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.
” — Ravens RB Ray Rice, denying he intentionally spit at Phil Taylor
After the Ravens’ 14-6 win on Sept. 15, Taylor insinuated that Rice spit in his face, which led to the lineman slapping the side of Rice’s helmet. The Ravens play at the Browns on Sunday for the first time since the incident.
“It was two guys jawing at each other,” Rice said Wednesday. “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.”
Rice, who wasn’t fined by the league because the video was inconclusive, wants to put the altercation in the past.
“Phil Taylor is a great young player,” Rice said. “He’s coming along very well and he’s making plays in their running game. He’s a dominant force. I have tremendous respect for him. As long as I’m in the AFC North, it looks like we’ll be going at each other two times a year.”
Rice did express regret for the on-field confrontation with Taylor.
“I got to keep my head level in those situations,” Rice said. “I don’t ever want to feel myself in a situation where it seems like me and this guy has problems. I don’t have a problem with him. But you know what, guys talk. It’s part of their game. I really don’t want to be a part of mine. I’ll do my best to channel my emotions.”
Taylor wasn’t available for comment Wednesday in the Browns’ locker room at the team’s facilities in Berea, Ohio.
ESPN.com Browns reporter Pat McManamon contributed to this report.
- University of Maryland graduate
- Lives in the Baltimore area with his wife and son