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Backup plan in flux with Dilfer injured


Ravens backup quarterback Trent Dilfer suffered torn cartilage in his left knee on the final play of practice yesterday, and is questionable for tomorrow night's game against the Miami Dolphins.

According to trainer Bill Tessendorf, Dilfer caught a cleat on the grass field dropping back to pass and felt pain in the left knee. He went to University Hospital, where a magnetic resonance imaging test revealed a tear of the medial meniscus.

The team said no decision would be made on Dilfer's availability for the nationally televised game until tomorrow.

Tony Banks is the starting quarterback, and has taken every snap in both of the Ravens' games this season. If Dilfer were unable to play, rookie Chris Redman would become the backup.

"There's swelling and inflammation in there, and we'll try to settle that down," Tessendorf said of Dilfer's injury. "Then he'd be all set for Sunday night.

"If it doesn't settle down, something would have to be done."

Tessendorf noted that defensive end Michael McCrary played six weeks with a similar knee injury. It's likely, however, that Dilfer would require surgery eventually.

"Dr. [Claude T.] Moorman [team physician] feels he will have to have surgical treatment some time," Tessendorf said.

Coach Brian Billick was unavailable for comment yesterday afternoon.

If Dilfer required surgery sooner, it's possible the Ravens would bring back rookie quarterback Dan Robinson, who was cut late in training camp.

The Ravens also announced that wide receive Qadry Ismail (knee sprain) will be inactive this week. Other inactives named yesterday were tight end John Jones, defensive end Adalius Thomas and offensive tackle Sammy Williams.

Next for Ravens

Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Site: Pro Player Stadium, Miami

When: Tomorrow, 8:35 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 2, ESPN/WJFK (1300 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM)

Line: Ravens by 2 1/2

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