Live From Owings Mills: “Spitgate” Steals Attention As Ravens Shift Focus to Falcons

November 08, 2010 | Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Just one day after dispatching the Miami Dolphins 26-10 at M&T Bank Stadium, the Baltimore Ravens (6-2) returned to 1 Winning Drive to begin preparations for Thursday night’s showdown with the Atlanta Falcons (6-2) at the Georgia Dome.

As the team attempted to prepare for their NFC South opponent Thursday night, the day was marred by fallout from their win over the Fins. Miami LB Channing Crowder accused Ravens FB Le’Ron McClain of spitting in his face during the Ravens’ win, and on Monday Dolphins Head Coach Tony Sparano said at a press conference that he intended to send video of the spitting incident along to the NFL.

Here is the video of the incident, courtesy of WFOR-TV in Miami…

McClain responded to the video Monday via his Twitter account, saying he “did not and I repeat did not spit on Channing Crowder. FACT!! Man that’s nasty! We were trash talking!”

He later added via Twitter “Video shows me arguing with guy! Called me something and I guess a lil spit got on him. Not on purpose but I have moved on to Atlanta.”

When approached by reporters Monday, McClain reiterated “I know I didn’t spit on the guy, I’ve moved on from that.” He also questioned Crowder’s decision to take the incident to the media. “I would have handled it differently. That’s just embarrassing to yourself and your organization.”

Head Coach John Harbaugh was satisfied after watching the video of the incident and hearing McClain’s explanation. “I talked to Le’Ron. I’ve seen the videotape of it. It didn’t happen.” Harbaugh continued his defense of McClain by saying “I don’t believe for one second that it happened. (Crowder) might have thought it happened, but it wasn’t the way it was described.”

ZBIKOWSKI STILL NOT PRACTICING: S Tom Zbikowski (foot) was the only player who did participate in Ravens practice Monday.

The Ravens held a very light practice just 24 hours after playing the Dolphins. Players were in shorts and not wearing helmets.

RB Matt Lawrence returned to the practice field Monday as expected, he has missed the first eight games of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list as he returns from a knee injury. The Ravens will have three weeks to make a decision about whether or not to activate him.

There were reports that CB Fabian Washington had missed Monday’s practice, but he was a late arrival and present.

The Falcons had a much more significant injury report. TE Justin Peelle (groin) has already been ruled out for Thursday’s game. C Todd McClure (knee), QB Chris Redman (non-injury), LB Sean Weatherspoon (knee) and WR Roddy White (knee) all did not participate in Monday’s practice.

WR Brian Finneran (knee/ribs), LB Curtis Lofton (knee), RB Jason Snelling (knee) and CB Brian Williams (hamstring) were all limited in practice Monday for the Falcons.

NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, L. McClain, LB Ray Lewis and WR Anquan Boldin NOW in the Audio Vault here at……OT Marshal Yanda joined Drew Forrester Monday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, you can hear that chat in the Audio Vault as well……Bob Papa, Matt Millen and Joe Theismann will call Thursday night’s game for NFL Network……Ron Winter’s crew will officiate Thursday night’s game……The Ravens will hold their only other open practice of the week Tuesday, they will then hold a walkthrough Wednesday before traveling to Atlanta. Wednesday’s walkthrough will be closed to the media