Pro Bowl left tackle Jonathan Ogden is set to play in the Baltimore Ravens' home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers today, good news for a Baltimore offense that struggled last week.
Ogden sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the preseason finale against the New York Giants on Sept. 2. He sat out of last week's 20-3 loss at Cleveland, but returned to practice on Wednesday, with his knee either secured in a brace or tightly wrapped. The St. Albans graduate participated in every team drill on both Thursday and Friday, and was upgraded to probable on the injury report on Friday.
"He looked good," Coach Brian Billick said after practice on Friday. "He moved around well today."
The Ravens missed Ogden against the Browns. Baltimore was held to just 88 yards on the ground (running back Jamal Lewis, the NFL's leading rusher in 2003, had only 57 yards on 20 carries). Quarterback Kyle Boller was sacked three times by Browns defensive end Kenard Lang, who lined up against Ogden's replacement, Ethan Brooks.
The Ravens will be without three other starters, however. Center Mike Flynn (broken collarbone), nose tackle Kelly Gregg (knee) and wide receiver Travis Taylor (groin) are all out. Brooks is also out with a sprained knee.
Casey Rabach will start in Flynn's place for the second consecutive week.
Maake Kemoeatu, who joined the Ravens as a rookie free agent in 2002, will start for Gregg, and Randy Hymes will take Taylor's place.
Cornerback Gary Baxter (hand) and defensive end Jarret Johnson (elbow) are listed as probable, though neither player missed any portions of practice this week. Baxter suffered a deep cut that required stitches on his left hand during the Browns game, and he will wear a soft cast today.
"It's painful, and it's going to be tough to intercept a ball or even hurt to knock it down, but it's not keeping him from doing anything," Billick said.
"I played with a hernia all last year," Baxter said earlier this week. "This is nothing."