Nothing livens up a preseason game like a fake punt, especially if it works.
Baltimore Ravens third-year safety Haruki Nakamura took a direct snap on fourth-and-6 and juked his way 51 yards — all the way to the 1 — in the second quarter to set up the only touchdown scored by either first-team offense in Saturday night's 23-3 win over the Washington Redskins.
The trickery added entertainment value to a typical August game that lacked polish and gave both coaches plenty to work on before the regular season starts in three weeks.
In addition, the Redskins had two starters leave the game with knee injuries: Fullback Mike Sellers hurt his left knee while blocking on a running play, and free safety Kareem Moore injured his right knee trying to catch up to Nakamura on the fake punt play.
Moore said there was no contact on the play, and that he felt fine. Sellers also said his knee was sore, but that he would be "all right."
Also, Donovan McNabb emerged from the locker room after halftime with a large wrap around his lower left leg and ankle. He was expected to play only the first half anyway and did not return.
"It's not bad, just a little sore, but things like that happen in a heated game like we played," McNabb said.
McNabb said he expected to play in Washington's next preseason game, on Aug. 27 against the New York Jets.
"I definitely hope so," he said. "As it feels right now, I definitely feel like I'll be out there for the next practice. We'll definitely see how it kind of recovers."
Left tackle Trent Williams, the No. 4 overall draft pick, left with a bruised elbow.
"It's fine. I just got a helmet to the forearm," Williams said.
Coach Mike Shanahan, getting his serious first dose of the injury bug after a remarkably healthy training camp, was expected to address the injuries after the game.
McNabb had an erratic night for the Redskins (1-1), completing 11 of 26 passes for 206 yards and a bad-decision interception thrown deep into double coverage. He frequently threw behind receivers and was often pressured and hit by a Ravens defense that took advantage of an offensive line that has three new starters.
Larry Johnson, trying to revive his career at age 30, got the start at running back and showed nothing to indicate he has any chance of overtaking Clinton Portis for the job. Johnson gained only 4 yards on eight carries, missed a blitz pickup that resulted in an intentional grounding call on McNabb, bobbled a pass at least a half-dozen times before dropping it, and lost the ball after tripping over his own man on a running play — it wasn't called a fumble because he was ruled down by contact.
Shanahan will find other untidy moments when he reviews the film. Linebacker Brian Orakpo lined up offsides, linebacker London Fletcher was whistled for delay of game when he kicked the ball before it was snapped, and linebacker Andre Carter dropped an interception that went through both hands — all on the same drive.
And here's another miscue that had fans a bit puzzled: The home team band played the celebratory fight song "Hail to the Redskins" after the Ravens' first touchdown, a 1-yard run by Willis McGahee that followed the fake punt.
Albert Haynesworth, still feeling the repercussions of his conditioning test saga, was again forced to toil as a second-string nose tackle, entering the game in the second half after the starters had departed. Haynesworth, who missed 2½ practices this week because of what was described as dehydration and later a headache, was in the game for three drives and had one sack on third-string quarterback Troy Smith.
The Ravens' first-team defense looked in its usual solid form for the most part, except when it allowed three big third-down conversions on the game's opening drive. Cornerback Fabian Washington, playing his first game since tearing a ligament in his left knee last season, ended the drive by breaking up a pass at the goal line, forcing the Redskins to settle for a field goal.
Joe Flacco went 9 for 16 passes for 72 yards for the Ravens (2-0). Ray Rice ran for 17 yards, but dropped the ball on two of his three carries — one of the fumbles was technically credited to Flacco, and the Ravens recovered both. Two other promising drives were stopped by mistakes: a false start on left tackle Michael Oher, and a fumble by Donte' Stallworth.
There wasn't much solved in the Ravens' kickers' battle. Billy Cundiff made his two field-goal attempts, from 26 and 42 yards. Shayne Graham made his only attempt, a 24-yarder.