Walker admits 'slobber moment'

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

He says spitting was an accident

December 18, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Frank Walker acknowledged that he spat in the face of Pittsburgh Steelers punter Mitch Berger, but the Ravens' backup cornerback called it an accident.

"It was just a slobber moment," Walker said.

With 43 seconds left in Sunday's 13-9 loss to the Steelers, Walker got into a confrontation with Berger, who was the holder on the extra point. According to Walker, Berger was upset when he thought Walker was trying to take out the knee of kicker Jeff Reed.

Berger said he doesn't believe Walker and that the act was intentional.

"I had my mouth open and was about to say something when he spit right on me," Berger said. "It wasn't something that happens by accident when you're talking sometimes. There was the full noise. He made the full spitting noise."

The incident had a lingering effect on Berger.

"I think I kept spitting for 24 hours," he said. "I kept brushing my teeth. To have another man spit in your mouth like that ... it was gross."

Walker talked with his friend, Steelers safety Ryan Clark, and told him he never intended to spit in Berger's face.

Asked whether he feels bad that the Steelers thought he did it on purpose, Walker said: "I don't care. I hate Pittsburgh."

An NFL spokesman said the league won't be investigating the matter, saying there was no "visual evidence."

Goodell: good call

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said yesterday that he agreed with referee Walt Coleman's controversial replay decision in the Ravens' loss to the Steelers.

"Unless, of course, I guess you're a Ravens fan, and I understand that," Goodell said at the NFL owners meetings in Irving, Texas. "But we looked at it, and I think what we believe is it was a very good use of instant replay, where they looked at the angles and they put one and one together to come up with what I think was the right conclusion."

Injury update

Three starters - cornerback Fabian Washington (hamstring), safety Ed Reed (hamstring) and offensive tackle Jared Gaither (illness) - did not practice yesterday.

Another surprise was the return of running back Ray Rice to practice. He missed his first game of the season Sunday with a calf injury.

End zone

There is no scenario in which the Ravens can clinch a playoff berth this weekend. ... Middle linebacker Ray Lewis was surprised that defensive tackle Haloti Ngata did not make the Pro Bowl team. "You turn on the film and his dominance speaks for itself," Lewis said. "When a person like myself goes to the Pro Bowl, the first thing you have to ask yourself is: How didn't the person in front of me go to the Pro Bowl? There's no me without them." ... Defensive tackle Salomon Solano, a Ravens practice squad member, has been named to the coaching staff of the Mexican junior national team.

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