Billick to fans: Don't miss Favre

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Notebook

December 13, 2005|By BRENT JONES | BRENT JONES,SUN REPORTER

After about 15,000 fans failed to show for the Ravens' last home game against the Houston Texans, coach Brian Billick made a plea yesterday for history not to repeat itself.

Billick's selling point? Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre might be making his final appearance on Monday Night Football, a stage on which he has produced some of his most memorable performances.

Late in the 2003 season, Favre completed 22 of 30 passes for 399 yards and four touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders on a Monday night, one day after his father died.

"If I'm a fan, I'm not going to miss [Monday night's] game," Billick said. "In Baltimore, to come out on a Monday night - whatever the circumstances are, whatever your perspective is - and watch one of the great players of all time compete live on what might be [one of his last games] ... and you have a ticket, and you didn't go, you have no one to blame but yourself."

It promises to be cold, and neither team has a shot at the playoffs, but Favre, who will be making his first appearance in Baltimore, might be worth the inconvenience. The last time he faced the Ravens, in October 2001, Favre completed 27 of 34 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-23 victory at Lambeau Field.

With the Packers at 3-10 and not looking much more promising for next season, the speculation surrounding Favre's future is growing, with many thinking he will give way to first-round pick Aaron Rodgers and retire.

That may lead to a large contingent of Packers fans buying their way into M&T Bank Stadium, something not lost on Billick.

"You think Steelers fans show up? Packers fans have a lot more money than people in Pittsburgh," Billick said. "They save it a lot more. If I had that ticket, I'm going to be in that seat watching."

Billick: No deception on J. Lewis

Running back Jamal Lewis was scratched shortly before Sunday's kickoff in Denver, but the Ravens say they weren't being deceitful by not listing Lewis on the injury report until Saturday.

Lewis' injured thumb, which prevents him from gripping the football, might sideline him this week as well.

"Like a lot of injuries, there was no sense of hiding it, per se, because we really thought it was going to progress," Billick said. "Most players can play with that injury by their position, but a ball carrier, that's a little bit different. We really felt like it would come along far enough.

"How we'll categorize it [this week], I don't know."

Injury updates

Jonathan Ogden failed to finish his second straight game because of an injury, but Billick is confident the left tackle will ready to face the Packers.

Ogden hurt his ankle late in the fourth quarter Sunday and did not return. He should be able to practice this week.

Tight end Daniel Wilcox suffered a high ankle sprain in the game, and his status for the rest of the season is in question.

The Ravens also are considering placing linebacker Mike Smith (hamstring) and guard Keydrick Vincent (thigh) on injured reserve as well.

"We'll use every bit of the next two days on those three individuals in particular to see where we're at and if we have to make a move," Billick said.

Defensive end Tony Weaver, out the past two games with a back injury, might return to practice this week.

brent.jones@baltsun.com

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