Clayton likely OK to face Bengals


Receiver's hamstring injured again

Moore, Williams make impact


October 31, 2006|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun Reporter

Mark Clayton tweaked his left hamstring again, but the injury likely won't prevent the Ravens' wide receiver from playing against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Coach Brian Billick said yesterday during his weekly news conference at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills that Clayton's hamstring - the same hamstring that had bothered him on three occasions since the Ravens drafted him in the first round in 2005 - flared up again during the second half of Sunday's 35-22 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

"The hamstring was tightening up a little on him, and the game was a situation where we removed Mark prudently to make sure that he didn't extend himself," Billick said. "The game was pretty much in hand."

Billick later said that there were no major injuries to report as the Ravens prepare to meet Cincinnati.

Clayton's injury opened opportunities for more playing time for Clarence Moore and rookie Demetrius Williams. Moore had just two catches for 1 yard, but caught a 4-yard touchdown lob from quarterback Steve McNair that gave the Ravens a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.

Williams caught one pass for 12 yards, but Billick singled out the fourth-round selection for making a block that enabled running back Musa Smith to rush for 3 yards and help the offense convert on third-and-three midway through the fourth quarter.

"Clarence adds a dimension," Billick said, referring to Moore's 6-foot-6 height. "That size is a dimension, and Demetrius has got some pretty good ups. So between those two and tight end Todd Heap, particularly in the red zone, we can present some things hopefully that make you account for them just because of their ability to go up and get the ball. But I wouldn't define it just to that. We'll continue to find roles for Clarence and Demetrius."

Group effort

Trevor Pryce doubled his career sack total of New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees with a takedown in the third quarter, but the defensive end wasn't quick to accept the credit.

"I have no idea what happened," said Pryce, whose 3 1/2 sacks this season are the third-most on the Ravens. "I remember one dude hitting me in my face and one hitting me in my chest and then I was on top of the quarterback. I have no idea."

Sacks by Pryce and linebacker Adalius Thomas and interceptions from strong safety Dawan Landry (two), middle linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Ronnie Prude helped the Ravens get a sack and interception in every game this season, breaking the franchise's all-time record.

Crowd control

The theory goes that visiting offenses usually commit more pre-snap penalties in an opponent's stadium due to crowd noise.

That wasn't the case in New Orleans as the Saints were penalized five times (four for false starts and one for 12 men in the huddle) compared with the Ravens' getting penalized three times (all false starts).

Afterward, Ravens free safety Ed Reed said the defense didn't throw anything at the New Orleans offense to make it flinch.

"We just did what we did," Reed said. "I don't know what threw them off. ... That's on them. That's a discipline thing, and I'm sure Coach [Sean] Payton will correct that."

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