Ravens' complaint against Browns rejected

OWINGS MILLS -- The NFL didn't find any evidence that the Cleveland Browns' defense intentionally gouged the eyes of Baltimore Ravens star running back Willis McGahee in the wake of the Ravens filing a complaint following a 28-10 win Sunday, according to a league official.

McGahee, whose eye remains swollen, was cut on his right eyelid and poked in his left eye. He was forced out of the game twice.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh sent tapes to the league office earlier this week, requesting that two separate incidents be reviewed.

However, league spokesman Corry Rush said the NFL has determined that there was no intentional effort to injure McGahee.

"There is no evidence," Rush said in an e-mail to Ravens Insider

Harbaugh was adamant that the Browns went after McGahee, though.

"It's on the tape," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "There were two incidents, two different guys."

Harbaugh declined to identify the Cleveland players under scrutiny.

"I don't think we should say," Harbaugh said. "I wouldn't want to comment on it, but you can see it on the tape."

Following a seven-yard run down to the Browns' 1-yard line, McGahee was bleeding from the right eyelid following a tackle by Cleveland middle linebacker Andra Davis.

It looked like Davis got his hand jammed inside McGahee's facemask, which is covered by a protective visor, as he was being blocked to the ground by offensive tackle Jared Gaither.

McGahee had blood dripping down his face as he went to the sidelines for treatment. He has been limited in practice all week heading into Monday night's game against the Pittsburg h Steelers.

McGahee hasn't spoken to reporters since the episode, but has been seen in the locker room wearing sunglasses.

"It still looks pretty bad to me," Harbaugh said. "If you guys saw him in there, that thing is swollen up badly.

"As long as he can see, he'll play. But if he can't see, he's not going to be able to play. So, we'll try to get that swelling down."

Browns coach Romeo Crennel said he was unaware that the Ravens had made an official inquiry.

"I have no knowledge of that," Crennel told Cleveland reporters. "I hadn't heard anything."

LANDRY UPDATE: As he felt his toes wiggle, Ravens strong safety Dawan Landry simultaneously felt his fear dissipate following a spinal cord concussion Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

It was a small bit of movement that gave Landry the assurance that he was going to be all right despite a scary episode that left him strapped to a stretcher to immobilize his head and neck.

"It was really scary," Landry said Thursday in his first interview since the injury. "That was my first time being injured. At the time, I couldn't feel anything.

"I could talk, though, and I felt my toes a little bit and I knew I would be fine eventually, so it was a blessing. By the time I got on the stretcher and got to the ambulance, my feeling was starting to come back slowly and I knew I would be okay."

Landry has returned to the Ravens' training complex for treatment and remains in a cervical collar after being released from Maryland Shock Trauma on Monday. He's expected to play again this year.

A CT scan and an MRI exam didn't reveal any fractures. Landry never lost consciousness while he was down on the ground for roughly 10 minutes during the final minute of the first half before being carted off the field and taken to the hospital.

Landry is expected to wear the cervical collar for another week and then return to the doctor to be examined. There is no specific time table for his return, and Jim Leonhard will take his place in the starting lineup.

"Progress is going really well right now," Landry said.

The outpouring of support has been overwhelming for Landry, whose parents have been with him since his injury along with visits from his brother, Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry.

"Blessings have been answered ," Landry said. "I want to thank all the fans, my teammates, the whole Ravens' organization, the Browns, everybody that is helping me through this process right now. It's truly a blessing."

INJURY REPORT: Cornerback Samari Rolle is a major question mark for Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a shoulder and neck ailment

He was limited to individual drills in practice Thursday.

"If it's up to me, I would go," Rolle said. "I go off the head coach and the doctors."

If Rolle is unable to play, then the Ravens may turn to nickel back Fabian Washington to play opposite Chris McAlister.

Washington has participated fully in practice this week after missing the Browns game with a bulging disc in his neck that still has him listed on the injury report.

"I've been working well in practice, and I think I'll be good enough to play," Washington said. "Time is pretty much the only thing that's going to heal it, and I don't have much time right now.

"I just want to make it through the season and get it handled after the season. I hope I won't need surgery, but I may have to if my body can't reabsorb the disc."

Linebacker Nick Greisen (quadriceps), fullback Le'Ron McClain (migraine) and tight end Daniel Wilcox (shoulder) didn't practice.

Wide receiver Yamon Figurs (hamstring), running back Willis McGahee (eye), Rolle and quarterback Troy Smith (tonsil infection) were limited. Figurs was downgraded from Wednesday when he had full participation.

Linebacker Tavares Gooden (hip) participated fully.

Cornerback Chris McAlister (right knee) wasn't present during the portion of practice open to reporters, but isn't on the injury report.

The Ravens officially ruled out nose guard Kelly Gregg (left knee).

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (quadriceps) didn't practice.

RIVALRY: Linebacker Bart Scott declined to take the bait when asked about Steelers wide receiver/nemesis Hines Ward.

"What are you talking about?" Scott said. "I don't have a rivalry with anybody."

During the Ravens' 38-7 loss to the Steelers last year in Pittsburgh, Ward leveled Scott and free safety Ed Reed with devastating downfield blocks.

Scott threatened to kill Ward and vowed to get even in the subsequent meeting, a game Ward didn't play in.

Ward defended his actions Thursday to Pittsburgh reporters.

"I didn't cheap-shot him," Ward said. "I didn't get fined, I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't do anything illegal. If he wants to say it is a cheap shot, then he can continue to call it a cheap shot. I blocked him and he got mad because a receiver hit him.

"Tell him to go cry somewhere else. I don't play this game to try to hurt somebody. If it was a cheap shot, then I probably would've went low and tried to blow out his knee. I went high and he didn't like it. You are going to get hit or be hit."

When asked if he would engage Ward in conversation before kickoff, Scott replied: "Why would I tell you something like that? No, I'm going out there to try and win a football game. All of that other stuff is whatever."

Scott complimented Ward for his charity work, but said that won't protect him on the football field.

"Football is a totally different thing," Scott said. "Like I said, I don't care if my mother was out there. I'd smack her around, too.

"It doesn't matter. If she's got a different jersey on, she's got to get dealt with."

QUICK HITS: With the NFL changing a sack to a rush for a loss against the Browns, the Ravens' top-ranked defense improved to third overall against the run with a 70.0 average allowed per game. … The Ravens practiced on their Kentucky bluegrass field to simulate the Steelers' grass surface. … Rookie safety Haruki Nakamura wore a black wig under his helmet to imitate Polamalu's long hair. … The Steelers have won their past 13 Monday night games at home, are 35-22 all-time in Monday night games and are 22-5 at home on Monday night. Pittsburgh is 2-0 against Baltimore at home in Monday night games.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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