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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-10-01

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-10-01

Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-10-01
Running back Willis McGahee's ribs are the only serious injury concern as the Ravens prepare to face the AFC South-leading Titans (4-0) at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.

McGahee was limited to just one carry for 1 yard in the second half of Monday night's 23-20 overtime loss to the Steelers after he was hurt with 1:31 left in the second quarter.

"He's got a rib issue," coach John Harbaugh said about McGahee a day after the overtime loss. "We think he's going to be OK. We'll just have to see how the rib goes this week, but other than that we have nothing serious."

McGahee carried the ball 12 times for 41 yards in the first half, but he left the game after rumbling up the middle for a 1-yard gain.

He lay on the turf for a few minutes before walking off the field to the locker room with some assistance from trainer Bill Tessendorf and an aide.

McGahee did return on the Ravens' second series of the second half with 6:44 left in the third quarter, but he carried the ball just once.

"He was in pain," Harbaugh said. "He wanted to play."

Besides McGahee's injury, Harbaugh had to explain in-depth some conservative choices that played a factor in his first loss as Ravens coach.

The most criticized call came in the final minute of the first quarter, when Derrick Mason's catch in the end zone was ruled incomplete.

Replays showed Mason got his toes inbounds and had control of the ball, but the Ravens decided not to challenge.

"I didn't feel strongly about it from where I was standing," said Harbaugh, who was on the opposite side of the field and didn't hear any protest from Mason. "Our people in the box didn't feel strongly about it. Then, you saw the TV copy later and you felt like you should have challenged it."

Instead of taking a 7-3 lead, the Ravens settled for a short field goal to tie the game at 3. The risk for challenging the call was losing a timeout in the first half.

"If you need that timeout at the end of the half, you're going to get blistered for wasting a timeout on a challenge that wasn't even close," Harbaugh said. "It's always a second-guessing, after-the-fact type of thing."

The Ravens again left the red zone with a field goal instead of a touchdown because of a decision in the second quarter.

On third-and-goal from the Pittsburgh 8-yard line, the Ravens surprisingly ran the ball up the middle instead of throwing it.

"We were just trying to catch them off guard," Harbaugh said. "We thought we had a front that we could pop it through there. We felt like we could score on that play. Sometimes, you break a tendency and you sneak something in there and you get one that might be unusual."

On the play, McGahee, who had injured his ribs four plays before, gained 6 yards and was stopped 2 yards short of the end zone.

"Obviously, it's easy to say third-and-8, you're not going to run the ball in," Harbaugh said. "But it's been done before. And that's kind of our mind-set in all three phases. We break tendencies and we try to be unpredictable."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 1, 2008

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Mark Clayton Name: Mark Clayton
Position: WR
Age: 26
Experience: 4 years
College: Oklahoma
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