Defense may be minus Siragusa; Knee problem makes play unlikely; decision to come at game time


Ravens starting defensive tackle Tony Siragusa is listed as questionable for tomorrow's game against the Cleveland Browns, but there is a strong possibility he will not play because of a recurring knee problem.

Siragusa had been expected to practice yesterday, but missed his second consecutive workout after his left knee tightened up.

He was sent for an MRI, but team officials did not reveal the results. Team doctor Claude T. Moorman also did not return phone calls yesterday.

Ravens coach Brian Billick said a decision on Siragusa will be made at game time tomorrow, but the Ravens decided to activate second-year reserve defensive tackle Martin Chase yesterday for the first time this season.

The four inactive players for tomorrow's game are guard James Atkins, running back Priest Holmes and linebackers Tyrell Peters and Jeff Kopp. Both Holmes and Peters are recovering from knee injuries.

If Siragusa doesn't play, he would be replaced by second-year man Lional Dalton, who will alternate with fellow starter Larry Webster and Chase.

Dalton has four tackles and has caused a fumble this season while working in the three-tackle rotation.

Siragusa is third on the team in tackles with 12 behind middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who has 28, and outside linebacker Jamie Sharper, who has 16. Siragusa had major knee surgery in 1996 and has had chronic swelling since.

Trainer Bill Tessendorf said Siragusa has a particle or chip floating around in his knee that is causing at least part of the discomfort. When the piece becomes lodged in a certain area, pain is the result.

Pub Date: 9/25/99

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