-- Terrell Owens often seems to find a way to upstage the Baltimore Ravens, and this time he'll do it by not even showing up. The Ravens host the Philadelphia Eagles for a preseason game on Saturday night, and it should have marked Owens's first appearance in Baltimore since the controversial wide receiver spurned a trade to the Ravens.
But Eagles Coach Andy Reid told reporters on Friday that Owens -- who recently completed a one-week suspension from the team -- will not make the trip because he is recovering from a groin injury.
"Really, he's just getting back into the swing of things," Reid said. "He was hurt before he left and is still bothered by that groin. It's not nearly as bad as it was when he left, but I just don't want to take any chances. It would be non-productive."
The Ravens tried and failed to trade for Owens in March 2004, and Owens wouldn't let them forget that. He publicly feuded with Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis and then opened the preseason meeting between the teams by catching an 81-yard touchdown pass. He caught an 11-yard touchdown pass in the regular season game -- a 15-10 Eagles win -- and punctuated it by imitating Lewis's pregame dance.
Owens even cast a shadow on the Ravens' preseason opener last week. In the midst of his suspension, Owens sat in the stands of the Georgia Dome and watched as Atlanta beat Baltimore, 16-3.
Baltimore Coach Brian Billick sidestepped questions this week regarding Owens, such as whether the Ravens' failure to sign him actually worked out in their favor.
"It's really not my concern right now," Billick said. "I like the group that I have."
The Ravens' receiving corps might not have a talent similar to Owens, but it has unusual depth (for Baltimore, at least). Free agent pickup Derrick Mason, first-round draft pick Mark Clayton and second-year player Clarence Moore have been impressive during training camp. Randy Hymes, who is battling for a roster spot, led the Ravens with three catches for 51 yards against the Falcons.
"That one is as heated and as deep as we've got, which is great," Billick said. "Everybody is making plays, or not. It is happening across the board. It's fun to watch."
Baltimore's starters will play most of the first half. Running back Jamal Lewis, who sat out of last week's preseason opener, is expected to participate in six to 10 plays.
The offense, which won't have tight end Todd Heap (ankle and shoulder), failed to score a touchdown and committed three turnovers last week against the Falcons.
Ravens Note: Linebacker Peter Boulware was warmly welcomed back to the Ravens on Friday, one day after signing a one-year contract with the team. Boulware, who missed all of last season with knee and toe injuries, was released in May after attempts to restructure his contract failed. He worked out for four teams last month but wasn't signed.
The Ravens left open the possibility of Boulware's return; his locker in the Owings Mills training facility was never cleared out, and his number 58 jersey was not assigned to any other player. But Boulware was so sure that he wouldn't be returning to Baltimore he sold his house (the sale closed just three weeks ago).
When rookie Dan Cody went down with a knee injury on the first day of training camp, the Ravens all of a sudden were looking for some depth at strong-side linebacker. Boulware, the franchise leader in sacks (671/2), jumped at the opportunity to rejoin the team that made him the fourth overall pick in the 1997 draft.
"My attitude is so different than in the past; I just want to be a part of this team," Boulware said. "Whatever role that is, I'm happy to do it.
"In the past, I wanted to be a starter and on the field for every play," he said. "It's kind of funny -- you play the game for so long, you kind of take it for granted that it's always going to be there. Now my attitude is, I've had two injuries, I sat out all of last year; it's just a privilege to be on a team, whatever role that is."
Boulware, who has not played since Dec. 21, 2003, will be brought along slowly. He won't play on Saturday against the Eagles, and he likely will be held out when the Ravens face New Orleans on Friday, according to Billick. His primary role, at least initially, will be as a pass rusher, playing opposite Pro Bowl pick Terrell Suggs (221/2 sacks in two seasons).