- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 26, 2002

From combined dispatches

Ray Lewis could be done for the season with leg and shoulder injuries, although the Baltimore Ravens haven't given up hope on getting their star linebacker back next month.

Lewis, who has missed six of the Ravens' last seven games, will have to undergo surgery on his partially separated left shoulder. Whether that happens before or after the season could be determined this week.

"We're still evaluating the shoulder, where he's at, what the doctors say, what he says," Ravens coach Brian Billick said yesterday. "Obviously, the shoulder is going to be something we're going to have to contend with every week."

Also, Ozzie Newsome became the first black general manager in NFL history, signing a new five-year contract with the Ravens that includes an upgrade in his title.

Newsome becomes the Ravens' GM and executive vice president. He formerly held the title of senior vice president of football operations.

"From a historical standpoint, this is very significant," Newsome said. "… Sometimes it's all about the right timing."

BUCCANEERS: Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden said Warren Sapp is not a dirty player and criticized Green Bay coach Mike Sherman for initiating an obscenity-laced argument with the Buccaneers' All-Pro defensive tackle.

Sherman angrily confronted Sapp on Sunday, accusing him of taking a cheap shot at Chad Clifton during a third-quarter interception return that led to the go-ahead touchdown in the Buccaneers' 21-7 victory over the Packers.

Sapp vehemently denied that he leveled Clifton with an illegal hit and also refuted Sherman's contention that he made the situation worse by celebrating while Clifton remained on the ground.

The NFL reviewed the play and said no disciplinary action will be taken.

Clifton remained hospitalized in Tampa, Fla., for a right hip injury that Sherman said could end the offensive tackle's season. The coach said the third-year pro separated ligaments that hold the pelvis together and might not be able to travel back to Green Bay until late in the week.

DOLPHINS: Quarterback Jay Fiedler could be cleared to practice tomorrow, but doesn't expect to return to Miami's starting lineup for another two weeks.

Fiedler will have X-rays on his broken right thumb today, and he should be back in the huddle Dec.1 against the Chicago Bears.

RAMS: Marshall Faulk could miss his third straight game when St. Louis plays at Philadelphia on Sunday. He missed last week's game against the Redskins with a high sprain on his right ankle after not practicing all week, and was out for a victory over the Bears Nov.18. He's missed only nine games in eight-plus seasons, but coach Mike Martz said the ankle hasn't improved with rest.

BENGALS: T.J. Houshmandzadeh is no longer the Bengals' punter after two consecutive weeks of costly fourth-quarter fumbles. Coach Dick LeBeau said that although he often allows players to work themselves through a rut, Houshmandzadeh might benefit from some time off.

TITANS: Tennessee receiver Kevin Dyson might be out up to four weeks because of an injured right hamstring, and quarterback Steve McNair had an MRI exam on his right shin.

CHARGERS: San Diego cornerback Ryan McNeil had surgery on his broken right forearm and will miss Sunday's home game against the Denver Broncos.

TEXANS: Houston quarterback David Carr's practice time will be scaled back because he sprained his left ankle Sunday against the New York Giants.

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