Neck injury still has hold over Jonathan Ogden

Offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden admits to being a little tentative in Thursday night's loss to the Chiefs. Ogden is still recovering from a neck injury on the artificial turf at Atlanta on Oct. 3.

He picked the wrong game to be tentative, having to face Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Thomas on passing situations. Ordinarily, a matchup like this would be one to watch, but with Ogden not fully healthy, Thomas was able to take advantage a few times.

Thomas did not get a sack, but he did get a couple of hurries on quarterback Stoney Case.

"I was probably a little tentative," Ogden said. "I was going out there going hard. I couldn't help but hesitate a little. But it [the neck] felt pretty good though. I'm happy with the way the neck came out.

"I was good enough to get out there and give an effort. Everybody could have played better. But the effort was there."

After being carted off the field the last time he played, Ogden's hesitation was understandable. It just came at the most inopportune time for the Ravens, who already had so many injuries on the offensive line.

"I think the lack of playing time the past couple of weeks, he may still be conscious of it," coach Brian Billick said. "That's something he's going to have to work through. That's not something you take lightly because you're talking about the neck. I'm sure throughout the game it got tweaked a couple of times."

Ogden started, lined up next to Everett Lindsay. But when starting right tackle James Atkins went down in the first quarter with a strained groin muscle, Lindsay moved to tackle, leaving Mike Flynn and rookie Edwin Mulitalo to rotate at left guard.

All of that led to a rough game by Ogden and the entire offensive line.

"There is something to chemistry," Billick said. "That's the biggest problem with the offensive line when you're talking about injury. We had a specific situation yesterday on a run play where there's what's called a tag block between the tackle and guard. Ogden forgot that Edwin was in. He and Everett are very subtle about it with just a wink or a nod. You don't want to key off the tackle. But Edwin had no clue what Ogden was communicating to him."

Ogden said he should be 100 percent when the Ravens face Buffalo on Oct. 31.

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