance at yesterday's practice. Safety Will Demps practiced for the first time since dislocating his elbow in the final preseason game, but is doubtful for Tampa Bay.

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