As frightened as players, coaches and fans were while medical personnel carried strong safety Dawan Landry off the field at M&T Bank Stadium on a stretcher Sunday, no one was more concerned than Landry himself.
For the first time since suffering a spinal cord concussion in the final seconds of the first half of Sunday's 28-10 win over the Cleveland Browns, Landry, 25, spoke publicly about his ordeal.
"Real scary," the three-year starter said yesterday inside the locker room of the team's training facility in Owings Mills. "That was my first time ever being really injured, and at the time, I couldn't feel anything. I was able to talk, though. I felt my toes a little bit, and I knew I'd be fine eventually. So it was a blessing."
Landry was injured with 26 seconds left in the second quarter when the crown of his helmet collided with Browns running back Jamal Lewis' left knee. As players and coaches knelt on the turf, Landry was immobilized on a stretcher and taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where tests revealed no serious, permanent damage.
"By the time I got to the ambulance, my feeling was starting to come back slowly," said Landry, who will not play Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. "So I knew I'd be OK."
Landry will wear a cervical collar for another week before being re-evaluated by doctors. Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that the team expects Landry to play again this season.
Landry said he was grateful for many of the well-wishes sent his way.
"Progress is going real well right now. Blessings have been answered," he said. "I want to thank all of the fans, all of my teammates, the whole Ravens organization, the Browns, everybody who helped me go through this process right now. It's truly a blessing for me."
A day after Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward sought to quell the notion of a feud with Ravens linebacker Bart Scott, Scott did the same yesterday.
In the Ravens' most recent visit to Heinz Field, Scott threatened to "kill" Ward after he delivered crushing blocks to free safety Ed Reed and Scott.
Scott dismissed any talk of a grudge. He complimented Ward's efforts to stop discrimination against biracial children in South Korea. In 2006, Ward helped organize a trip to Pittsburgh for eight children.
"I think he did some tremendous things," Scott said. "I was really impressed with what he did with bringing those kids over from Asia. I watched the special. I think that was heartfelt. Football is a totally different thing. Like I said, I don't care if my mother was out there. I'd smack her around, too. That's just football. It doesn't matter. If she's got a different jersey on, she's got to get dealt with."
After taking part in practice Wednesday, wide receiver-return specialist Yamon Figurs (hamstring) and tight end Daniel Wilcox (shoulder) were downgraded to limited participation and no practice, respectively. Fullback Le'Ron McClain (migraine) and linebacker Nick Greisen (quadriceps) missed practice after practicing on a limited basis. Defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (left knee) is out. Running back Willis McGahee (cut eyelid), cornerback Samari Rolle (right shoulder) and quarterback Troy Smith (tonsil infection) were limited. Cornerback Fabian Washington (bulging disc in neck) and rookie linebacker Tavares Gooden (hip) participated fully. ... Scott joked that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's career wouldn't have taken off if the Ravens had not knocked out Tommy Maddox with a torn ligament in his right elbow Sept. 19, 2004 - Roethlisberger's rookie season. "He really owes us some money for his career because we got Tommy Maddox out of there and he was born," Scott recalled. "So he really owes me some of that $100 million. Holler at me, Ben." ... With the NFL's decision to change a team sack into a rush, the Ravens' defense improved to third in the league against the run with an average of 70.0 yards allowed.