Cleveland Browns wide receiver and return specialist Josh Cribbs left the game in the first quarter with a head injury after absorbing a devastating hit from Ravens inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.
After long snapper Morgan Cox made contact with Cribbs during a punt return, Ellerbe's right shoulder crashed into Cribbs' helmet and sent it flying.
Losing his helmet and possession of the football, Cribbs landed awkwardly on the back of his head.
While lying motionless on the turf, Cribbs got an inadvertent cleat to the face from running back Anthony Allen as he pursued the fumble that was recovered by Ravens inside linebacker Jameel McClain.
Cribbs was down for roughly four minutes and was attended to by trainers, who tested him for signs of a
Cribbs got up without assistance and headed to the locker room for further examination, but he did not
"He got hit hard," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "Obviously, you're concerned anytime that happens. My understanding is that he got banged around, but we'll see where he's at."
Ellerbe was visibly upset and concerned about Cribbs.
"I didn't know, I just thought I got a good shot on him," said Ellerbe, who wasn't penalized on the play. "You're not trying to hurt anybody or knock anybody out like that. I like him as a player. I just hope he's all right. I said a prayer for him. He came to.
"It's part of the game. I can't go out there and easy up, especially against a guy like that. You don't try to intentionally try to hurt anybody. I turned around and I thought he just fumbled the ball."
No penalty was assessed against Ellerbe
The injury took away one of the Browns' most dynamic threats on special team
Cribbs returned a punt a career-long 84 yards for a touchdown against the Ravens last December and had a 92-yard kickoff return against them in November 2008.
Cribbs set a career high with 306 combined return yards at Baltimore on Nov. 18, 2007.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun