- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 3, 2010

OWINGS MILLS, Md. | Baltimore Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington picked a lousy time to play the worst game of his life.

Not only did Washington get benched after allowing three touchdown passes against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 24, but because the misadventure occurred before Baltimore’s bye week he had to live with the indignity for two weeks.

“We’re the one sport where it takes a while to get the next game,” Washington said. “Basketball, baseball, hockey, you play the next night. Football, it sits for a while, and it actually sat for two weeks with me. So, I can’t wait to play.”

Lardarius Webb, who plays opposite Washington, can appreciate what his teammate has gone through.

“When you do poorly on a spelling test, you can’t wait for the next one,” Webb said. “He had a long time to wait on his next test.”

That exam will arrive Sunday when the Ravens host the Miami Dolphins. It is uncertain if Washington will get back his starting job, but he will surely see playing time.

“I think you learn from your mistakes, you apply them and try to get better,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “Fabian has done that. He’s worked hard all week, and I expect him to do very well.”

Washington has played in 74 NFL games, starred in three seasons at Nebraska and was a standout high school player in Florida. In all that time, he never looked as vulnerable as he did against Lee Evans and the Bills.

Evans, who is not to be confused with Jerry Rice, caught TD passes of 33, 20 and 17 yards before Washington was exiled to the bench.

“I’ve never had a performance like that in my life,” Washington said. “I watched the film like three times and was disgusted at myself. After a performance like that, man, I never felt that bad in my life. The only good thing about the whole situation was that we won.”

Watching that horror flick three times must have been difficult for Washington, but there was a reason he subjected himself to that kind of misery.

“My technique was out of whack the whole game,” he said. “I know what I did wrong; that’s the good thing. If you know what you’re doing wrong, you can always correct it.”

Washington missed the latter part of the 2009 season after tearing his ACL in the 10th game. He played well in his return until the Buffalo game, and in spite of that breakdown, the 27-year-old veteran still has the backing of his teammates.

“What makes a guy good is how he faces adversity, how he comes back the next week. That’s what makes me look up to him,” Webb said. “Even though he had a rough game, he came back and still prepared to the best of his ability. He came back this week working to get back on top. That’s what you like to see in a great corner, and that’s what I love to see from the guy on the other side of me. I know he’s going to be ready Sunday.”

Ravens defensive back Chris Carr said, “I know he’s not really going to go in the tank. He’s going to shake this off, and he’s going to be fine. He knows that we’re not disappointed with him and that it could happen to any of us. That was just one of those games.”

When the team returned from the bye to begin practice on Monday, Washington did his best to look forward instead of thinking back to that disaster against Buffalo.

“The day I got back to football, I had fun. I wasn’t pressing, trying to make sure I made every play, because I think when you start doing that, you tend to mess up more than when you’re making plays,” he said. “I just got back to laughing, playing, joking around, being me, instead of walking around uptight. I don’t stress about a lot, but that one hurt.”

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said, “Fabian is the kind of guy that’s going to come out and just play football. Fabe isn’t going to worry about two weeks ago. All he can worry about is right now.”


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