Ngata's injury deemed minor


LANDOVER -- The Ravens' first live action of the 2006 season also yielded their first scare.

Rookie defensive tackle Haloti Ngata sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during an 11-on-11 drill in a scrimmage against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field yesterday.

But the 12th overall selection in April's draft said that the injury was not serious and that he should be back to practice by Tuesday or Wednesday.

"It feels good," Ngata said. "It's just a minor sprain. I'll be back in a couple of days."

Ngata said someone hit his knee as he planted his foot on a pass rush. Coach Brian Billick did not seem too concerned in his post-scrimmage comments.

"I think he's OK," Billick said. "According to the doctors, he probably could've gone back in."

In other injury-related news, running back Mike Anderson suffered a mild concussion while picking up a blitz but said he would practice tomorrow. Running back Jamal Lewis took part in seven-on-seven passing drills but was absent during the contact portion of the scrimmage.

Wide receiver Mark Clayton (strained hamstring), linebacker Dan Cody (sprained ankle ligaments), cornerback David Pittman (strained hamstring) and tight end Bobby Blizzard (strained back) did not participate.

Dueling punters

Leo Araguz and Sam Koch each punted three times with little or no pressure from the Redskins, but the brief action seemed to illustrate the Ravens' dilemma at that position.

Koch is the Nebraska product in whom the franchise invested a sixth-round draft choice this past April. The 23-year-old has the young, strong leg with which he averaged 51.7 yards a punt yesterday.

Araguz, 36, did not fare as well, averaging 40 yards per punt. Yet Araguz has seven seasons under his belt and played two years in Oakland with current Ravens special teams coordinator Frank Gansz Jr.

Billick acknowledged the risk in interpreting anything from the scrimmage.

"This is not necessarily a live situation," he said. "Until those bullets are flying, that's where Sam's going to have to show that he's able to hold up. Leo's done that before; Sam hasn't yet."

One possible advantage for Koch is that he can also handle kickoff duties. Yesterday, his lone kickoff sent the Redskins returner 5 yards deep into his end zone.

Abiamiri grabs touchdown catch

The 4-yard touchdown pass that tight end Rob Abiamiri (Maryland) hauled in from quarterback Kyle Boller was a catch that he had dreamed about for years.

"Since the Ravens came here, I've always watched them," said Abiamiri, a three-sport athlete at Mount St. Joseph. "I grew up here, and to be able to play for them is a blessing for me."

Rookie safety Landry with first unit

Rookie Dawan Landry joined fellow safety Ed Reed and cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle as the secondary on the field with the first-team defense yesterday.

It appears that Landry, the team's fifth-round selection out of Georgia Tech in April, may have vaulted over Gerome Sapp for the other starting safety position, but Landry said he can't get too complacent.

"That's pretty encouraging, but at the same time, I've still got to stay on my game and do a lot of film study," he said. "I want to be on the same page with those guys."

LaTendresse makes most of chances

Wide receiver Travis LaTendresse may have made the impression he was looking for.

The free agent who signed in July registered catches of 23 and 20 yards during the Ravens' first touchdown drive. His 20-yard reception put the offense at the 4-yard line, leading to Boller's scoring pass to Abiamiri.

"I'm just a free agent trying to make this team," LaTendresse said. "Every catch counts."

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