Rolle's quick pick is overshadowed by injury to knee


It isn't thought serious

timing is off on lateral


Eagles 20, Ravens 14

August 21, 2005|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Cornerback Samari Rolle made his home debut as a Raven in grand style, but ended the night nursing an injured knee on the bench.

Rolle intercepted a pass by Donovan McNabb on the Eagles' second possession, stepping in front of a throw down the middle of the field intended for Greg Lewis and returning the ball 5 yards to the Ravens' 35.

On the next series, though, Rolle limped off the field after a McNabb incompletion and was replaced by Zach Norton and then Deion Sanders.

Rolle had his knee checked out by doctors on the sideline, and he was kept out of the rest of the game as a precaution.

The injury is not believed to be serious.

As for the interception, Rolle gave an assist to a teammate.

"Will Demps called the play when they came to the line of scrimmage," he said. "He recognized what they were going to do. He jumped the route and made Donovan change his throw, and I went and got it."

The Ravens signed Rolle to a six-year, $30.5 million contract this offseason, though the former Pro Bowl player has a history of injury problems, including a knee that sidelined him the last five games of last season.

When healthy, Rolle is considered one of the top cornerbacks in the league.

"It goes to show you how many playmakers we have on the team," safety Ed Reed said. "It was a great play."

Reversed lateral

The Ravens' defense has had fun lateraling the ball during practice, but it was another story during the game.

A touchdown was taken off the board when Ed Reed's lateral to Chris McAlister was ruled to have traveled a bit forward from where he released it.

Reed recovered the ball after a blocked field goal by Norton, ran 10 yards, then pitched it to McAlister, who went 60 yards for what seemed to be a touchdown.

The officials called for a replay and overturned the score.

"My opinions of replays are well-documented," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I can't afford the 15 grand again."

Reed, Sanders, McAlister and Ray Lewis pitch the ball often in practices after turnovers.

"We do it so much in practice, and it's really not even joking," Reed said. "If I'm in front, then I can make a block."

Wilcox sharp again

After being one of the team's best offensive players during preseason last year, tight end Dan Wilcox is back on track for the same distinction.

Wilcox caught quarterback Kyle Boller's only touchdown throw, a 5-yard toss to the back of the end zone that gave the Ravens their first score.

Wilcox had two touchdowns in the preseason last year.

"It's a play we've run since the first day of training camp," Wilcox said. "I slid through the middle and no one followed me. I came out the back side and Kyle threw a nice, easy ball to catch."

`Just having fun'

Receiver Mark Clayton doubled his one-catch output of a week ago, and his longest reception was something to behold.

Clayton made two defenders miss badly along the sideline, then turned upfield for 15 yards. His other catch was for 12 yards.

"I was just having fun, doing what I've got to do to get the ball up the field," Clayton said. "We stress yards after the catch, so that's what I was trying to do."

Sams returns to duty

B.J. Sams came back from a strained hamstring that kept him out of the preseason opener, handling the return duties in the first half.

Sams had four kickoff returns, but none went for more than 24 yards. On his only attempt to field a punt, the ball bounced out of bounds.

End zone

Linebacker Peter Boulware, cornerback Dale Carter (leg), linebacker Dan Cody (knee), tight end Todd Heap (shoulder), running back Jamal Lewis, guard Edwin Mulitalo (personal reasons), fullback Alan Ricard (calf), running back Musa Smith (leg), linebacker Tyson Smith (ankle) and linebacker Adalius Thomas (knee) missed the game. Tight end Darnell Dinkins (coaches decision) was held out. ... Billick shaved his beard, which he had had since the beginning of camp.

Ravens' 2005 schedule


Date Opponent Time/Res. TV

8/13 at Atlanta Falcons L, 16-3

8/20 Philadelphia Eagles L, 20-14

8/26 at New Orleans Saints 8 p.m. 45, CSN

9/1 Washington Redskins 8 p.m. 45, CSN

Regular season

Date Opponent Time TV

9/11 Indianapolis Colts 8:30 p.m. ESPN

9/18 at Tennessee Titans 1 p.m. 13

10/2 New York Jets 4:05 p.m. 13

10/9 at Detroit Lions 1 p.m. 13

10/16 Cleveland Browns 1 p.m. 13

10/23 at Chicago Bears 4:15 p.m. 13

10/31 at Pittsburgh Steelers 9 p.m. 2, 7

11/6 Cincinnati Bengals 1 p.m. 13

11/13 at Jacksonville Jaguars 1 p.m. 13

11/20 Pittsburgh Steelers 4:15 p.m. 13

11/27 at Cincinnati Bengals 1 p.m. 13

12/4 Houston Texans 1 p.m. 13

12/11 at Denver Broncos 4:15 p.m. 13

12/19 Green Bay Packers 9 p.m. 2, 7

12/25 Minnesota Vikings 8:30 p.m. ESPN

1/1 at Cleveland Browns 1 p.m. 13

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