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For most Ravens fans watching Sunday’s 34-3 Baltimore win over the Cleveland Browns, the world paused for a few minutes in the first quarter.
I know it did for this observer from the press box.
At the 9:41 mark of the opening period, a pile of purple and white jerseys cleared away at the 28-yard line following a 4-yard gain by Browns running back Jerome Harrison.
When the iconic No. 52 in Ravens colors was found lying prone on the field, a collective gasp went around M&T Bank Stadium – and perhaps in sports bars and living rooms around Charm City.
Luckily for those gaspers, the injury to linebacker Ray Lewis was only deemed a stinger, which kept him out of the game for only one play.
And, it wasn’t from a Browns opponent.
“Ray got a stinger,” said head coach John Harbaugh. “Just a classic stinger, and I think Haloti [Ngata] gave it to him. Haloti is flying around in there. I think he hit somebody else too.”
The way the Ravens play defense, it’s not really a surprise that the pinball in the middle of that unit takes a few shots from his own teammates once in a while.
Lewis, who logged three tackles (according to press box statistics), has commented on Baltimore’s tendency for “friendly fire” when gang-tackling before.
Linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs and safety Ed Reed collided in Week 1, and Reed and safety Dawan Landry hit each other the following Sunday.
“You can’t do it any differently. It’s what we all preach when we’re in the meetings,” Lewis said last week. “First guy, second guy, take your shot and whatever comes after that, comes after that.
“It’s just crazy. But when you go in there, you laugh about it. You hope nobody is hurt seriously, but you really pat each other on the back because you see how many people are flying to the ball.”
Don’t worry, Ravens fans. Lewis was back at team headquarters Monday to attend meetings. I chatted with him briefly in the hall, and he seemed OK. Ray may show up on the injury report this week, but I would expect him to play this weekend against the New England Patriots.