Figurs makes returns to form

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Receiver shows why he's standout on special teams

August 08, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Yamon Figurs started at wide receiver, but he still made the most impact as a returner.

In the second quarter last night during the Ravens' 16-15, preseason-opening victory over the New England Patriots, Figurs showed why he is so dangerous on special teams, returning a punt 52 yards to set up the Ravens' first touchdown and later running back a kickoff 48 yards.

"The guys were blocking really well, and they opened up some big holes," Figurs said. "I was just glad I could hit them fast enough to get through. Making plays like that will really help our offense. I'm glad we were able to put them in good positions to score."

Figurs, a third-round pick last year, made a nifty stutter-step move on the punt return, buying enough time before he found a lane down the left sideline. He stepped out at the Patriots' 2-yard line, and fullback Le'Ron McClain scored on a 1-yard run two plays later.

Figurs made the start because Mark Clayton (shoulder) and Demetrius Williams (lower leg) were out with injuries. He finished the game with one catch for 12 yards.

Picks for Washington

It was a good sign to see Fabian Washington make two interceptions in his Ravens debut.

Traded from the Oakland Raiders this offseason, Washington had one pick all last season. Washington came up with his first turnover - an interception of Patriots backup quarterback Matt Cassel in the first quarter - one play after Kyle Boller fumbled in Ravens territory.

Washington then finished the first half with his second interception in Ravens territory.

"You only get one chance to make a first impression," Washington said, "so I felt like I had to go out and make an impact."

Challenge denied

Ravens coach John Harbaugh surprisingly used a replay challenge and failed on his first try.

On the first play of the second quarter, Harbaugh challenged an incomplete pass because he thought Ravens rookie linebacker Tavares Gooden had forced Ray Ventrone to fumble. The officials, though, upheld the decision after an instant-replay review, saying Ventrone never had possession of the ball.

End zone

Linebacker Prescott Burgess broke his left wrist and will have surgery today. Defensive tackle Kelly Talavou sprained his shoulder. Linebacker Tavares Gooden (undisclosed injury) will undergo an exam today. ... Sixteen Ravens did not play because of injury: running backs Willis McGahee (knee) and P.J. Daniels (shoulder); receivers Clayton, Williams and Patrick Carter (arm); tight ends Todd Heap (calf), Daniel Wilcox (toe) and Aaron Walker (knee); offensive tackles Jared Gaither (ankle) and Adam Terry (ankle); defensive tackles Haloti Ngata (knee) and Kelly Gregg (knee); safety Ed Reed (shoulder); cornerbacks Chris McAlister (knee) and Samari Rolle (bereavement); and linebacker Dan Cody (foot).

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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