Injured Ravens Seek Aid from WR Turner
Wright, Ken, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Wide receiver Floyd Turner hasn't been a factor in the Baltimore Ravens' offense this season. Now the nine-year veteran will be asked to salvage one of the league's worst passing offenses.
Injuries to starters Jermaine Lewis and Michael Jackson have put the onus on Turner and third-year pro James Roe to carry the NFL's 25th-rated passing attack into today's AFC Central game at Tennessee.
"Having played with Jim [Harbaugh, Ravens quarterback] makes things a little bit more comfortable," Turner said of his time [1994-95] with Harbaugh in Indianapolis. "He knows once the route is called that I'm going to run the route. He has no problems getting the ball to me."
Turner has 13 receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns this year following a season of inactivity. The 32-year-old spent 1997 hoping some team would give him an opportunity.
"If I wouldn't have played this season, then, yes, I would have thought that [my career] was over," Turner said. "I gave 110 percent to come back and I knew if I had an opportunity to work out for somebody that I would come back."
Turner signed with the Ravens as a free agent in 1996. After playing for the Ravens in their first season in Baltimore, he was not invited to re-sign. So, Turner didn't play until the Ravens signed him one month before training camp.
"It hurts us to lose two starting guys but we have good depth on this team," Harbaugh said. "I think those guys will step up and do a good job like they did last week. It's not like we're going in there with guys that can't play."
Unlike Roe, 25, Turner has name recognition. Drafted in the sixth round of the 1989 draft (159th overall) by the New Orleans Saints, Turner made an impact playing professionally in his home state.
In 1991, Turner caught 64 passes for 927 yards and eight touchdowns. Playing under Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda in Indianapolis in 1994, Turner led the Colts in receptions (52), receiving yards (593) and touchdown catches (six). In 1995, Turner made 10 catches for 152 yards in three playoff games, including a 47-yard touchdown against Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game.
When Lewis injured his ankle in last week's come-from-behind 38-31 victory over the Colts, Roe and Turner kept the Ravens in the game. Roe caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Harbaugh in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 17-10, and Turner cut the Colts' lead to 31-28 on a 22-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. …