Lewis goes down with an­kle in­jury

Guard’s X-rays are neg­a­tive; Du­casse fills in for Yanda, makes first start of sea­son

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS INSIDER - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun

The Ravens’ ro­tat­ing of­fen­sive line fig­ures to be in more flux next week.

A unit that fea­tured its sixth dif­fer­ent start­ing con­fig­u­ra­tion in Thurs­day night’s game against the Cleve­land Browns and played with­out five-time Pro Bowl se­lec­tion right guard Mar­shal Yanda lost rookie left guard Alex Lewis with 9:36 left in the third quar­ter.

Lewis, a fourth-round pick, ap­peared to suf­fer a se­ri­ous in­jury to his right an­kle af­ter quar­ter­back Joe Flacco’s 4-yard touch­down pass to tight end Dar­ren Waller. A Cleve­land player thrown to the ground by cen­ter Jeremy Zut­tah crashed into Lewis’ an­kle.

Train­ers placed Lewis’ an­kle into an air cast. As he was carted off the field, he raised his right thumb and im­plored the crowd to get louder to sup­port the team. The team later re­ported that X-rays to Lewis’ an­kle were neg­a­tive, but Lewis did not re­turn to the game.

John Urschel, who had started three con­sec­u­tive games at left guard while Lewis filled in for rookie Ron­nie Stan­ley (foot) at left tackle ear­lier this sea­son, re­placed Lewis at left guard.

Yanda’s ab­sence was filled by Vladimir Du­casse, who made his first start of the sea­son.

Through the first half, the unit helped the of­fense gain 14 first downs to Cleve­land’s seven and earn a six-minute ad­van­tage in time of pos­ses­sion. But Lewis missed block­ing out­side line­backer Jamie Collins Sr., who sacked Flacco in the first quar­ter, and Du­casse was flagged for hold­ing late in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Al­though it was Du­casse’s first start with the team, it was the 23rd of his ca­reer. His pre­vi­ous start was Jan. 3 as a mem­ber of the Chicago Bears. Ravens de­fense vs. rookie quar­ter­back: The de­fense has a his­tory of mak­ing life mis­er­able for rookie quar­ter­backs, but af­ter a slow start, the Browns’ Cody Kessler ap­peared to find his foot­ing. Through the first half, Kessler had com­pleted 10 of 16 passes for 94 yards, in­clud­ing a se­ries in which he con­nected on four of four throws for 42 yards and a 25-yard touch­down lob to tight end Seth DeValve.

But af­ter Flacco’s touch­down pass to Ravens guard Alex Lewis get carted off the field af­ter be­ing in­jured with 9:36 left in the third quar­ter. A Cleve­land player thrown to the ground by cen­ter Jeremy Zut­tah crashed into Lewis’ an­kle. Lewis did not re­turn to the game. Waller to open the third quar­ter, Cleve­land benched Kessler for Josh McCown.

The Ravens de­fense has en­joyed suc­cess against other rookie quar­ter­backs, win­ning eight of the past 11 meet­ings, in­clud­ing the past four. Only the Jack­sonville Jaguars’ Blaine Gab­bert in 2011, the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins’ com­bi­na­tion of Robert Grif­fin III and Kirk Cousins in 2012, and the Buf­falo Bills’ EJ Manuel emerged with vic­to­ries against the Ravens in their rookie sea­sons. Firsts for Webb, Waller, Z. Smith: Lar­dar­ius Webb’s sack of Kessler in the first quar­ter was the free safety’s third of his ca­reer and first in five years. Webb’s last sack oc­curred on Nov. 24, 2011, when he and for­mer de­fen­sive end Cory Red­ding shared a sack of Alex Smith in a16-6 vic­tory over the San Fran­cisco 49ers.

Waller’s touch­down catch was the first of the sec­ond-year pro’s ca­reer. The con­verted wide re­ceiver caught two passes for 14 yards af­ter en­ter­ing the game with two re­cep­tions for 17 yards.

Out­side line­backer Za’Dar­ius Smith made his first sack of the sea­son when he took down McCown in the third quar­ter for a 9-yard loss. It was his first sack since Jan. 3, when he split a sack with de­fen­sive end Lawrence Guy in a 24-16 loss at the Cincin­nati Ben­gals. In­di­vid­ual marks for S. Smith, Tucker: With an 11-yard touch­down catch with 2:05 left in the third quar­ter, wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. passed for­mer In­di­anapo­lis Colt Reg­gie Wayne for the eighth-most re­ceiv­ing yards in NFL his­tory. Smith now has 14,349 ca­reer yards.

Smith has 997 catches and needs just three more to be­come the 14th player in league his­tory to reach the 1,000-re­cep­tion mark.

With a 25-yard field goal with10:29 left in the sec­ond quar­ter, kicker Justin Tucker eclipsed 600 points for his ca­reer.

Tucker, who is 22-of-22 on field goals, and the In­di­anapo­lis Colts’ Adam Vi­natieri are the only kick­ers who have not missed a field goal this sea­son. End zone: In ad­di­tion to Yanda and Ryan Jensen, the Ravens de­ac­ti­vated out­side lineback­ers Elvis Dumervil (foot) and rookie Ka­malei Cor­rea (thigh), tight end Crock­ett Gill­more (ham­string), rookie de­fen­sive tackle Wil­lie Henry, and cor­ner­back Sha­reece Wright (pulled ham­string). … The Browns played with­out start­ing cor­ner­back Ja­mar Tay­lor (groin). He did not prac­tice dur­ing the week. Play­ing in his place, rookie Briean Boddy-Cal­houn in­ter­cepted a pass from Flacco in­tended for wide re­ceiver Steve Smith Sr. just out­side of Cleve­land’s end zone to kill a promis­ing Ravens drive. … The team also scratched quar­ter­back Joe Cal­la­han, right guard Jonathan Cooper, de­fen­sive end Xavier Cooper, cen­ter Gabe Ikard, out­side line­backer Corey Le­monier and rookie wide re­ceiver Jor­dan Pay­ton. … The Ravens an­nounced the re­turn of quar­ter­back David Fales to the prac­tice squad. Fales had been waived Tues­day. To make room, the team re­leased tight end Mitchell Henry.

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

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