J. Lewis honored for historic game

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Back donates his jersey from 295-yard day to Hall

Ravens notebook

October 10, 2003|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

On a day commemorating his history-making performance, Jamal Lewis chose to keep looking forward.

Nearly a month after he set the NFL's single-game rushing record, the Ravens running back showed reverence but little emotion when honored yesterday for his 295-yard rushing effort against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 14.

The brief ceremony at the team's Owings Mills practice facility featured Lewis formally donating his white No. 31 jersey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

"I've kind of put it behind me now, but it's still a great deal and it means a lot to people," Lewis said. "Hopefully, I can keep making accomplishments like this so we can keep putting things in the Hall of Fame."

Lewis' jersey will become the Ravens' fourth article currently on display at the Hall, joining Ray Lewis' Super Bowl jersey, a Ray Lewis-autographed ball from that game and a Waterford crystal trophy honoring their championship.

After accepting Lewis' jersey, Hall of Fame vice president Joe Horrigan presented him with a black Hall of Fame sweat shirt along with a lifetime pass to visit there.

"Hopefully this pass will eventually turn into an occasion when you come down to see your bronze bust placed right next to your jersey," Horrigan said.

Lewis said he didn't know if he would break Eric Dickerson's NFL single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards but did indicate he ranks himself among the elite running backs in the league.

"Right now, I would say top four in no order would be me, Priest Holmes, LaDainian Tomlinson and Stephen Davis," Lewis said.

Desert heat

If the Arizona Cardinals don't limit Jamal Lewis' production, the Arizona heat probably will.

With the game-time temperature expected in the low 90s, the Ravens are concerned about burning out the league's leading rusher. That will likely increase the role of backup Chester Taylor, who has gained 66 yards rushing on 14 carries (an average of 3 1/2 attempts per game).

"I'd imagine by the nature of the trip and the heat and what our intentions are, [Taylor's playing time] could be upward to eight to 10 carries this week," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

No changes

The Ravens won't be instituting any additional bed checks in their first road trip since their five-day stay in San Diego, where cornerback Chris McAlister was benched after violating curfew and missing a team meeting.

"It will be same as it's always been," said Billick, whose team will fly to Arizona today. "We had one unfortunate incident. In light of that incident, I just can't conceive of anybody on this team not understanding what the routine is and violating it."

M. Smith healthy

Third-string running back Musa Smith was not on the injury report for the first time this season, but that doesn't automatically mean he will suit up Sunday.

"I would love to get him some reps in a game," Billick said, "but he has to crack that by having some presence on special teams."

Smith, the Ravens' third-round draft pick this season, has been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery before the season opener.

Sun staff writer Brent Jones contributed to this article.

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