Tempers flare during Ravens' final day of practice

WESTMINSTER -- Tempers flared during the Baltimore Ravens' final contact work of training camp. <br><br> It was a fairly intense workout Monday morning as the Ravens held their final practices of the summer at McDaniel College. <br><br> First, wide receiver Ron Johnson and safety Gerome Sapp were involved in a brief altercation that didn't escalate to punches. Then, safety Will Demps and Randy Hymes exchanged shoves and words

Following that brief skirmish, Ravens coach Brian Billick halted practice and told the entire team, with a profanity attached, that the next incident would trigger the punishment of running gassers until he got tired. The rest of practice was far more subdued.

After Billick huddled the team, Hymes caught a touchdown pass and nearly dunked the ball over the crossbar.

"I think the fights and arguments got practice going," Johnson said. "It's all in fun. Nobody hates each other. We can get into it and still be a family.

"It's over and done with. It's like when you get in a fight with your best friend growing up and five minutes later, you're playing PlayStation together."

DEION UPDATE: Billick told ESPN that he expects retired seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback Deion Sanders to make a decision by Aug. 30 on whether he will return to the NFL as the Ravens' nickel back.

Sanders, 37, has been training at his Texas estate. His speed coach, Tom Shaw, said that Sanders is likely to make a decision by Friday. The Ravens play the Detroit Lions on Aug. 28 and close the preseason Sept. 2 against the New York Giants.

BROWN RETURNS: Offensive tackle Orlando Brown returned to practice in the afternoon after missing the majority of the last few weeks to care for his ailing mother.

Brown said his mother is on a ventilator, but he was generally upbeat about her prospects and the care she's receiving.

"She's strong," Brown said. "She's going to fight."

Billick noted in the morning that Brown's readiness for games would have to be gauged.

"We'll have to see," Billick said. "I'm going to visit with him and we have to be respectful of his situation. But at the same token, we have to get him ready."

FENDER-BENDER: Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was involved in a car accident in Westminster following the morning practice and was treated for a minor cut.

Both vehicles required towing, and last year's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year received a $65 ticket for failure to yield, according to a police report.

TRAINING ROOM: Besides center Mike Flynn fracturing his clavicle Monday and being out for the next six to eight weeks, there were no new injuries. Defensive end Tony Weaver (high ankle sprain), quarterback Anthony Wright (shoulder), tight end Todd Heap (bruised shoulder), cornerback Corey Fuller (bruised lower leg), wide receiver Travis Taylor (groin), wide receiver Devard Darling (quadriceps), defensive end Marques Douglas (elbow), linebacker Peter Boulware (knee), return specialist Derek Abney (shoulder), cornerback Fred Weary (quadriceps), defensive tackle Matt Zielinski (knee) and tight end Trent Smith (leg) didn't practice.

QUICK HIT: Billick was complimentary of cornerback Ray Walls' work with the first defense. "Ray has really stepped his game up and been impressive," Billick said.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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