Ogden sprains knee against Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Baltimore Ravens experienced a scare Thursday night when perennial All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden sprained his left medial collateral ligament in the first quarter of their preseason finale against the New York Giants.<br><br> If team doctor Leigh Ann Curl had to make an immediate prognosis, then she would likely list Ogden as questionable for the opener against the Cleveland Browns, according to team spokesman Kevin Byrne.

Under NFL guidelines for injury reports, a questionable listing for Ogden would denote a 50-percent chance of his availability Sept. 12 in Cleveland.

The seven-time Pro Bowl tackle limped off the field under his own power. The 6-foot-9 345-pound blocker has been remarkably healthy since the Ravens made him the first draft pick in franchise history in 1996 with the fourth overall selection.

If Ogden is unable to play against Cleveland, he would likely be replaced by Ethan Brooks, the top reserve at both tackle spots. Brooks started Thursday for right tackle Orlando Brown as he missed the game because of a family illness that has limited his preseason work.

DEION IN THE HOUSE: Recently-signed cornerback Deion Sanders made the trip to New York, but didn't play after getting in a morning workout with secondary coach Johnnie Lynn.

The seven-time Pro Bowl selection didn't guarantee his availability for the Ravens' regular-season opener Sept. 12 against the Cleveland Browns, but that's the operative plan for now.

"I don't know," Sanders said. "I'm taking a crash course over this next week. Hopefully, I can contribute. If I can't, then I'll have to prepare for the second week."

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan indicated that Sanders would play outside opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister, which would allow cornerback Gary Baxter to move inside and cover the slot receiver.

"I think we'll adapt to what he does," Nolan said. "We've got enough to encompass the strengths that he has. You don't want to have him blitz when his strength is to cover."

Sanders struggled with nagging injuries during his last football season in 2000 with the Washington Redskins, including a turf toe.

"I understand he had some different injuries," Nolan said. "I believe his strengths have remained the same over time. My recall of those things is minimal, and I'm very forgiving of anyone who passes through that place."

FAMILIAR TERRITORY: Former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel was on the opposing sideline with the Ravens in his role as a senior consultant.

It was an emotional return for Fassel, who was fired after going 4-12 last season in losing the final eight games of a New York tenure that began in 1997.

"I threatened some guys and the paint started to come off the walls, and we moved forward," said Fassel, who still lives in New Jersey. "There's change in this league and you've got to be able to be adaptable. If you're not, you're a dinosaur and you're done."

Fassel is under contract through Dec. 31, so he can seek a head-coaching position immediately after the regular season.

TRAINING ROOM: Wide receiver Travis Taylor (groin), wide receiver Devard Darling (quadriceps), cornerback Corey Fuller (bruised lower leg), cornerback Javin Hunter (sprained abductor), quarterback Anthony Wright (shoulder), linebacker Ed Hartwell (quadriceps), linebacker Peter Boulware (knee), center Mike Flynn (broken collarbone), tight end Todd Heap (bruised shoulder), defensive end Marques Douglas (elbow) and defensive end Tony Weaver (high ankle sprain) didn't play.

Randy Hymes started for Taylor and caught four passes for 55 yards, with Casey Rabach playing for Flynn, Ethan Brooks for Brown, Terry Jones for Heap and T.J. Slaughter for Hartwell.

Tight end Jeremy Shockey was the Giants' notable inactive.

QUICK HITS: Terrell Suggs, last year's NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, recorded his first sack of the preseason. He led the Ravens and all rookies last season with a dozen sacks. … Slaughter and nose guard Kelly Gregg had five tackles apiece by halftime. Slaughter drilled Ron Dayne for a 2-yard loss on the Giants' opening drive.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.
 


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