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OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens strong safety Dawan Landry was released from the hospital Monday and is expected to return this season after incurring a spinal cord concussion during Sunday’s 28-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Although Landry will have to wear a cervical collar for at least a week, coach John Harbaugh said that his stability tests are normal.
"He’ll be playing in some number of weeks," said Harbaugh, adding that Landry will be evaluated again in a week or two. "It won’t be too many weeks."
The crown of Landry’s helmet collided with Browns running back Jamal Lewis’ left knee, launching a scary sequence where he was down on the field for roughly 10 minutes before being carted off in the final minute of the first half.
Dr. Leigh Ann Curl, the Ravens’ chief orthopedic surgeon, said that Landry never lost consciousness or feeling in his extremities.
Team officials said Sunday night that Landry had made a full neurological recovery and that there were no fractures. He remained overnight at Maryland Shock Trauma, where he was visited by his brother, Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry.
Jim Leonhard will replace Landry in the starting lineup after recording a sack, a tackle for a loss and a pass deflection against Cleveland
Harbaugh praised the medical staff for their swift reaction, also pointing out how the Ravens and Browns players prayed together while Landry was down on the turf.
"There’s a strong bond down there," Harbaugh said. "I guess I was impressed with the Browns, too. Their attitude and respect they had for him as a player and for the Ravens as a team was pretty obvious.
“These guys care about each other in this league, and you could see that. Guys were kneeling and praying, and that was a strong statement."
Following the episode, the Ravens intercepted three passes and held the Browns to just 27 yards and two first downs in the second half.
"Our guys said it focused them even more," Harbaugh said. "They played even better after than they played before that."
INJURY REPORT: Running back Willis McGahee is still dealing with a cut to his right eyelid and being poked in his left eye when his helmet came off and he was struck in the face by a Browns defender.
McGahee rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries during his first game since undergoing arthroscopic left knee surgery last month.
"His eye has really swollen up badly," Harbaugh said. "That was unfortunate. It shouldn’t have happened. I’m sure he’ll be fine for next week, but he’s got some work to do just to get that down, just to get the swelling out of it right now."
Cornerback Samari Rolle anticipates playing Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers after hurting his right shoulder on a fourth-quarter interception. It’s the same shoulder that prematurely ended his season last year.
"As long as they let me, yeah, I plan to be there," Rolle said. "It’s not as bad this time."
Harbaugh reiterated that opinion.
"Samari’s fairly sore," he said. "He’s got the shoulder right now, but he should be fine."
The Ravens held out return specialist Yamon Figurs as a precautionary measure due to a nagging hamstring injury.
"The doctors didn’t want me to pull it, but I’m feeling great now," Figurs said. "I’m going to be ready to go for Monday night."
STAYING HUMBLE: Veteran fullback Lorenzo Neal cautioned against overreacting to the Ravens’ 2-0 start, noting that their victories over the winle ss Browns and Cincinnati Bengals come against teams with a combined 0-6 record.
"We haven’t arrived," Neal said. "We’ve played two games against teams that haven’t won a game yet. You’re never as good as you think you are and you’re never as bad as you think you are.
“You have to keep it in perspective and enjoy it while it lasts. We’re going to continue to grow."
Now, the Ravens are preparing for a nationally-televised game on the road with first-place at stake against the defending AFC North champions.
"We’re going to a hostile environment," Neal said. "You can’t protect us like when you’re at home and it’s like you’re a little brother and, if you get into a fight and make it to the house, then your big brother can protect you.
"Now, guess what? The little brother has to go into the woods by himself and go find his kill. Now, you get to see what we’re made of.”
Harbaugh said he isn’t concerned about the Ravens being overconfident against the Steelers (2-1).
"I don’t think we have to bring our guys back down to earth," he said. "Our guys are grounded. They’re going to work on the next football game. They’ve already started. That’s their focus."
QUICK HITS: Harbaugh acknowledged that he’s an advocate of rotating running backs McGahee, Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain. "We don’t necessarily subscribe to the fact that one guy has got to carry it 35 or 40 times," he said. "If that was what you had and that was your strength, that’s what you would go with, but we feel fortunate to have three guys that can do it and we’re going to use all three guys." … Offensive tackle Willie Anderson made his Ravens debut in a few series where the Ravens ran their heavy backfield with McClain and Neal, but that role may expand against the Steelers. "He hadn’t played much in the preseason, but he looked pretty good," Harbaugh said. "We’ve got some three-tackle packages we’re using. He’ll be there in the two-tackle stuff as well." … Punter Sam Koch averaged 48.7 yards, including a 40.7 net with one 59-yard boot, as Baltimore limited Pro Bowl return specialist Josh Cribbs to 24 yards on two punt returns. "Sam did a really nice job," Harbaugh said. "He had one punt that he might want back, and our coverage guys bailed him out and did a nice job. Those guys are feeding off each other a little bit."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.