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Injuries open up chances for Scott

Bart Scott has gone from a special teams ace to a starter in a span of a day.

The second-year inside linebacker jetted into the first-team defense after top backup Bernardo Harris fractured his fibula Monday and starter Ed Hartwell came down with a stiff back yesterday.

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Although Harris is expected to miss at least a month, Ravens coach Brian Billick said holding Hartwell out of practice was "precautionary." But the recent turn of events shows the increased responsibilities being placed on Scott.

An undrafted rookie out of Southern Illinois in 2002, Scott primarily played on special teams as a rookie and finished tied for the team lead with 17 tackles on coverage teams. All he had to show from his limited time on defense was five tackles and one interception.

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But yesterday, Scott was running alongside Ray Lewis, laying hard hits on running back Chester Taylor and picking off rookie quarterback Kyle Boller in the end zone.

"Bernardo going down is big for us because he was such a veteran. But I'm seasoned after one year," Scott said. "It's not as shocking as it was last year. I'm more comfortable with going out there and confident in what I know.

"[Last year] I learned always be ready. You never know this game. It's a physical game and guys go down. We all have to hold each other accountable."

Injuries have taken their toll on the Ravens this week. Harris and Hartwell were among nine players who missed practice yesterday.

Bill Tessendorf, who has been the franchise's trainer for 31 years, said Monday's hard-hitting session was one of the roughest in memory for him. That practice left Harris out four to six weeks, receiver Javin Hunter (ruptured right Achilles') out for the season and safety Ray Perryman (dislocated left shoulder) out indefinitely.

"I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't Friday the 13th," Tessendorf said.

Singletary knocked down

Lewis got an interception and knockdown on the same play.

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After pulling in Chris Redman's tipped pass, Lewis ran down the sideline and accidentally into linebackers coach Mike Singletary, who fell on his back and flipped over. It was an unlikely meeting between two of the game's best all-time linebackers and probably one of the few times Singletary has been knocked off his feet.

"I bet you that brought back memories for him," linebacker Cornell Brown said of Singletary, a Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears. "An average man might not have got back up from that."

McAlister stuffs J. Lewis

Jamal Lewis was looking to break the goal line and instead nearly broke his collarbone.

The Ravens running back was going wide right, where he met cornerback Chris McAlister. Delivering the hardest hit of camp, McAlister lowered his right shoulder and stuffed Lewis 2 yards short of the end zone.

"I didn't even think about it," said McAlister, who is nearly 30 pounds lighter than Lewis. "I just reacted like it was a game situation."

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J. Lewis takes to air

Before that hit, Lewis had taken a more aerial route to the end zone.

To start the goal-line drill, he leapt over the pile and barely scored. On the next play, he started his jump at the 3-yard line and was easily stopped.

"He likes to go up and over," Billick said. "It scares the hell out of me every time he does it."

Lewis has gone airborne near the goal line frequently since he entered the league in 2000. Unlike his rookie days, he doesn't stretch out the ball with one hand anymore.

Changing direction

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After back-to-back, hard-hitting practices, the Ravens ended yesterday's workout 15 minutes early. It also marked the last full-scale contact practice before Saturday's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills.

"Beginning [today], the physicality of the practice changes and the mental aspect goes up," Billick said.

End zone

The hazing of Boller has begun. A day after the rookie quarterback had to sing in front of his teammates, his Cadillac Escalade was towed in front of him while he did a live interview on Comcast SportsNet. The sport utility vehicle was soon returned. ... Tight end Todd Heap (back spasms) did not practice again but he said he made good progress yesterday. He expects to play in Saturday's scrimmage. ... Ray Lewis is sponsoring the Great Maryland Duck Derby on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at HarborView Marina and Yacht Club. More than 10,000 yellow rubber ducks will race, and the festival will have music, food, a climbing wall and other entertainment. A racing duck can be adopted for $10. Proceeds will benefit the Ray Lewis Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that provides personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth in the Baltimore area. Call 410-576-8343. ... Linebacker Peter Boulware spoke yesterday on behalf of the Maryland Covering Kids and Families Coalition, an organization that helps children who don't have access to private health insurance. For more information, call 877-KIDS-NOW.

Sun staff writer Brent Jones contributed to this article.


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