Minus Pryce, team has 'to go on'

The Baltimore Sun

As expected, the Ravens ended Trevor Pryce's season yesterday, placing the defensive end on the injured-reserve list after he tore a pectoral muscle during Sunday's 33-30 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Pryce had played in the team's previous three games after sitting out five consecutive games while his fractured left wrist healed.

Although defensive tackle Dwan Edwards continued to start with Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata in the defense's 3-4 alignment, Pryce, who led the Ravens with 13 sacks last season, forced opposing offenses to split their attention between him and linebacker Terrell Suggs.

"You could see in the two games that he came back what a difference he made in terms of the total package," said coach Brian Billick, who has watched 15 players lose 54 games to injury. "But that's kind of the M.O. for the year. We've had a lot of games without him, so we're prepared to go on with the next group."

The Ravens filled Pryce's spot on the active roster by promoting 6-foot-3, 320-pound defensive tackle Zarnell Fitch from the practice squad. The team signed defensive tackle Amon Gordon to the practice squad.

In other injury-related news, tight end Todd Heap did not practice but would not rule himself out of Sunday's game.

Center Mike Flynn missed practice with what Billick called a case of the stomach flu. Cornerback Chris McAlister (ankle) and defensive tackle Justin Bannan (sprained right ankle) also did not practice.

Safeties Ed Reed (back), Gerome Sapp (hamstring) and Jamaine Winborne (ankle), linebacker Gary Stills (knee) and tight end Daniel Wilcox (sprained toe) practiced on a limited basis.

Holmes' legacy

Running back Priest Holmes' decision to retire yesterday had a ripple effect throughout the NFL and especially with the Ravens, who signed Holmes as an undrafted rookie in 1997.

Holmes, who left Baltimore for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2001 and holds 11 career records with the Chiefs, sat out nearly two years with a neck injury but returned this season. After reinjuring his neck Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, Holmes announced his retirement.

"Great experience being around Priest Holmes," Billick said. "As good a player as he was, he was a better person and a great athlete, and I'm better for having had the opportunity to work with him."

Linebacker Ray Lewis said, "Priest is a true man of God who understands what submission is to a higher authority."

End zone

Defensive tackle Ngata said he expects to hear from the NFL about the haymaker he threw at Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas on Sunday. "Yeah, I expect to be fined," Ngata said. "It's right there right in front of everybody." ... Baltimore's Marching Ravens, under the direction of John Ziemann, are scheduled to appear in the 81st annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City today. The parade will be televised on NBC.


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