Losses frustrate Clayton

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

107 yards receiving against Bengals `OK, but we need wins,' he says

Ravens Weekend

November 16, 2007|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun reporter

Wide receiver Mark Clayton dodged the question as quickly as he evades a jam at the line of scrimmage.

Despite becoming the first Raven to post 100 receiving yards in a game this season, Clayton wasn't in much of a mood to dwell on the achievement.

"It was OK. But we need wins, man," he said Wednesday. "We've got to keep going and get everybody involved to get some wins."

Clayton's 107-yard effort on eight catches was one of the few bright spots in Sunday's 21-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He set up the offense's only touchdown on a 47-yard catch-and-run. He was ruled out a yard short of the end zone, and the Ravens scored on the next play.

Clayton has had a quiet season, partly because of nagging injuries since training camp.

There was the high ankle sprain against the New York Giants in the second preseason game. Then a painful bout of turf toe in the season opener against the Bengals. Finally, he strained an Achilles' tendon Sept. 30 against the Cleveland Browns, whom the Raven will play Sunday.

"It was frustrating," Clayton said, adding that he didn't feel completely healthy until the team's bye in Week 8. "As a competitor, you want to do your best in everything you can to help your team win. For us not to be able to win games, it was real tough. I'm just working and continuing to be prepared so that when the opportunity presents itself, I can take advantage of it."

Rolle back at practice

Samari Rolle returned to practice yesterday for the first time in nearly two weeks, but it is highly unlikely that the cornerback will be cleared to play Sunday.

Rolle, who had not practiced since Nov. 1 because of a recurrence of an undisclosed illness that sidelined him for three games this season, stretched and participated in drills with the rest of the secondary, but the team did not upgrade his "out" status.

"Any time you get Samari back, it's a good thing," coach Brian Billick said. "He's feeling better, and he's gone through evaluations. We're hopeful for next week" against the San Diego Chargers.

Tight end Daniel Wilcox ran sprints with running back P.J. Daniels and took part in stretching drills. Wilcox has not played since spraining the big toe on his left foot against the Browns on Sept. 30.

Free safety Ed Reed did not appear during the portion of practice open to the media and was described by the team as being limited, but Billick said he thinks Reed will be fine for Sunday.

Tight end Todd Heap (strained hamstring) and safety Gerome Sapp (thigh) also were absent. Cornerback Chris McAlister (strained knee) was limited for the second consecutive day, but return specialist Yamon Figurs (sprained knee) and linebacker Gary Stills (knee) were upgraded to full participation in practice.

Cheers for J. Lewis?

Jamal Lewis will be wearing a Browns jersey Sunday, but Billick thinks the former Raven will receive a warm welcome from fans at M&T Bank Stadium.

A free agent in the spring, Lewis jumped from one AFC North team to another, but not before cementing his status as the Ravens' all-time leader in rushing (1,822 carries for 7,801 yards and 45 touchdowns).

"I think they'll be very positive," Billick said of the fans' reaction to Lewis. "It's always interesting to me because they were pretty critical of him when he left. But I'm sure they're going to be very embracing of him when he's coming back, and he's playing well. So it'll be fun to have him back."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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