Ravens' Ray Rice strains hip flexor

Ray Rice left the Ravens' victory over the Browns with a hip injury on a play he wasn't even touched. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

BALTIMORE -- The Ravens expressed optimism about Ray Rice's status after the running back left during the fourth quarter of Baltimore's 14-6 win Sunday over the Cleveland Browns with a hip flexor strain.

Rice went down without getting hit with 11:57 to play and didn't return.

He wasn't scheduled for an MRI, and he didn't walk with a limp after the game.

"He might've gone down to protect himself, too," coach John Harbaugh said. "That's just something that we'll have to see. We're confident and optimistic right now. We'll have to see tomorrow how he responds to that."

Rice finished with 36 yards on 13 carries (2.8-yard average). He fumbled late in the third quarter.

Backup running back Bernard Pierce replaced Rice and ran for 57 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries.

Rice, who has surpassed 1,100 yards rushing in each of the four seasons since running for 454 as a rookie in 2008, took some heat from fantasy football fans via social media for his exit. He responded in kind: