The man who scoured the sideline searching for his helmet minutes after suffering a concussion in Minnesota ruled himself out of last week's game against the Miami Dolphins.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since a gruesome hit on Oct. 22, after missing just the second game of his nine-year career.
He said he cleared the concussion protocol last week before the Ravens' Thursday Night Football game against the Miami Dolphins, but informed Head Coach John Harbaugh that he did not feel ready to play.
After consulting his mother, partner and daughter, Wallace didn't want to risk another hit to the head on such short rest. Wallace said Harbaugh supported his decision.
"It was tough, man," Wallace said. "It was a decision I was going back and forth with the whole day.
"As bad as I wanted to play, I felt good, I felt great, just the risk of getting hit like that twice … chances are real slim, but there's always a possibility when you step on the field and I don't want to be out there second-guessing anything."
Wallace said that he told team trainers immediately after the Ravens' loss in Minnesota that he would be playing four days later against the Dolphins.
However, conversations with the women most near and dear to his heart changed his outlook. He said his mom walked out of the room after seeing Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo's hit on her son.
"Talking to my mom and my girl, they were like, 'No.' They were never in support of me playing in that game, but at the end of the day it was my decision," Wallace said.
Wallace said he probably would have played had the same thing happened earlier in his career. He made a different decision this time, not because of his age, but because of what he knows now.
"I think it's just about the knowledge of what's going on with the head injuries and things like that," he said. "When I first got in the league, we were just really starting to hear about it.
"It was the best decision with the knowledge that I have about it and with the timing. We won 40-0, so I know it was the right decision."
Wallace said it would have been much tougher on him after the game had the Ravens not beaten the Dolphins. He's always been a player who has prided himself on suiting up no matter what injuries are bothering him. But the head is different, he said.
Wallace said he holds no ill will towards Sendejo, and didn't think the hit was intentional or dirty.
"I was getting wrapped up and spun around and he was coming in. It's football; things happen," he said.
And he doesn't think it's going to affect him moving forward. Wallace joked that he won't hesitate going over the middle because he doesn't even remember the play.
"I just remember catching the ball and then being in the locker room," he said. "I'm a dog. None of that matters. I'm just built like that. It is what it is."* *
Wallace still leads the Ravens in receiving yards (248). He has 16 catches and one touchdown.
Wallace said he feels great now, and expects to play Sunday in Nashville. He was a full practice participant Wednesday, but limited Thursday because of back soreness.
If Wallace does play, it will be the first time in a month that he, Jeremy Maclin and Breshad Perriman were all on the field at the same time. The last time was a 30-17 win in Oakland in which the passing game had its best day.
"We're starting to get the band back together," Wallace said. "I think we're starting to get our people back at the right time to make a push. You need to be full strength in this league to have a chance."