Ravens' Tyus Bowser clarifies he wasn't protesting national anthem

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens rookie linebacker Tyus Bowser could be seen Sunday kneeling in the end zone for the beginning part of the national anthem.

Bowser, however, wants it known that he wasn't protesting. He was kneeling in prayer.

"As I have done for every game of my college and pro career, I knelt to pray in the end zone prior to kickoff," Bowser said Monday. "My actions were in no way, shape or form a protest. It was my normal routine I have done my entire career. As soon as I finished praying, I ran to the sideline with my teammates."

When Bowser reached the sideline, he stood with his hand over his heart.

In a statement, the Ravens said: "The Ravens' pregame timing was not normal. We were behind on the time schedule, and we had to rush to the anthem because of television commitments. We understand completely how this could happen."

Bowser, a second-round pick by the Ravens this year, has nine tackles and two sacks this season.