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OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens may have absorbed another serious injury hit as coach Brian Billick indicated Monday that defensive end Trevor Pryce could be out indefinitely with an injured pectoral muscle.
Following the Ravens’ 33-30 overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns, the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end said that he tore the chest muscle, but didn’t think it would be a season-ending injury. With just six games remaining on the schedule, it’s not a reach to conclude that Pryce could be done for the year.
"The biggest concern is Trevor Pryce," Billick said. "They’re doing all the imaging right now to find out. It’s a pectoral muscle, strained, tore, whatever. The prognosis right now isn’t very good."
The Ravens expect to have more information on Pryceâ€™s injury either by tonight or Wednesday.
Pryce missed five games earlier this season with a broken wrist, undergoing surgery to repair the damage.
Meanwhile, Billick expressed confidence that cornerback Samari Rolle (undisclosed illness) and tight end Daniel Wilcox (sprained toe) will return to practice this week. Both had been regarded as injured-reserve candidates until recently increasing their activity in practice last week.
"Right now, based on their workouts and what they’ve done, it’s our anticipation that both will fully participate in practice on Wednesday," Billick said. "It could change. I’m always throwing that qualifier in, but, right now, that is my understanding."
NOT A GOOD IDEA: Free safety Ed Reed heard all about it on the sideline from Billick and several others after he fair-caught a Dave Zastudil punt at the Ravens’ 4-yard line in the third quarter.
That bad decision and a short Sam Koch punt led to a short field that the Browns capitalized on with a Derek Anderson quarterback sneak for a touchdown after receiving the ball at the Ravens’ 11-yard line following Josh Cribbs’ 26-yard return.
"He knows that he should have let the ball go in," Billick said. "Whether he lost sight of where he was or what he thought he was going to do, Ed knows he probably should have let that one go.
"The point being if you let it go and they hold it up on the 1, okay, you lost three of four yards. But I know I’m on the 5. It’s worth maybe being on the 1 if you let that go, and he knows that."
TAKING NOTES: The Ravens generated just two first downs in the first half with 38 net yards and two turnovers.
In the second half, quarterback Kyle Boller rebounded from going 5-for-11 for 24 yards with one interception and a 14.6 rating. After halftime, he completed 17 of 30 passes for 255 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
The Ravens finished the game with 23 first downs, 368 yards of total offense and scored 23 points over the final 30 minutes.
Now, the Ravens are wondering if they can replicate some of the second-half improvement.
"We have to look at the things in the second half, whether by circumstance because of what the score was or how we chose to attack it, because we did some awfully good things," Billick said. "Some subtle things that we didn’t do in the first half that we did do in the second half that are encouraging.
"Clearly, we’ve got to tap into the things that we’re doing well and we saw enough of them in the second half that we’ve got bring particular focus to that."
R. LEWIS SPEAKS: Middle linebacker Ray Lewis departed the locker room Sunday without conducting interviews, reserving his comments for his weekly radio show on which he’s paid to appear.
Lewis didn’t criticize the Ravens this time, but did have some harsh words for the officiating in light of Phil Dawson’s controversial, game-tying field goal at the end of regulation.
"I don’t agree with the call at all," Lewis said. "I think it was an embarrassment on the league the way the total thing went down. This is a professional business and you send a team in the locker room and the score says, ‘final score.’ If there’s a mistake made, send a letter.
"You don’t put men out there at risk. There were at least 15, 20 guys half-dressed. There were guys in the shower. I’m just sitting there saying, ‘Is this really real?’ It kind of disturbs football. I think we get a lot of bad breaks."
QUICK HITS: The NFL had its wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl. Now, it has an instant-replay malfunction to address. Billick challenged a catch by Tim Carter, claiming Carter did not get both feet in bounds. Morelli announced that it could not be reviewed properly because of "a system malfunction." Carter’s 10-yard gain to the Ravens’ 14-yard line stood and the drive ended with Dawson’s 39-yard field goal. … Running back Willis McGahee gained 102 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. For the season, he has rushed for 851 yards and five touchdowns. "I think Willis ran very, very well," Billick said. "There are certain things that we ran Willis on that he seemed to do very, very well."
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.