- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 16, 2001

OWINGS MILLS, Md. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Elvis Grbac still showed the effects yesterday of a mild concussion suffered on a second-quarter sack by Green Bay defensive tackle Santana Dotson in Sunday's 31-23 loss at the Packers.
Grbac said he will resume practicing tomorrow and will play in Sunday's key divisional game at Cleveland Grbac's hometown. The Ravens (3-2) are tied with the Browns and Cincinnati for second place in the AFC Central.
As far as concussions go, Grbac said he's been knocked silly before, but Dotson's shot is by far the worst headache he has suffered in his career.
"I'm still a little foggy and everything, but my wife keeps waking me up every couple of hours to see if I'm still alive or not," Grbac said. "This is probably the worst one that I've had. I've had like two or three and they usually last a couple of series and I can shake it off. That's what I tried to do yesterday and then the next day I just have a headache."
Despite feeling groggy, Grbac convinced the Ravens coaching staff that he could shake off the cobwebs and continue playing.
It was a bad decision for all involved. On consecutive possessions after Dotson's sack, Grbac threw back-to-back interceptions and the Packers jumped out to a 17-7 third-quarter lead. Ravens coach Brian Billick did not replace Grbac with Randall Cunningham until midway through the fourth quarter. By then, it was too late.
"He was fuzzy, we probably should have pulled him a little earlier," Billick said. "He wanted to kind of work through it, he felt he was OK, but he was not seeing things real clear. We probably should have put Randall in a series earlier. Right now, I have no reason to believe that he won't be 100 percent and ready to go on Wednesday."
The Ravens defense also played as if it was in a fog. Coming into the Packers game, Baltimore boasted the NFL's top-rated defense first against the rush and the pass.
Packers quarterback Brett Favre single-handedly knocked the Ravens' cocky defense off its lofty perch. Favre completed 27 of 34 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns, shredding the secondary so badly that now the Ravens' pass defense is eighth-best in the league. For the game, the Packers generated 391 yards of total offense.
Before Sunday, the longest drive of the season against the Ravens was 33 yards. By spreading the field with four wide receivers and picking the defense apart, Favre engineered touchdown drives of 74, 80 and 82 yards.
A spread offense seems to be the blueprint to beat Baltimore's aggressive defense. In the season opener, Chicago spread the field against the Ravens and had some success until they brought up their safeties to take away short passes in the second half of their 17-6 win over the Bears.
The Ravens could not do that against Favre because the three-time NFL MVP can hurt defenses deep and short. Favre lit up young cornerbacks Duane Starks and Chris McAlister.
"We both didn't play our greatest game," said Starks of the cornerback play. "We both didn't have spectacular games. We gave up catches, that's one thing we don't like doing. One thing we have to do, is have amnesia and come back next week against Cleveland ready."
With six consecutive AFC Central games coming up in the next six weeks, the defending Super Bowl champions will find out if they are indeed playoff material.

Right tackle Leon Searcy will begin practicing tomorrow and will probably be ready for the Oct. 28 home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Searcy, who was a prize free-agent acquisition in the offseason, suffered a torn triceps tendon on Aug. 3 in training camp and has not played.
Left guard Edwin Mulitalo sat out Sunday's game with a sprained knee but will practice this week and start against the Browns. Rookie tight end Todd Heap, who has missed the past three games with a sprained ankle, will resume practicing tomorrow and probably be activated for Sunday's game. In a game and a half, Heap has seven receptions for 73 yards (10.4 avg.).

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