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Ravens notebook: Harbaugh 'confident and optimistic' regarding Rice's injury

Ravens running back Ray Rice holds his hip after being tackled in the second half of the Baltimore Ravens' home opener against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Sunday Sept 15, 2013. Rice was taken off the field and did not return.
Ravens running back Ray Rice holds his hip after being tackled in the second half of the Baltimore Ravens' home opener against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore Sunday Sept 15, 2013. Rice was taken off the field and did not return. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

BALTIMORE - Ravens coach John Harbaugh didn't say how much time Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice is expected to miss, but Harbaugh did say after the game that Baltimore is "confident and optimistic" regarding Rice and his injured hip.
Rice was injured early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns. He fell to the ground without getting hit shortly after taking a handoff from quarterback Joe Flacco and immediately grabbing at his left hip.
He stayed on the ground for several minutes before limping off, but Harbaugh said after the game that Rice has just a strained hip flexor, although that's still something that could sideline Rice next week and possibly beyond.
"We'll have to see [Monday] how he responds," Harbaugh said.
Rice was just one of several Ravens to be injured Sunday.
None of the injuries appears to be serious, but starting defensive end Chris Canty, backup inside linebacker Arthur Brown and reserve cornerback Chykie Brown were also hurt and unable to finish the game.
Canty has a groin strain. Arthur Brown has a pectoral strain and will undergo an MRI Monday. Chykie Brown has a knee strain and will also undergo an MRI Monday.
Harbaugh didn't get into specifics with either Canty or Arthur Brown, but he made it seem like there's a chance that Chykie Brown's injury could be worse than just a strain.
"We don't think there's any damage in there, but you never know," Harbaugh said.
DUELING LEGS: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was near perfect from the beginning of the summer through the first game of this season, but he had probably the worst game of his career Sunday, coincidentally on the same day that Billy Cundiff returned to Baltimore for the first time as an opponent since his critical missed field goal in the AFC championship game last January.
Tucker missed only three of his 37 field goal attempts as a rookie last season (including the playoffs), and he made both of his kicks against the Broncos last week, but he missed both of his field goal attempts Sunday.
The first one was from 50 yards, and the second attempt was from just 44 yards.
But Tucker downplayed the significance of the misses after the game.
"I really just do my best to put the last one behind me and move on to the next," Tucker said. "The fact of the matter is, I just missed two balls today. I'm not worried about a thing. I'm kicking the ball as good as I ever have."
Cundiff, meanwhile, connected on both of the field goals he attempted Sunday, including one from 51 yards near the end of the first half to give the Browns a 6-0 lead.
NEW STARTER: Rookie first-round pick Matt Elam started at free safety Sunday instead of Michael Huff, a week after Huff struggled mightily against the Denver Broncos.
Elam had five tackles, but he was flagged for a 21-yard pass interference penalty late in the fourth quarter and looked to be largely to blame for Browns tight end Jordan Cameron's 53-yard catch-and-run on Cleveland's first play from scrimmage.
PROUD PARENT: Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco found out about an hour before the start of Sunday's game that his wife, Dana, had given birth to the couple's second child, a son named Daniel.
"Anytime you have a child, it's one of your best days," Flacco said. "The game didn't go exactly how we wanted it to, but that's how we've won football games around here. We're able to win like this, and sometimes you have to do it in an ugly way."

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