Justin Tucker's third preseason game ended early after the Ravens kicker was placed in concussion protocol in the first quarter Saturday night. He was cleared in the second quarter, but didn't return.
Tucker was injured while tackling Buffalo Bills returner Brandon Tate on a 32-yard kick return midway through the first quarter. Tucker had connected on a 40-yard field goal with 7:31 left in the first.
"What I was thinking was that I needed to put my head across, go low, and get him on the ground," Tucker said. "I think he just caught me with a knee pad or a thigh pad right in the neck. It was about trying to make a play."
Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history with at least 100 attempts, producing an 89.8 success rate. Last season, he converted 38 of 39 field goals, set an NFL record with 24 kicks from at least 40 yards out and tied the Minnesota Vikings' Blair Walsh for the league mark of 10 field goals from at least 50 yards out.
That might explain coach John Harbaugh's preference for his two-time Pro Bowl kicker to avoid that kind of scenario.
"I just would prefer that the ball not get to him," Harbaugh said. "Our kickoff coverage was great that whole game except for that play. They ran a scheme that we didn't quite get where we needed to get against it. That's the rest of our guys' responsibility."
With Tucker sitting the remainder of the game as a precaution, he was replaced by rookie Kenny Allen. The undrafted free agent has punted four times and drilled a 40-yard field goal Saturday.
Defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. was also in concussion protocol in the second quarter, but was quickly cleared.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith left the game in the second quarter, walking into the locker room with a trainer. He returned to the game before halftime with his left hand wrapped in ice.