OWINGS MILLS - It's just two weeks into the regular season and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams has reached a boiling point with the NFL's replacement officials.
"The replacement refs are tarnishing the league's image," Williams said. "It's tarnishing what the players have built, what the coaches have built, what the owners have built, and I think something needs to get done. We need to get the real refs back."
Amid the Ravens loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, the replacement officials flagged Baltimore wide receiver Jacoby Jones for a crucial offensive pass interference penalty during the latter part of the fourth quarter. The call negated a 25-yard touchdown that would have pushed the Ravens' lead to 27-17 with less than six minutes remaining in the game.
Baltimore ended up having to settle for a Justin Tucker field goal and the Eagles followed by driving for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown in the closing minutes of the game.
Especially considering some of the calls Williams said the officials decided not to flag Philadelphia for during the course of the game, the penalty against Jones was even more "bogus" and "garbage."
"I'm really frustrated because that was the difference in the game," Williams said.
"I just felt like it was a horrible call," Williams added. "The defender clearly wasn't playing the ball at all. He was grabbing, holding. And when Jacoby had a little shove, which is a signature move for every wide receiver in the league, you can't [make] those calls. It's just a part of the game."
Williams also voiced his displeasure with the length of games as a result of the replacement refs.
The Ravens opened their season with a win against the Cincinnati Bengals last Monday.
"The Monday night football game took how many hours?," Williams asked. "Which is crazy because it was a bunch of guys out there that didn't know what the heck was being called and needed to be called."
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy voiced his own dissatisfaction with the replacement officials Tuesday, two days after Philadelphia's win against Baltimore.
"They're like fans, kind of though," McCoy told 94WIP in Philadelphia. "I'll be kind of honest, they're like fans. One of the refs was talking about his fantasy team, like 'McCoy, come on, I need you for my fantasy [team].'"
The labor dispute between the NFL and the regular referees continues.
"We need the real guys back," Williams said. "Players want the real guys back. But it's not up to us. It's a higher power. Hopefully they can get a deal done and hopefully the game ain't too tarnished by the time we get that situation [resolved]."
NOTE: Cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee) was one of five non-participants in Wednesday's practice for the Ravens.
Middle linebacker Jameel McClain (knee), safety Bernard Pollard (chest), defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee) and offensive lineman Jah Reid were the other non-participants.
Outside linebacker Paul Kruger (back), who missed Sunday's game against the Eagles, practiced on a limited basis. Left tackle Michael Oher (ankle) was limited as well.