Ravens play Eagles without J. Lewis

BALTIMORE – Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis was held out of Saturday night's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and will likely make his debut next week. The 2003 NFL Offensive Player of the Year had initially been slated to take 10 to 12 snaps against the Eagles after reporting to practice last week following fulfilling legal obligations for his federal drug conspiracy sentence.

"The plan is for me to play next week against New Orleans," Lewis said Friday. "I'm feeling great. It's just about being careful and making sure the ankle is right."

Lewis underwent surgery on his right ankle this winter.

Meanwhile, tight end Todd Heap (ankle, shoulder), linebacker Adalius Thomas (knee), running back Musa Smith (leg), nickel back Dale Carter (leg), linebacker Dan Cody (knee), linebacker Tyson Smith (leg) and linebacker Peter Boulware didn't play.

Chester Taylor started at running back, Ovie Mughelli started at fullback and Jarret Johnson started at outside linebacker.

Tight end Darnell Dinkins (shoulder contusion) was a late scratch, and Terry Jones started in his place.

Return specialist B.J. Sams returned to the lineup one week after missing a game because of a nagging hamstring strain.

Sams was arrested earlier this week and charged with driving under the influence, negligent driving and speeding.

ROLLE INJURED: Cornerback Samari Rolle, who intercepted Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb in the first quarter, suffered a mild right knee sprain and didn't return.

DURANT WAIVED: The Ravens waived undrafted rookie quarterback Darian Durant, who struggled markedly during training camp and didn't see action in a preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.

MULITALO OUT: Offensive guard Edwin Mulitalo missed the game for personal reasons. He was replaced at left guard by Brian Rimpf.

COUCH RUMOR: The Ravens have been mentioned in published reports as having interest in former Cleveland Browns quarterback Tim Couch. Couch is reportedly being evaluated by the Miami Dolphins along with several other teams after rehabbing a shoulder injury that caused him to be waived with an injury settlement last year by the Green Bay Packers.

MOMENT OF SILENCE: The Ravens held a moment of silence in the press box to commemorate the death of veteran radio broadcaster Bob Bartel, who died of a heart attack this spring.

BEARDWATCH IS OVER: Ravens coach Brian Billick has shaved the gray beard that spawned curiosity and online polls. Billick was spotted rubbing his face during pregame drills as he chatted with Eagles coach Andy Reid.

THINNER GOOSE: Former Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa, who works as a color analyst for the preseason broadcasts, has lost a considerable amount of weight. The colorful retired football player and occasional bit player on "The Sopranos" appears to be below 330 pounds.

EAGLES' INACTIVES: Besides the absence of controversial All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens (disgruntled/groin), the Eagles were without defensive tackle Corey Simon (unsigned franchise player), defensive tackle Sam Rayburn (elbow), offensive tackle Tra Thomas (blood clot), defensive end Jerome McDougle (gunshot wound) and running back Correll Buckhalter (knee).

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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