R. Lewis doesn't expect to be fined

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis is expecting to be punished by the NFL for his crushing helmet-to-helmet hit on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Lewis is anticipating a fine from the league office at some point this week, but emphasized that he didn't mean to hurt his friend.

Ochocinco suffered a black eye when Lewis knocked off his helmet.

"Would I do it over? No," Lewis said. "If I had to change anything, I would do it the same way I've done it. I will never slow down my speed. I've never played this game to hurt anybody, but the bottom line is I'm like a missile.

"When I'm locked in, I'm locked in. Whatever's there is there. Worrying about fines and all that, I'll let that take care of itself. The NFL does a great job with that."

Ochocinco recorded a funny video where he discussed the hit in lengthy fashion.

During his explanation of what happened, Ochocinco said he was nearly knocked unconscious.

"I looked out of the corner of my eye and all I see is the machine coming at me with a 52 on his chest," Ochocinco said. "I'm thinking, ‘I'm vulnerable, I'm so vulnerable.' He hit me and I saw the light. I started to go toward the light, but whoever was on the other side shut the front door on me.

"It's part of the game. If we were to switch places, I would have took his head off. I love him to head. I got a black eye. I don't look good right now."

CHANGING TUNE: Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason was visibly frustrated Sunday after catching no passes against the Cincinnati Bengals and only having one throw directed his way.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection said that reporters should direct their questions toward offensive coordinator Cam Cameron about why he wasn't involved.

Now, Mason is saying it's on him for his lack of productivity.

"I got to run better routes," he said. "I got to get open. I put that on me. That will never happen again."

The Bengals did employ some bracket coverage techniques to eliminate Mason as a threat.

Mason said that the Bengals rolled coverage toward him and disguised their schemes.

"That's what you do as a defense when you want to take away a specific player and make them do other things," Mason said. "That means I need to work harder because we tried to do the same thing to Chad Johnson and he found a way to get open. I'm going to go out there and make sure that if they do double me, I still find a way to get open.

"If they do triple-team me, find a way to get open. You're not going to guard me with one man, so I'm going to do what I need to do in the game and make sure Joe [Flacco] understands that I'm going to do my damndest to get open and contribute to the team."

STOVER JOINS COLTS: Indianapolis took the Baltimore Colts in the middle of the night years ago. Now, it has claimed the city's popular former kicker.

Matt Stover officially joined the Indianapolis Colts, signed on an emergency basis to handle kicking duties with Adam Vinatieri undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

With Vinatieri expected to be out four to eight weeks, it's highly possible that Stover could be kicking against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Nov. 22 when the Colts come to town.

"It is a great opportunity!" Stover wrote in a text message to the Times. "The Colts have treated me well."

Stover, 41, turned down an offer from the Cleveland Browns earlier this season.

He's the third-most accurate kicker in league history, but was replaced by Baltimore when his contract expired by Steve Hauschka. Stover's distance on kickoffs and field goals beyond 40 yards had declined.

Stover told Indianapolis reporters he doesn't harbor any ill will toward the Ravens.

"I had a great opportunity in Baltimore for all those years, nothing bad to say there," he said. "I wish them the best. I'm a Colt. I'm here to help the team get to a Super Bowl."

NEW BEGINNING: Signed as a special-teams ace and a reserve wide receiver, former Super Bowl hero David Tyree is looking forward to contributing immediately.

He'll operate as a gunner on the punt team and also operate in kickoff coverage.

His arrival is timely since the Ravens are matching up with Percy Harvin, the swift rookie who ranks second in the league with a 31.2 kickoff returner average.

"I expect to come out and make my presence felt on special teams," Tyree said. "That's what I've always done. I never shied away from that.

"That is what obviously has afforded me opportunities in the NFL. I prepare my way as I learn this offense to add depth to the position." A former sixth-round draft pick from Syracuse, Tyree was cut by the New York Giants after he experienced a rash of injuries over the past year.

A few years ago, he became famous with his helmet catch in the Super Bowl that led to the Giants' game-winning touchdown.

"It's humbling," he said. "If you look at it from the day you come in as a rookie, you're not even thinking about making a Super Bowl catch down the road. To have these accolades and accomplishments and then come back down, it's extremely humbling, but it's good for the soul.

"It's good for the hunger, good for the appetite. When I think about the appetite I have right now for football. I think I landed in the right spot. To arrive on a team with the amount of talent and depth we have here in Baltimore, I'm thrilled to just be another piece to the puzzle."

Tyree said he doesn't get tired of getting asked about his famous catch while covered by Rodney Harrison.

"The helmet has been my saving grace for a lot of reasons, recognition-wise and playmaking-wise," said Tyree, whose reception was the subject of a book.

Tyree said he's looking forward to helping the Ravens in any way possible.

That could be as a fourth wide receiver with Demetrius Williams potentially being deactivated for games.

And he'll help fill the void created when special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo was lost for the season with a torn quadriceps tendon.

"I just like being a football player," Tyree said. "This isn't a game of pass-catching, this isn't a game of blocking punts. This is a game of football. I'm content with a lot of things, but when it's all said and done, the thing that is said about me is that this guy was a great football player that laid it out each and every time he got an opportunity to step on the field."

Tyree, 29, has registered 85 career special-teams tackles along with 54 receptions for 650 yards and four touchdowns in six NFL seasons.

"Obviously we're excited to have David Tyree on our team," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He fits in as a football player, really, is where he fits in. He's a special teams guy, just a tough hard-nosed guy. We're excited to have him with us."

Tyree chose the Ravens partly because it's near his hometown in New Jersey and his wife and four children.

"I'm a big-time family man and a Jersey guy," Tyree said. "In a lot of ways, this couldn't have worked better for me. I think the Ravens are excited for what I can bring to this special teams unit and add some depth at receiver."

INJURY UPDATE: It isn't looking promising for offensive tackle Jared Gaither to play Sunday as he continues to recover from a neck injury.

Gaither didn't practice Wednesday and has extremely limited flexibility in his neck. He has to move his entire upper body to look sideways.

However, Gaither insists that he'll play Sunday.

"I expect to be playing," he said. "I plan on being 100 percent."

And he reiterated that there's no structural damage to his neck.

"There's no bone fracture or anything like that," Gaither said.

Gaither said that he was close to returning against the Bengals even though he was ruled out before kickoff and didn't participate in warmup drills.

Meanwhile, linebacker Jarret Johnson (left shoulder) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (back) didn't practice. Both players are expected to play Sunday, though.

Tight end Edgar Jones (hamstring) was limited in practice.

Harbaugh had little to say about either Gaither or Jones' condition.

"They're looking better," he said. "They're working hard to get healthy and working hard to get back on Sunday, but thanks for asking."

For the Vikings, Harvin didn't practice due to a shoulder injury.

Offensive guard Steve Hutchinson (back), offensive tackle Phil Loadholt (ankle), wide receiver Darius Reynaud, fullback Naufahu Tafi (ankle) and defensive end Ray Edwards (hamstring) were limited.

QUICK HITS: The Ravens are preparing for the extreme crowd noise in the Metrodome, using simulated noise throughout the week in practice. "We feel like we need to attack crowd noise," Harbaugh said. "That's part of the game plan. Not to say it won't affect us negatively at some point because it will, and we'll have to overcome it." … Mason remains convinced that the Bengals were simply the hungrier team as they pulled off 17-14 upset over Baltimore. "I would still say it right now," he said. "They wanted it more, plain and simple. They wanted that game a little bit more than we did, and it showed toward the end."


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