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Billick's news conference: Ogden might not return

Coach Brian Billick dropped a bombshell today when he revealed that the team is beginning to work on a contingency plan based on the possibility that 10-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden will not return this season.

Ogden, who has not played since the Sept. 10 season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals when he sprained his left foot, has practiced on numerous occasions in his bid to play again this season. But with Ogden expected to his miss his sixth consecutive game this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, Billick said the question of whether the foot injury is a season-ending ailment becomes a real possibility, especially if Ogden cannot play against the Pittsburgh Steelers after the team's Week 8 bye. "If not by then, then it's a very legitimate question," said Billick, adding that he has been encouraged by the effort Ogden has been putting forth in practices.

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Other notes:

*Billick said he thinks tight end Todd Heap's strained hamstring will feel better by the end of the week to the point where he might play against the Bills. Billick also said that cornerback Chris McAlister "tweaked" his knee and is a day-to-day decision. Defensive end Trevor Pryce will have the pins in his broken left wrist removed this week, but linebacker Dan Cody will not be activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list due to an apparent leg injury. Linebacker Mike Smith might be activated in a week or two.

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*While he called center Mike Flynn's return from a sprained knee "very likely," Billick was not as confident about offensive tackle Adam Terry's sprained left ankle. "Adam, I'm not sure," Billick said. "I think he's progressing very well."

*Although the team's focus is on beating the Bills to get to the bye with a 5-2 record, Billick conceded that the week off couldn't have come at a better time. "We need the bye desperately -- physically and emotionally -- to get healthy," he said.

*Quote of the conference: "Then don't." -- Billick responding to a reporter who began his question, "Not to put the blame on a single player..."


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