Slash unveiled in Ravens' loss

BALTIMORE -- The quarterback formerly known as "Slash" actually wasn't in witness protection. Kordell Stewart made an entertaining cameo appearance during the Baltimore Ravens' 21-9 loss Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals in his first extended playing time in two years. With starter Anthony Wright sidelined with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter, Stewart took over and promptly took off scrambling.

The former Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears starter rushed for 13, 7, and 10 yards on quarterback keepers to drive Baltimore to the Bengals' 13 and set up Matt Stover's 31-yard field goal. He finished with 30 yards on three carries and was sacked once.

"I was just playing, like a kid in Toys R Us having fun," said Stewart, who was signed in September after Kyle Boller injured his toe. "From being at home at the beginning of the season, to get a chance to be thrust into a situation like this and get some points on the board, what more can you ask for?

"It was fun and exciting. I made some plays and got some points on the board. Unfortunately, we didn't come through as a team."

Stewart appeared in two games last season and did well as an emergency punter against the New York Jets. An 11-year pro whose last throws came in Chicago in 2003 when he was the NFL's lowest-rated passer, Stewart didn't attempt a pass.

He did go out for one on a trick play. Wide receiver Randy Hymes' pass to Stewart was a tad long and glanced off his fingertips as he dove for it.

"I had to go to talk to Slash in the middle of the run, I had to dig a little more than I expected to Randy threw such a horrible pass," Stewart joked. "I'm scared to look at film to see how wide open I was."

The crowd at M&T Bank Stadium and the offense seemed to be energized by Stewart's presence and athleticism.

"Anytime you change a player, especially at quarterback, you have to, as an offensive line, get excited about that," guard Edwin Mulitalo said.

However, Stewart didn't get to finish what he started. He was replaced by Wright in the next series.

Ravens coach Brian Billick didn't hesitate to put Stewart back on the bench.

"Kordell did a great job running around, making things happen," Billick said. "But coming in and orchestrating the game plan -- given the limited number of reps he had during the week -- I just thought Anthony had more of a chance and deserved to finish out the game."

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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