BALTIMORE – Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice(notes) sprained his knee during the fourth quarter Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, an injury that apparently doesn’t involve torn ligaments or cartilage damage.
Rice got hurt on a four-yard reception where he was tackled by nose guard Ahtyba Rubin(notes) and appeared to fall awkwardly.
Rice’s status for next week’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers remains unclear, and he’s schedule to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam today to get a formal diagnosis.
“We don’t know right now,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “There’s nothing ligament-wise that’s a problem, so that’s probably where it starts. So, that’s the most important thing. Or, cartilage-wise, as far as we know. We don’t know the extent for sure.”
Rice wasn’t made available for interviews after the game, but the team distributed quotes from the all-purpose back.
Rice didn’t specify what happened to his knee, but seemed optimistic about his prospects of playing against the undefeated Steelers next week at Heinz Field.
“Right now, everything is standard,” said Rice, who rushed for 80 yards on 15 carries before leaving the game. “I’ll take some tests on Monday, but everything looks positive right now.”
Rice, who had a 25-yard run against the Browns in the first quarter to set up a touchdown, gained over 2,000 yards from scrimmage last season.
Once he got hurt, Rice was on the bench and attended to by trainers and doctors.
Afterward, Rice was talking as if he’ll play against the Steelers.
“They’re playing good football and they’re tough upfront,” Rice said. “We’re going to prepare hard this week and hopefully everything will be good to go.”
In relief of Rice, former Pro Bowl runner Willis McGahee(notes) rushed for 29 yards on seven carries.
He expressed confidence that he can shoulder a full workload.
“I’m pretty sure Ray is going to be all right,” McGahee said. “Whenever my number is called, I’ll be ready.”
Offensive tackle Michael Oher(notes) predicted that Rice will bounce back quickly from the knee injury.
“He’s a tough kid and a tough guy,” Oher said. “He’s going to be fine.”
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