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Ray Rice: 'I didn't spit at Phil Taylor'

Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens addresses the media during Super Bowl XLVII Media Availability at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside on January 30, 2013
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Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice insists that he did not spit at Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Phil Taylor earlier this season.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has insisted that he didn't spit at Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Phil Taylor earlier this season.

Rice and Taylor were involved in a confrontation during the Ravens' 14-6 win on September 15, with the latter slapping the side of Rice's helmet after he thought that he had been spat at.

However, Rice insists that he was just removing his mouthpiece in order to respond to a comment from Taylor, as well as stressing that he has plenty of respect for the 25-year-old.

"It was two guys jawing at each other. 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 is quoted as saying by ESPN.

"Phil Taylor is a great young player. 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.

"I got to keep my head level in those situations. 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."

Rice and Taylor will come face to face for the first time since the incident when the Ravens travel to face the Browns on Sunday.

Jason Campbell of the Cleveland Browns passes the ball during the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 24, 2013
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