The Ravens placed Alan Ricard on injured reserve yesterday because of a calf injury, ending the fullback's season. Ricard was limited to just two games this season because of a lingering calf injury, which he originally suffered in training camp. Then, during last week's 10-6 loss in Chicago, he injured the other calf. The second injury was more severe, with a recovery time of eight to 10 weeks, according to a Ravens official.
Ricard's backup, Ovie Mughelli, has a broken thumb and an injured ankle and is questionable for Baltimore's road game Monday night against the Steelers (4-2). As a result, rookie Justin Green, a fifth-round pick out of Montana, is slated to make his first start at fullback.
The loss of Ricard is another blow to an offense that has struggled to gain yards on the ground. The 5-foot-11, 237-pound fullback is a physical blocker who played a key role in running back Jamal Lewis's 2,066-yard season in 2003. Lewis is averaging 2.9 yards per carry this season, and the Ravens (2-4) are averaging just 96.8 rushing yards per game.
In other moves, the Ravens promoted rookie linebacker Mike Smith to the active roster from the practice squad, and signed linebacker Ivory McCoy to the practice squad.
White on Hall List
Reggie White, the two-time NFL defensive player of the year who died last year at 43, heads a list of players, coaches and contributors eligible for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
White is eligible for the first time along with quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Warren Moon. Other first-year eligible players include running back Thurman Thomas, wide receiver Andre Reed and offensive lineman Dermontti Dawson.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime owners Art Modell and Ralph Wilson are on the preliminary list that includes five former head coaches and 11 contributors.
Broncos offensive lineman Dwayne Carswell was upgraded to serious condition yesterday, a day after having his spleen removed and undergoing other surgery after a five-car traffic accident on his way to practice.
"He's doing better, a lot better," Denver Coach Mike Shanahan said. "They think he will be able to sit up soon. He's still in the intensive care unit, but they're hoping he can be out of there by tomorrow."
A team spokesman said Carswell had tubes removed and was breathing without assistance.
"We feel good about his progress, which is a great sign," Shanahan said. "It's going to take some time to recover . . . because a lot of those organs were pushed up very high in his body."
McGee Signs Extension
Cornerback Terrence McGee signed a four-year contract extension, allowing the Bills to lock up their outstanding pass defender and Pro Bowl kickoff returner through 2009.
McGee earned his first Pro Bowl selection as the AFC's kick return specialist after becoming only the 10th NFL player to take three kickoffs back for touchdowns in one season. The scores included a franchise-record 104-yarder against the Dolphins. . . .
Chargers fullback Lorenzo Neal has agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2007 season.