Timmy Jernigan knew exactly what to do with the first interception of his career.
Midway through the third quarter of the Ravens' win against the Steelers, nose tackle Brandon Williams batted up a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger into the air. Jernigan, despite being engaged with an offensive lineman, managed to catch the ball and immediately fell to the turf to secure possession at Pittsburgh's 32-yard line. The offense turned the takeaway into a 42-yard field goal by Justin Tucker that gave the team a 13-0 advantage.
Jernigan didn't fair so well on similar play against the New York Jets on Oct. 23. He recovered a fumble by running back Matt Forte at the Ravens' 3-yard line late in the third quarter, but was stripped by wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who recovered the loose ball at the 5.
"I was simply thinking about catching the ball and then falling," Jernigan said about Sunday's interception. "I understand the situation. I am a fast learner. Growing up in my household, when my mom told you to do something, whether you liked it or you didn't like it, if you didn't do it, there was going to be problems. I know to respect my elders and if Coach wants me to fall on the ball, I'll fall on it. Period."
Powers' child-like sack: It wasn't the prettiest of plays, but cornerback Jerraud Powers' takedown of Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter Sunday still counts as a sack.
On first-and-10 from Pittsburgh's 20-yard line, Powers — who is listed at 5 feet, 10 inches and 193 pounds — blitzed from his nickelback position and leaped toward the 6-5, 240-pound Roethlisberger, who ducked. Powers slid off the quarterback's back, and Roethlisberger appeared to have dodged the sack. But Powers made a last-ditch swipe at Roethlisberger's feet and tripped him up for an 11-yard loss.
"It was like somebody's kid trying to tackle him," Powers said of his third career sack and first since Oct. 11, 2015. "But Big Ben, that's been him his whole career. He's taken hits from [Terrell] Suggs, and he's taken hits from the best and spun off. A 185-pound corner, that's not going to be any different. I guess I went a little bit too high on him, but he was able to kind of throw me off, and luckily, I was alert enough to be able to grab his feet after I fell. But it was a big play in the game, and I was just happy I was able to make the play."
Waller more involved: On Sunday, tight end Darren Waller caught two passes for 17 yards, matching his entire 2015 total for receptions and falling just one yard shy of his total from last season.
With the absence of Crockett Gillmore (thigh), Waller found himself more involved on offense, taking a season- and personal-best 23 snaps behind starter Dennis Pitta (58 plays).
"I felt like I was more involved in the passing plays," said Waller, a converted wide receiver who served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. "But I always feel like I'm involved in the passing game somehow. It may be small or it may not be as big of a role, but I feel like I was involved today."
End zone: Cleveland practiced Monday without a pair of starters in cornerback Jamar Taylor (groin) and left tackle Joe Thomas (knee). Starting wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (hamstring) was limited, and two defensive starters, cornerback Joe Haden (groin) and defensive tackle Jamie Meder (knee), fully participated.
> >Browns coach Hue Jackson said he is sticking with rookie Cody Kessler as the starting quarterback for Thursday's game. Harbaugh said he was impressed by the third-round pick, who completed 19 of 27 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown and a 104.4 passer rating in Sunday's 35-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. "[He is] a good athlete, and it looks like he has a good command of Hue's offense," Harbaugh said. "We're getting ready for him. … Obviously, Josh McCown is always looming. Our focus will be on Cody Kessler, and our hands will be full because he's looked good when he's played."
>>The Ravens added tight end Mitchell Henry to the practice squad. Henry joined the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and appeared in two games with the Denver Broncos later that year. Henry filled the void created when the Washington Redskins signed offensive tackle Blaine Clausell from the practice squad. Clausell joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and had spent the final seven games of that season and the first eight contests of this fall on the practice squad.
>> Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. was named the team's nominee for the "Salute to Service Award present by USAA." Presented annually by USAA and the NFL, the award honors a league employee for his or her dedication to honoring and supporting the military. Past winners include Harbaugh (2013).