Bobby McCain is a rookie cornerback who made just his second NFL start Sunday. But he’s already getting calls like a seasoned veteran.
McCain was the beneficiary of a generous (some would say phantom) offensive pass interference against flag against Baltimore in the first half of the game.
McCain was covering Daniel Brown down the left side. Brown created separation after some minor contact. McCain went flying to the ground; Brown caught the pass and raced to the end zone.
But the play didn’t count. The officials threw a flag and said Brown pushed off — a dubious call based on both replay and the reaction of the Ravens afterward.
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“I think he got it backwards,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of the official. “I’ve been told by everybody that [McCain] pushed off and fell down and Dan Brown didn’t push off at all, so he must have just got it backwards.”
Brown told the Baltimore Sun: “I haven’t seen the play on film, but I don’t remember pushing off. Maybe I did subconsciously or something. ... I thought it was a good play all the way around. I was a little surprised by the call, though.”
But McCain, a fifth-round pick who gave up 30 pounds to Brown, insisted that the call was the correct one.
“He’s a bigger guy, and I tried to turn into him and go find the ball,” he said. “As I tried to find the ball, he kind of pushed me in the back. And I got the [call].”
McCain played extensively Sunday — at the expense of Jamar Taylor, who was a healthy scratch. McCain was Matt Schaub’s primary target downfield and gave up a few completions, but he did have seven tackles and broke up a pass.
“What you see is a guy who is continually competing,” interim coach Dan Campbell said. “He didn’t get frustrated by it. It didn’t bother him. He gave up a few throws, but he did rally.”
Dolphins defensive tackles are getting injured faster than the team can replace them. Robert Thomas was the latest casualty; he injured his elbow in his first appearance with the franchise.
After the game, Thomas later had his arm in a sling and said that his elbow was dislocated — brutal luck just days after the Dolphins poached him off the Patriots’ practice squad.
Receiver Kenny Stills, meanwhile, was in and out of the lineup with ankle injury he sustained Thursday in practice. Stills left the locker room in a walking boot but said he’s simply sore, and the boot was merely a precaution.
Two for one
What do two missed extra points add up to? If you’re playing the Ravens, two points.
After Derrick Shelby’s pick-6, Andrew Franks sent his point-after attempt off the left upright. But the play didn’t count; Anthony Levine was offsides. So Franks moved up 5 yards and tried again. And again, he failed; Lawrence Guy blocked it. But there’s a reason for that: Guy was offsides, too.
Finally, Campbell decided to take the ball at the one and try for two. It worked; Jay Ajayi powered into the end zone.