A week ago, rookie wide receiver James Roe figured he would be waiting until after the starters departed before playing in his first NFL preseason game.
But since then the Ravens' veteran receivers have been dealt a double dose of bad luck and tragedy, so Roe might find himself in the starting lineup at Memorial Stadium on Saturday against Philadelphia.
The Ravens have been without veterans Floyd Turner and Derrick Alexander all week. Turner, out with a knee injury, probably will not return until late this month. Alexander is home in Detroit with his family. His brother, Garrett, 33, died Monday of lung failure. His funeral is Saturday.
"Since Michael Jackson and Calvin Williams play the same position, we might start Roe," coach Ted Marchibroda said. "Either way, we're going to get a real good look at these kids at receiver."
They include rookie draft pick Jermaine Lewis, rookie free agents Curtis Brown and James Bowden, and Ray Ethridge, a second-year player.
Said Roe: "The coaches have told me I'm doing some good things in practice. I still have to do them in a game."
Keep an eye on Bishop
While talking about his tight ends, Marchibroda singled out third-year player Harold Bishop, who is behind nine-year veteran Brian Kinchen. Marchibroda hopes Bishop, 6 feet 4, 250 pounds, takes the first step Saturday toward proving he belongs in the Ravens' future.
"He's a big prospect, and we've got to find out exactly how good he is," Marchibroda said. "He has the size and the speed. He can catch and he can block. We just have to see whether or not he can do the job."
Injuries piling up
The injuries continue to mount. Yesterday, cornerback DeRon Jenkins (back spasms), defensive lineman Rob Burnett (groin, hip), linebacker Mike Croel (calf), offensive lineman Herman Arvie (broken nose), tight end Frank Hartley (hamstring), Ethridge (groin), defensive lineman Corey Sears (knee) and offensive lineman Jed DeVries (nerve problem in arms and legs) sat out.
Burnett, Jenkins, Arvie, Hartley and Ethridge may practice today. Sears, who was awaiting magnetic resonance imaging results on his knee last night, is doubtful for Saturday's game. DeVries could be back in a week, or could miss up to four weeks.
Backup defensive end Tau Pupua (foot) will be out at least two more weeks.
A fine-tuned machine
Vinny Testaverde's vehicle, a civilian version of the military Humvee known as a Hummer, is not the only car attracting attention at Western Maryland College.
A blue-and-white, 1955 Chevy Bel Air owned by Ravens strength and conditioning coach Jerry Simmons has turned a few heads.
Simmons bought the car in 1970 for $240, turned it into a drag racing car, then let it sit in a shed on a family farm in Kansas for six years. Ten years ago, he restored it to its present, fine condition.
"I tore it apart. New interior, motor, transmission," Simmons said. "That car has had three lives since I bought it, and eventually it will be my son's car. Working on it helps me break tension and get away from the stress of the job."
Yesterday's morning practice was rained out, and Marchibroda gave the team the time off. He then gave the players the night off after a two-hour afternoon practice. . . . Apparently, defensive tackle Dan Footman's silent treatment toward the media is spilling over to the fans. Recently, Footman refused to sign autographs for some kids who did not know his name. The team's practice jerseys only contain numbers. . . . Offensive guard Jonathan Ogden, the Ravens' top draft pick, turned 22 yesterday.
Date .. .. .. ..Opponent .. .... .. .Time
Sept. 1 .. .. ..Oakland .. .. .. ..1 p.m.
Sept. 8 .. .. ..at Pittsburgh .. ..1 p.m.
Sept. 15 .. .. .at Houston .. .. ..1 p.m.
Sept. 22 .. .. .Bye
Sept. 29 .. .. .New Orleans .. .. .1 p.m.
Oct. 6 .. .. ...New England .. .. .1 p.m.
Oct. 13 .. .. ..at Indianapolis ...8 p.m.
Oct. 20 .. .. ..at Denver .. .. ...4 p.m.
Oct. 27 .. .. ..St. Louis .. .. ...1 p.m.
Nov. 3 .. .. ...Cincinnati .. .. ..1 p.m.
Nov. 10 .. .. ..at Jacksonville ...4 p.m.
Nov. 17 .. .. ..at San Fran. .. ..4 p.m.
Nov. 24 .. .. ..Jacksonville .. ...1 p.m.
Dec. 1 .. .. ...Pittsburgh .. .. ..1 p.m.
Dec. 8 .. .. ...at Cincinnati .. ..1 p.m.
Dec. 15 .. .. ..at Carolina .. .. .1 p.m.
Dec. 22 .. .. ..Houston .. .. .. .1 p.m.
Ravens roll call
College: Middle Tennessee State
How acquired: Third-round draft pick, 1993
Highlights: Played in 15 games last season, starting six. Finished third on team in 1995 with career-high 100 tackles. Has 44 special teams tackles since 1993 to rank second on the team in that category in that span. Has three career interceptions and one fumble recovery.
Personal: Played stand-up defensive end and started every game in his college career. Attended Oak Ridge (Tenn.) High, receiving all-state honors in football, baseball and basketball his senior year. Hobbies include music and movies. Went back to Middle Tennessee past three off-seasons and earned degree in business administration in March. Full name is Isaiah Michael. Nickname is "Zeke."
Pub Date: 8/01/96