Rare playing time

Ayanbadejo, a special teams ace, hadn't played regularly on defense since the preseason following a rough game against the St. Louis Rams.

Operating in relief of Ellerbe, he finished with four tackles and a pass deflection.

Inside linebackers coach Don Martindale had predicted weeks ago that Ayanbadejo would play on defense against the Chargers.

"He had an epiphany that this might happen and he stayed on me to make sure I kept my head in the defense," said Ayanbadejo, a native of Santa Cruz, Calif. "I had 20, 30 people at this game, including my mom, my brother [former Ravens fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo], my sister, friends I grew up with. What better place to get my first time on defense."

McPhee sidelined again

Defensive end Pernell McPhee was scratched for the fourth game in a row with right thigh and knee injuries.

McPhee had expressed hope that he might return this week after returning to practice on a limited basis, but acknowledged he's not 100 percent yet and has been mostly doing individual drills on the field.

Tight end Dennis Pitta experienced concussion symptoms against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was cleared for contact late last week when he passed his baseline neurological test.

Pitta caught six passes for 42 yards and a touchdown and didn't have a recurrence of his head injuries against the Chargers.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata didn't seem to be affected by his right knee and right shoulder injuries and had three tackles.

Flacco sacked five times

Quarterback Joe Flacco wasn't exactly in a comfort zone while leading the Ravens
to a comeback victory.

He was sacked five times for a loss of 39 yards Sunday.

Former Ravens fourth-round outside linebacker Antwan Barnes tormented Flacco for the second year in a row.

After sacking Flacco four times last season while dominating left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, Barnes sacked Flacco twice on Sunday as he beat left offensive tackle Michael Oher once and rookie right tackle Kelechi Osemele for his other sack.

Barnes has been dealing with hamstring injuries, entering the game with only one sack. 

After his second sack, Barnes celebrated in front of the Ravens' bench area
and was fortunate to not be flagged for taunting.

Flacco was hit six times overall.

End zone

The Ravens deactivated cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (sports hernia surgery) and Chris Johnson (strained hamstring), offensive guards Bobbie Wiliams and Ramon Harewood, kick returner Deonte Thompson and defensive tackle Bryan Hall. ... Fifth-round rookie cornerback Asa Jackson, who played collegiately at Cal-Poly, was active for the first time this season because of injuries in the secondary. He notched his first tackle of his NFL career on special teams.

awilson@baltsun.com

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