CINCINNATI -- Herman Arvie walked out of the training room and over to his locker after yesterday's 21-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Such a casual act suddenly felt so sweet to the Ravens' veteran offensive lineman.
Less than a half-hour earlier, Arvie was lying on the Cinergy Field turf, momentarily wondering when the feeling was going to return in his limbs.
On the next-to-last play of the Ravens' final drive at the Cincinnati goal line, Arvie took a hit to the top of his helmet and fell to the ground, where he stayed for about 10 minutes, before he was taken off the field on a stretcher.
It was a scene eerily familiar to one that occurred when the teams played in Baltimore on Nov. 3. That day, Bengals guard Scott Brumfield went down with a spinal cord injury after colliding with teammate Tony McGee. Brumfield, expected to make a full recovery, is walking on his own now, but it took nearly two weeks after the injury before he took his first tentative steps.
Arvie was more fortunate. The Ravens took extensive X-rays of him after the game, and were expected to take him back home with them last night. His neck and shoulder will be evaluated further. Trainer Bill Tessendorf was fitting Arvie with a neck brace to wear as a precaution.
"It was real scary," said Arvie, who started to move his legs seconds after going down. "I just started fighting to get the feeling back. Once I was able to move my arms and legs, I knew I'd be all right.
"My body still feels funny. I still have some tingling in my shoulders, but I'm all right. You never know how blessed you are until you're in this position."
Kinchen gets in groove
Brian Kinchen has been sharing time with Eric Green for more than a month, but when Green was scratched because of recurring soreness in his left knee, Kinchen pretty much ran the show from his tight end position.
Kinchen caught three passes for 39 yards, including one in which he broke a personal drought. When he beat linebacker James Francis for a 23-yard score on a perfectly thrown pass by quarterback Vinny Testaverde, Kinchen scored his first touchdown since Nov. 27, 1994.
Kinchen has 42 receptions this season, which is a career high.
With Kinchen's touchdown catch, Ravens tight ends have two scores this year, which leaves them one behind the team's linemen. Arvie, guard Jonathan Ogden and defensive tackle James Jones each have caught a touchdown pass.
Lewis, Sutter stop run
Inside linebackers Ray Lewis and Eddie Sutter played well, especially against the run. The Bengals gained just 3.0 yards per carry, largely due to Sutter and Lewis, who led the Ravens with seven and six tackles, respectively.
Sutter got his second career start, filling in for the injured Mike Caldwell.
"I felt confident going out there today. Personally, it was a big help to me, but there's no personal gain from a loss," Sutter said. "I'll do whatever they want me to do. Hopefully, I'll play [defense] some more this year."
Lewis was grimacing with a hip pointer, his third injury of the season. He said the Ravens' latest loss will not keep him from finishing the season on a strong note.
"This [defeat] doesn't make it any tougher to play than it was two or three weeks ago," Lewis said. "We just have to hold on and play well over these last two games, without anyone else getting injured."
The lowdown on holding
Ogden did something rare yesterday. The rookie made a glaring mistake. Or did he?
Coming into the game, Ogden had allowed only one sack and had been called for only two penalties in 1996 -- a holding call in the season opener and a false start on special teams last week.
Midway through the second quarter yesterday, Ogden appeared spring Bam Morris for a big gain on a screen pass with a good block on Bengals outside linebacker Ricardo McDonald. But Ogden was called for holding, putting the Ravens in a first-and-20 situation at their 47. That drive stalled.
The 6-foot-8, 318-pound rookie strongly disagreed with the call.
"That was garbage. I don't know what that man [official] was looking at," Ogden said. "I think the whole Bengals sideline was yelling for holding.
"I wheeled on him, and when he attempted to run around me and get to Bam, I pushed him. It wasn't what you call holding in this league. That stuff happens on every play. If I'm going to hold somebody, I'm going to drag him down to the ground."
Byner's role limited
Running back Earnest Byner saw his most limited action of the season. He played on special teams and selected passing downs, but never touched the ball.
"I was only going to go in if Bam was either tired or nicked," said Byner, who is nursing a pinched nerve in his neck. "I feel like I don't deserve to be not playing, but that's neither here nor there. It's tough, but I have to deal with situations like this, even if I don't agree with it."
Pro Bowl play
With Pro Bowl selections to be announced this week, the Ravens have three legitimate candidates -- Testaverde and wide receivers Michael Jackson and Derrick Alexander.
With his 205 yards and two touchdown passes yesterday, Testaverde has thrown for 3,630 yards and 29 touchdowns -- both career highs. He began the day second in the NFL in both categories. He has thrown 15 interceptions.
Jackson and Alexander are the first tandem to go over 1,000 yards this year. Jackson bounced back well from his first shutout of the year to catch seven passes for 81 yards, giving him 66 receptions for 1,019 yards, both career highs. He came into the game with 10 touchdowns, tied for second in the AFC.
Alexander caught two passes for 20 yards, giving him 61 catches for 1,093 yards and nine touchdowns, all career highs.
Turner is a late scratch
When Floyd Turner went down with a calf injury, his replacement, Jermaine Lewis, became the 40th player to start for the Ravens, mainly because of injuries. That ties the Ravens with the Indianapolis Colts.
Turner missed the first three games with a left knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery during training camp. He missed the New England game Oct. 6 with a left calf strain. During Saturday's practice, Turner injured his right calf running a pass route.
"Another one of those things that seems to go wrong this season," Turner said. "I don't want this to keep me from playing the rest of the season. I definitely want to play next week."
The Bengals came up big on third down (6-for-14), including two in the go-ahead touchdown drive. David Dunn, their third wide receiver, had the big one, a 16-yard catch on third-and-12 from the Ravens' 43 with about five minutes left.
Dunn had two catches on third down and one on fourth down, which set up Doug Pelfrey's 23-yard field goal near the end of the first half that gave Cincinnati a 10-7 lead. Dunn has 22 catches for the season, 18 on third down.
With Carl Pickens drawing attention, as he did on Dunn's 16-yard catch over the middle, Dunn finds he has plenty of room. Three plays before, Pickens caught a ball in the same pattern. Dunn told Jeff Blake in the huddle he was open on the back side.
"My catch was a play designed for Carl, but he was double covered and I had a nickel back on me," Dunn said. "I just kept going over the middle, kept looking for a place where Jeff could find me."
Thompson case verdict
The man described as boasting how he killed the 3-year-old son of Ravens safety Bennie Thompson was condemned to death in New Orleans for that murder and those of two adults.
It took jurors 75 minutes Saturday night to agree unanimously that 22-year-old Juan Smith should die for killing Devyn Thompson; his mother and Thompson's ex-wife, Tangie Thompson; and her fiance, Andre White, in February 1995.
Geoff Hobson and wire services contributed to this article.
The Ravens are 0-7 on the road after yesterday's loss in Cincinnati, this coming on the heels of a 2-6 away mark last season as the Cleveland Browns. Overall, the club has lost 11 straight away from home:
Date, Opponent, Result
11/13, at Pittsburgh, L, 20-3
12/3, at San Diego, L, 31-13
12/9, at Minnesota, L, 27-11
12/24, at Jacksonville, L, 24-21
9/8, at Pittsburgh, L, 31-17
9/15, at Houston, L, 29-13
10/13, at Indianapolis, L, 26-21
10/20, at Denver, L, 45-34
11/10, at Jacksonville, L, 30-27
11/17, at San Francisco, L, 38-20
12/8, at Cincinnati, L, 21-14
Pub Date: 12/09/96