After scare, good news on Landry

The Baltimore Sun

Ravens strong safety Dawan Landry sustained what the team is calling a spinal cord concussion near the end of the first half of yesterday's game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T; Bank Stadium, but initial reports seem to suggest he did not suffer any serious, permanent injury.

According to team spokesman Kevin Byrne, Landry, who was carted off the field, had regained full movement by last night but was staying overnight at Maryland Shock Trauma Center as a precaution.

"We're thankful for Dawan's situation," coach John Harbaugh said. "He looks good."

Dr. Leigh Ann Curl, the team's chief orthopedic surgeon, told Byrne that Landry never lost consciousness on the field but did report numbness. Byrne later said a CT scan on Landry indicated that everything was normal. But the team planned to run more tests, including a magnetic resonance imaging.

Landry's helmet collided with Browns running back Jamal Lewis' left knee at the end of a 9-yard run with 26 seconds left in the second quarter.

The medical staffs for both teams worked on Landry for about 10 minutes, with many players taking a knee. Landry's face mask was removed, but his helmet was still on and it was taped to the stretcher so he could not move.

Landry appeared to be conscious and talking as he was removed from the field. It is unclear whether Landry, who has not missed a game in three seasons, will be able to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.

"It's a moment when nothing else matters but making sure that he's healthy," free safety Ed Reed said. "For Dawan to have to go through that, our prayers were going out to him right then and there."

Committee works

The Ravens' running-back-by-committee approach might not be so far-fetched after all.

Using a rotation of Willis McGahee, rookie Ray Rice and fullback Le'Ron McClain, the team churned out 151 yards and three touchdowns on 44 rushes.

"I thought our running backs ran north and south," Harbaugh said.

McGahee, who missed the entire preseason and the regular-season opener because of arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, carried 15 times for 64 yards. He also scored on a 5-yard run with 6:40 left in the second quarter.

After rushing 10 times for 37 yards in the first half, McGahee played sporadically because of a cut on his right eyelid.

McClain led the team in carries (17) and yards (66) for the second straight game, and he scored twice for the first time in his NFL career. Rice gained 21 yards on five rushes.

"It was good to have him back out there - just him doing his thing and me blocking," McClain said of McGahee's return. "When he was going down, I felt bad for him, but we just stepped up, and the offensive line took over."

Cribbs shut down

This time, Joshua Cribbs did not hurt the Ravens. The special teams unit made sure of that.

Cribbs, the Browns' Pro Bowl return specialist, who had accumulated a career-high 245 yards on seven kickoff returns - including returns of 39, 41 and 50 yards - in Cleveland's 33-30 overtime win on Nov. 18, compiled 52 yards on three kick returns and 24 yards on two punts yesterday.

Harbaugh singled out kicker Matt Stover and punter Sam Koch for angling their kicks away from Cribbs or pinning him to the sidelines.

"They had the one ball that they tried to stretch it back out to the field, but they had to hold to get it through there," Harbaugh said. "I thought our guys did a really nice job of playing off the wedge and playing off blocks and smoking down the field pretty good."

End zone

Browns coach Romeo Crennel said he never considered replacing starting quarterback Derek Anderson with Brady Quinn. "No, because the game was still within reach," Crennel said. "Derek had most of the work during the course of the week, and we still had a chance." ... The Ravens deactivated cornerbacks Fabian Washington (bulging disc in neck) and Evan Oglesby, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (left knee), linebacker Nick Greisen (leg) and rookie offensive tackles David Hale and Oniel Cousins. Troy Smith (tonsil infection) was listed as the team's third (emergency) quarterback. ... Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo played in his 82nd straight contest, keeping intact his consecutive-games streak that began in 2003 with the Miami Dolphins. Ayanbadejo played despite not practicing Thursday and Friday because of an injured right ankle. ... The Browns played without four starters in linebacker Willie McGinest (hamstring), left guard Eric Steinbach (shoulder), wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (pulled quadriceps) and strong safety Sean Jones (knee). Linebacker Kris Griffin (calf) and tight end Martin Rucker (knee) were also inactive, and Ken Dorsey was the third (emergency) quarterback.

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