O. Brown thankful for time spent with ailing mother

Ravens notebook

Tackle expected to play with starters vs. Lions

Pro Football

August 26, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ravens right tackle Orlando Brown spoke publicly for the first time since returning to the team after attending to his mother for the past two weeks.

Brown missed the first two preseason games, but will likely be active in Saturday's home game against the Detroit Lions.

He is expected to play with the starters.

"I like the Ravens for letting me stick beside [my mother]," Brown said. "But I've got to be a man and play ball. I know I've got a responsibility here. Family is very important to me, but I need to be a man, say prayers to God and go [visit] every day."

Brown's mother has been hospitalized twice in the area after suffering a series of illnesses that left her in a semi-coma. Before Monday, Brown had practiced with the team just once since Aug. 9, a workout where he looked emotionally spent.

The Ravens have allowed him to spend as much time as he needs away from the team, and Ethan Brooks has started in his place.

Brown, though, felt compelled to return this week to give himself enough time to be in good shape for the beginning of the season.

The timing turned out well for the Ravens, who lost center Mike Flynn for six to eight weeks with a fractured collarbone on the same day Brown returned.

"It's kind of hard, but psychologically I use it for motivation," Brown said. "I'll just play this whole season for my mother. I'm going to be a hell-raiser. As long as she is fighting, I'm fighting."

Fuller trial date set

Cornerback Corey Fuller is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 11 in Tallahassee, Fla., for operating a gambling house, according to Assistant State Attorney Matt Smith.

Fuller also faces felony firearm and misdemeanor gambling charges. The date falls at the beginning of the Ravens' bye week, a day after a Sunday night game against the Washington Redskins.

The trial is not expected to last longer than a week, meaning Fuller will not miss any preparation time for the Oct. 24 game against the Buffalo Bills if he is acquitted.

Sanders conjecture

Yesterday's daily Deion Sanders dose revolved around whether the former Pro Bowl cornerback will be forced to play in the season opener at Cleveland on Sept. 12 even if he feels he is not ready.

"We'll address that," Brian Billick said. "The parameters we've talked about are a little more defined than that. We'll see what it is when he gets here. I don't want to get into bouts of conjecture - `If this, if that.'"

Sanders will decide early next week if he will come out of retirement and play this season with the Ravens.

Injury update

Receivers Travis Taylor (groin) and Devard Darling (quadriceps) did not practice, increasing the likelihood that both may be sidelined for Saturday's game.

Defensive end Tony Weaver (ankle), Fuller (bruised leg) and tight end Todd Heap (shoulder) are the other notables questionable for the game.

"We'll see how they progress during the week," Billick said.

Back home

The Ravens returned to their facility in Owings Mills yesterday for the first time since a June minicamp. It also marked the end of two-a-day workouts and open practices.

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