Reed hurt

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

severity uncertain

October 18, 2005|By BRENT JONES | BRENT JONES,SUN REPORTER

Safety Ed Reed has a high ankle sprain, the most serious of three injuries suffered by the Ravens in Sunday's 16-3 win over the Cleveland Browns. Reed will be re-evaluated later this week, but that type of ankle sprain has been known to keep players out for about a month.

The team, though, has not set a timetable for Reed, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Receiver Mark Clayton and fullback Ovie Mughelli also suffered less severe ankle sprains. Mughelli had a magnetic resonance imaging test yesterday that showed no further damage.

"Ed is probably the most serious with the infamous high ankle sprain, which is like the turf toe, more serious than it sounds," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We'll have to see how it progresses. The imaging of the three are not totally done, but that which we've done up to this point is encouraging."

If Reed misses Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears, fourth-year safety Chad Williams, usually the dime (sixth) defensive back, is expected to start in his place. The Ravens also might work in undrafted rookie B.J. Ward, who has impressed coaches and even played a down in the base defense against the Detroit Lions two weeks ago.

Reed hurt his ankle and knee on a 1-yard run by the Browns' Reuben Droughns in the third quarter, hopping on one foot over to the sideline after the play.

"The high ankle sprain is always a concern," Billick said. "Different players respond to it differently by position and by person."

In other injury news, the Ravens anticipate having fullback Alan Ricard against the Bears after Ricard missed the past two games with a calf injury.

Quarterback Kyle Boller, expected to be ready against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 6, should have an increased workload this week as well.

"Kyle's rehab is becoming more and more aggressive," Billick said. "He's doing well with it. But I'll have to wait ... to see how we progress during the week with it."

The Ravens also expect running back Musa Smith to return to practice. He is on the physically-unable-to-perform list after breaking his leg last season.

Action for Darling

Devard Darling played for the first time this season Sunday, as the fourth receiver in the Ravens' spread set. No passes were thrown his way, but coaches were impressed by the 2004 third-round draft pick.

"He played very well on special teams for us," Billick said. "He took about a half dozen to eight snaps."

Darling, who has made little impact and been hampered by injuries, took Clarence Moore's spot on the game-day active roster.

Report is disputed

Billick disputed a report that he recently told his players in a team meeting that regardless of how they played, he would walk away with $20 million even if he were fired at season's end.

Billick said he only talked about his contract at the beginning of training camp to illustrate that he is where he wants to be professionally.

The Ravens generally record Billick's talks to the team, something Billick says would validate him. Billick, however, did not offer to provide the tapes to the media.

"Those tapes would verify [I] never said [that] in the context that that was presented," Billick said. "As I said, the one reference [to money] was at the beginning of training camp."

Band vs. Browns?

The Ravens are examining an alleged dispute between members of the team's marching band and some of the Browns' players during pre-game warm-ups.

"We're looking into it, and so is the league," said Kevin Byrne, the team's senior vice president of public and community relations.

The incident centers on the players' exit from the field and the band's entrance, when words were exchanged between the sides. One band member has accused the Browns of deliberately throwing footballs at the band.

Holding calls

The lower number of penalties called against the Ravens on Sunday didn't stop Billick from taking exception to a few of the calls. Five of the penalties were for holding.

"Two of them, yeah, they got a pretty good handle on them," Billick said.

"I will say this: Of the three [other] holding calls, I would defy anybody in this room or the official to ... let's take Mike Flynn's 70 snaps for an example. You haven't seen the game, you go over the film, and you tell me which one is holding."

The Ravens were penalized 11 times overall, 10 fewer than they were against the Lions.

brent.jones@baltsun.com

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