As the Ravens were squeezing by the Browns in Week 2, Cleveland defensive tackle Phil Taylor was hit for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for slapping the helmet of Ravens running back Ray Rice.
Afterward, Taylor was asked if Rice had spit on him, and he said, “Look at the film, you will see . . . I'm not going to say. It is what it is. I need to keep my composure.”
With the two teams set to meet again Sunday, Rice was asked about the incident on Wednesday, and he denied flinging saliva at anybody.
"It's old," Rice said, via the Baltimore Sun. "There's nothing that came out of it. Two guys jawing at each other and I had my mouthpiece in, so when I went to say something back to him, it looked as if I projected toward him, but I had my mouthpiece in. I was saying something, he was saying something. Obviously, that's what happened. We'll leave it at that. Phil Taylor is a great young player, a dominant force. I've got tremendous respect for him.
"Obviously, that was the past. I've got to keep my head level in those situations. I don't ever want to make it seem like me and this guy have problems. I don't have a problem with him, but you know what, guys talk. That's part of their game, and I really don't want it to be part of mine. I'll do my best to channel those emotions."
In case you wanted another look at the incident, here's a link to the video. It's next to impossible to see what happened (though Rice was, in fact, wearing a mouthpiece), and perhaps because of that, nobody was fined by the league for the minor dust-up.
"I've played with Ray for a long time, and I know Ray, and I don't think he would spit on anybody," said Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach. "I was actually on the field, and I didn't think he spit on him. Maybe Taylor was trying to get himself riled up to play."
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