Pierce gives Ravens lead, hurt on TD run (updated again)

The Ravens might’ve suffered their first casualty of the preseason opener.

In a driving rain, backup running back Bernard Pierce hurt his left leg when taking a helmet off it at the end of a 20-yard touchdown run that gave Baltimore a 7-6 lead on its second possession of the second quarter.

The Ravens forced their first turnover, recovering a muffed punt before Pierce scored on the first play of the ensuing drive. A diving defender collided with Pierce’s leg full force and the second-year rusher went down in a heap. It was encouraging to see Pierce jog off on his own and then stand on the sidelines after being checked out by trainers. But that could be a big loss if it’s serious.

Update: Cornerback Chykie Brown committed two costly pass interference penalties to help Tampa Bay reclaim the lead, 13-7 with 5:25 to go in the second quarter.

The Buccaneers drove 58 yards in three plays with Brian Leonard scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run.

Bobby Rainey returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards with a 15-yard horsetackle call tacked on the end. The Ravens’ reserves couldn’t pick up a first down and Justin Tucker trimmed the margin to 13-10 on a 43-yard field goal with 3:26 to go in the first half.

Update II: And now Deonte Thompson has limped off the field after suffering a leg injury. He appeared to be having his ankle checked out on the sidelines.

Thompson is one of the speediest Ravens and has had a strong training camp. He’s considered one of the team’s top up-and-coming receiving options. We’ll have to wait and see about the severity of the injury.

Also, on the field, Anthony Allen has given the Ravens a 17-13 lead with 34 seconds to go in the second quarter. Allen fumbled the ball on the play, but landed on the ball on the goal line for six points.

Update III: Big play for the Ravens with nine seconds to go in the half. Brynden Trawick blocked a punt and LaQuan Williams recovered in the end zone for a 24-13 lead.

That’s Williams’ second special teams recovery of the game and 17 straight Baltimore points to end the second quarter.

Update IV: Williams’ eye-opening day has continued into the third quarter with a 21-yard touchdown catch that gave the Ravens a 31-13 lead. That’s 24 straight points for Baltimore.

Williams now has two catches for 32 yards, two recoveries (one a fumble, one a blocked punt) on special teams and two touchdowns (one a blocked punt and one receiving). That’s how you raise some eyebrows and get into the mix of a pretty wide-open position battle.

Update V: Derek Dimke connected for his third field goal of the game with 23 seconds to go in the third quarter. The 45-yarder that halted the Ravens’ scoring run and cut Baltimore’s lead to 31-16.

Update VI: Tucker booted a 29-yard field goal with 12:42 to go after rookie linebacker Brandon Copeland’s interception gave the Ravens first-and-goal. That pushes Baltimore’s lead to 34-16.

Update VII: As far as meaningless games go, this one has turned into an impressive laugher. Seventh-rounder Aaron Mellette hauls in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Tayler and the Ravens now lead 41-16 with 8:02 to go.