Ravens' injuries mount

BALTIMORE - Frank Sanders' first reception and game in a Ravens uniform ended with a minor injury. The veteran receiver acquisition caught a short pass in Saturday night's preseason opener and then got his foot twisted underneath Buffalo Bills defenders Takeo Spikes and Antwoine Winfield. He dislocated two toes and didn't return.

Sanders started opposite top wideout Travis Taylor.

The former Pro Bowl alternate and Arizona Cardinals standout is expected to be a strong possession receiver for a passing game that ranked 27th in the league last year. Sanders, 30, has career totals of 493 catches for 6,579 yards and 24 touchdowns. He led the league between 1997 and 1999 in third-down catches for first downs.

Tight end Trent Smith broke his tibia and underwent surgery.

Fullback Harold Morrow strained his medial collateral ligament. Linebacker Cornell Brown strained his left hamstring. Wide receiver Hugh Smith suffered a right AC strain.

Ten Ravens were held out because of injuries, including offensive tackle Orlando Brown (thigh), punter Dave Zastudil, center Mike Flynn (arthroscopic knee surgery), linebacker Bernardo Harris (broken leg), tight end Todd Heap (back spasms), safety Ray Perryman (dislocated shoulder), return specialist Javin Hunter (ruptured Achilles' tendon), defensive tackle Joe Salave'a (sprained medial collateral ligament), running back Musa Smith (knee) and receiver Todd Devoe (hamstring).

Ethan Brooks started for Brown. Casey Rabach started at center. Terry Jones opened at tight end. And undrafted rookie Derrick Frost punted in his first NFL contest.

His first attempt went for 37 yards, and was downed inside the Bills' 10-yard line. He averaged 43 yards on his first four punts.

LEWIS' ROUTINE UNCHANGED: Perennial All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis did his customary ritual for pregame introductions.

Despite the Ravens' shift to artificial turf, the club's groundskeepers had a special piece of sod available for Lewis to pick up and rub on his jersey.

The final player introduced, Lewis received a standing ovation as he danced to a Nelly rap song. "That's what I'm here for," Lewis said. "There is truly nothing like it. That is my passion and when I came out of the tunnel, I felt like a kid again."

Lewis missed the final 11 games of last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery, limiting him to 85 tackles and two interceptions in five games. The Ravens went 5-6 in his absence to finish 7-9 overall, third in the AFC North.

SHORT ON BILLS: The Bills' notable inactives were Pro Bowl running back Travis Henry, who missed the game because of an ankle injury, and was replaced by Washington, D.C. native and Riverdale Baptist graduate Olandis Gary along with tight end Dave Moore.

The agent for running back Willis McGahee, one of two unsigned first-round picks along with Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich, met with Buffalo general manager Tom Donahoe on Saturday in Baltimore. No deal was announced.

QUICK HITS: Inside linebacker Bart Scott had two of the hardest hits of the game, nailing Bills running back Olandis Gary and reserve quarterback Travis Brown. … Undrafted rookie running back Ryan Brewer muffed his first NFL punt return, but recovered the football. … Beefy former Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa made his debut as a color analyst in the booth along with Dick Stockton and Darryl Johnston. … Sportexe, which installed the Ravens' new Momentum Turf field surface that's comprised of polyethylene fibers, sand and granular rubber, distributed sample patches of the turf in the press box.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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