Ravens' Monday practice update

WESTMINSTER -- Rookie defensive tackle Haloti Ngata pursued down the line of scrimmage and bashed into running back Musa Smith on one of the first plays of practice, sending Smith sailing off his feet to the ground at McDaniel College. It was the first fully-padded practice of training camp Monday morning.

And although contact drills weren't completely live, the Baltimore Ravens had a physical workout on a hot, hazy day in Carroll County.

"Typically, the first day in pads feels a little different," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I was very pleased with the morning workout.

"The key is to keep your legs moving and stay up. We're a little bit healthier by keeping our focus on staying up, keep on moving and not getting tied up."

Wide receiver Mark Clayton spun cornerback Chris McAlister around twice with a sharp stutter-step route, losing McAlister in transition. Clayton dashed into the end zone several steps ahead of McAlister, who patted Clayton on the helmet afterward in acknowledgement.

Smith and fellow running back Mike Anderson both ran with outstanding body lean and broke several long runs into the secondary.

"He's healthy and ready to go," Billick said of Smith. "He's completely showing the signs that he's ready to come back full-force."

Meanwhile, running back Jamal Lewis (hip flexor) and wide receiver Clarence Moore (hernia) remain on the active physically unable to perform list.

"Trainer's call," Billick said. "When they say they are ready to go, they'll go."

Lewis said he expects to return as soon as Tuesday.

However, Moore's time table may take much longer.

He's recovering from two hernia surgeries and has had five since suffering a sports hernia in college at Northern Arizona. The mesh wire that was supporting his abdomen got loose last season, necessitating the surgical procedures.

Moore has told trainers and team doctors that his hernia is still extremely tender and painful.

Plus, rookie running back Cory Ross sat out of team drills with a hamstring injury.

Rookie cornerback David Pittman returned to practice after tweaking his hamstring Saturday, and undrafted wide receiver Tres Moses returned to action from a mild sprained ankle.

Billick has informed players that they can be excused from Friday's practice to attend the funeral of offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden's father. Adam Terry has been starting at left tackle while Ogden is away from camp.

With the weather so hot, Billick moved practice up from 8:45 a.m. to an 8:15 a.m. start the next three days.

"I accused the players of hacking into my computer to make me think it was hotter than it was to move it up," Billick said. "It's tough, but we're going to adjust to it."

Aaron Wilson writes for Ravens Insider and the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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