Live from Owings Mills: Ray Played Through Concussion?

September 30, 2009 | Glenn Clark

4:45-Injury Report:

RAVENS:

DE Trevor Pryce-DID NOT PRACTICE-Illness
QB Troy Smith-DID NOT PRACTICE-Illness
DT Justin Bannan-LIMITED-Knee
LB Tavares Gooden-LIMITED-Shoulder/Head
TE Todd Heap-LIMITED-Back
LB Jarret Johnson-LIMITED-Shoulder
LB Ray Lewis-LIMITED-Head
WR Kelley Washington-LIMITED-Groin

PATRIOTS:

OT Nick Kaczur-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Ankle
LB Jerod Mayo-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Knee
DT Vince Wilfork-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Ankle
CB Darius Butler-LIMITED-Thigh
WR Randy Moss-LIMITED-Back
WR Matt Slater-LIMITED-Elbow
CB Shawn Springs-LIMITED-Knee
WR Wes Welker-LIMITED-Knee
CB Jonathan Wilhite-LIMITED-Groin
DT Mike Wright-LIMITED-Shoulder
QB Tom Brady-FULL-Right Shoulder

2:31-There was apparently a random construction guy with binoculars trying to watch practice through the fence here at 1 Winning Drive. He was a construction worker working on a neighbor’s house. We can not confirm rumors that he was a construction worker hired by the head coach of the New England Patriots…..

2:27-We got a lot of “dry” answers out here today….as if the players on this team had been studying at the John Harbaugh school of talking to the media. The good news is that if the players aren’t being overly interesting, we can assume that business is usual for this team.

Hey, it bothers me as a guy who has to cover the team; but I certainly don’t mind it as a fan of the team.

2:23-The other concussion was Tavares Gooden, who was apparently also hit by Haloti Ngata. Gooden doesn’t believe it will affect his status for Sunday in Foxborough.

Ray Lewis was fully dressed for practice.

2:03-Fabian Washington brings a unique perspective to facing Randy Moss on Sunday, as they were teammates previously in Oakland. “I know a lot about Randy…..I covered him every day in practice. I offered our corners a LOT of information.” When asked about how to counter the jump ball ability of an already 6’4″ wide receiver, Fabian said “you gotta do something”, then suggested corners try to hit Moss’s arms in those situations.

He also added that the difference between the Patriots and the matchup with the Chargers two weeks ago is that “There’s only one Moss” in New England, whereas San Diego had multiple receivers in the range of 6’6″.

1:49-Some notes from Bill Belichick’s conference call this morning with the Baltimore media:

-Prescott Burgess has returned to the Patriots, now on their practice squad. Belichick reminded us that the Patriots did not trade for Burgess only to get secrets about the Ravens.
-Adalius Thomas has been “a very versatile performer” for the Patriots, especially with Jerod Mayo banged up.
-Belichick thinks Ravens “good in every phase of the game.”
-He thinks John Harbaugh “has done a good job.” He said that he has a good relationship with Harbs dating back to John’s time as Special Teams Coordinator with the Eagles.
-He believes the Ravens “have outstanding players across the board” offensively.
-He thinks Joe Flacco “has done a really good job”, reminding that “his record speaks for that.”

1:30-There were mixed reactions when players were asked about the 2007 loss to the Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium (you remember, the one with Rex Ryan’s timeout); they had a mixed reaction.

-Derrick Mason claimed to have drawn a “mind blank”, followed by “next question”, and reminded us that they were “totally different teams.”
-Terrell Suggs: “I just remember the disappointment and the heartache.”
-Todd Heap (who didn’t play in the game): “We had them on the ropes……but that was years ago. We won’t be thinking about that going into this week for sure.”

1:20-It was an “Admiration Society” today as Ravens players were asked about the Pats-

-John Harbaugh: “Fred Taylor is a premiere back in this league. We’ve got to do a great job of keeping him in leverage at all times.”
-Joe Flacco: “They’re a good team…we expect their best.” New England defense “looks pretty good to me.” Tom Brady “has done a great job and won many Super Bowls.”
-Ray Lewis: “Fred (Taylor) has always been one of those backs that you really gotta keep a hold on. If you don’t, he can really hurt you in the run game.”
-Derrick Mason: “Tom (Brady) is one of the best in the game.” Mase also compared them to teams like the Yankees, Red Wings, Celtics, and Lakers.
-Willis McGahee on Vince Wilfork: “He’s a beast. He’s one of those guys you wanna watch out for, he can control the run game if you let him.”
-Domonique Foxworth on Randy Moss: “We’re quite aware of what he’s capable of and what he’s been able to do throughout his career.”

1:15-Hear now from the following in the Audio Vault at WNST.net:

Head Coach John Harbaugh
QB Joe Flacco
RB Willis McGahee
RB Ray Rice
WR Derrick Mason
TE Todd Heap
DT Haloti Ngata
LB Ray Lewis
LB Brendon Ayanbadejo
LB Terrell Suggs
CB Domonique Foxworth
CB Fabian Washington
S Ed Reed

12:50-LB Brendon Ayanbadejo was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. When asked about winning the award he said:

“For me, it’s a testament to my teammates and my coaches. They do all the hard work, I just go in there and do what I’m told to do and I play football.”

On winning the award from the defensive side of the ball when he is known better as a Special Teams player:

“I’m just proud to be a Raven. Just to be a part of this team and to be able to contribute, I wanted to be more than just a guy who’s out there. There’s guys that contribute and there’s guys who make a difference, and this year my goal was to make a difference.”

12:27-The most interesting note from today’s session with the players was when Ray Lewis was asked if he returned to Sunday’s game against Cleveland one play later “with a concussion”, Lewis responded:

“If it’s gonna exist, it’s gonna exist. You can sit out 5 or 6 plays, or you can come back (after) one. My symptoms, what I was having I was gonna have the rest of the day anyway, so I just dealt with them. I wasn’t comfortable enough sitting on the sidelines 5 or 6 plays, why not go back out there and fight with my team.”

My guess is that Ray had suffered concussion-like symptoms. I cannot FATHOM this organization allowing Ray to play through a true concussion. John Harbaugh declined to comment on the “concussed”, deferring to the injury report that will be out this afternoon following practice.

10:52-Greetings from 1 Winning Drive, where the New England Patriots are the focus for the 3-0 Baltimore Ravens as they get back to work. Bill Belichick is scheduled for a conference call with the local media at 11:15, and we are expected to talk to John Harbaugh at 11:30, followed by a number of players.

The only question for today is which players was John Harbaugh referring to Monday afternoon in his weekly press conference when he addressed “new concussions” for the team? The only injury we knew of from Sunday’s win over the Browns was a shoulder stinger for Ray Lewis. Hopefully we’ll get some more answers today, maybe even BEFORE the injury report is released this afternoon!

-G

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