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Ogden's status is still iffy

The Baltimore Sun

The Ravens are still in a holding pattern regarding offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.

Ogden, a 10-time Pro Bowl pick, practiced yesterday for the first time in pads but was limited during practice, according to the team.

Afterward, Ogden, who has been sidelined for the entire offseason and preseason with a hyperextended toe, said he was "cautiously optimistic" about playing against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night but also acknowledged that if the game was yesterday, he would not have played.

"But that's why we have practice," said Ogden, whose left foot was heavily taped. "That's why we've got four or five days. It's been like nine months, but hopefully, these five days will help."

Coach Brian Billick was equally noncommittal about Ogden's status, saying: "He seemed to get through it pretty good. The key will be how he feels tomorrow and then the next day."

Ogden said the decision to play would rest on the health of the toe and his ability to push off it.

"I just have to be able to be effective," he said. "I've got to be able to go out there and not hurt the team. I've got to be able to push and not get bull-rushed. All the things I'm used to doing, I've got to be able to do at least close to where I used to be able to do it."

At least one Ravens player said he believes Ogden will be able to play against the Bengals.

"I can sleep at night now," said quarterback Steve McNair, whose blind side would be protected by Ogden. "To deal with the injury he has -- I've been through it -- it's a painful situation. He's back. He looks good. It should give us a boost up front to go out and execute.

Injury report

In addition to Ogden, cornerback Samari Rolle (sprained ankle), wide receiver Mark Clayton (sprained ankle), tight end Daniel Wilcox (sprained ankle) and linebacker Antwan Barnes (sprained ankle) were limited in practice, according to the team.

Free safety Ed Reed (bruised thigh) practiced yesterday. And wide receiver Derrick Mason, who missed practice Tuesday to take care of a personal matter, returned.

Linebacker Gary Stills, who was listed with a chest injury, did not practice but he said he was optimistic that he would be able to play Monday night.

For the Bengals, starting linebacker Rashad Jeanty (shin) is out, and three more starters -- offensive tackle Willie Anderson (foot), wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh (knee) and cornerback Johnathan Joseph (foot) -- did not practice.

Center Eric Ghiaciuc (neck) and kicker Shayne Graham (hip) returned to practice.

Contract situation

A new season is here, but not a contract extension for linebacker Terrell Suggs.

But Suggs, who likely will be one of the most pursued free agents after this season, said the lack of an extension doesn't bother him.

"I'm not concerned," he said yesterday. "I'm really not worried about it. If it happens, it happens. But that's like an added distraction to what we're trying to do. I don't really want to apply some kind of selfish, individual need that has totally nothing to do with football. So I'm not worried about it right now."

Back on the field

Linebackers Dan Cody and Mike Smith worked out yesterday for the first time this season, taking part in individual drills.

Under the supervision of linebackers coach Jeff FitzGerald, Cody (knee surgery) and Smith (shoulder surgery) backpedaled, changed directions, and pass-rushed an imaginary quarterback. Both players are on the physically-unable-to-perform list and must miss the first six weeks of the regular season.

"They're a little rough around the edges technique-wise, footwork and things like that," FitzGerald said. "They were working at a decent speed, but the movements and things like that are a little rusty right now."


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