Ravens' Thursday camp notes

WESTMINSTER -- The Baltimore Ravens will regain one of their primary offensive centerpieces Friday night against the New York Giants as running back Jamal Lewis is slated to start.

Lewis has been extremely limited in contact drills in training camp due to a strained left hip flexor that caused him to miss the first few days of practice on the physically unable to perform list.

Every precautionary measure has been taken to ease Lewis into hitting. Now, the former Pro Bowl runner will test out his leg in the Ravens' preseason opener at M&T Bank Stadium.

"Jamal is running pretty good," quarterback Steve McNair said of Lewis, who's coming off a career-low season where he gained only 906 yards, scored three touchdowns and averaged 3.4 yards per carry. "I think that's going to help this overall offense as far as having Jamal and Mike Anderson in the backfield and the guys that we have outside to make plays in the passing game. So, we just try to balance this thing out so that people and teams can't dictate what we are going to do.

"When you have a guy like Jamal Lewis that's always accounted for by defenses, other guys have to step up and take the pressure off of him to open things up so his game can be even better."

OGDEN RETURNS: Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden reported to training camp Thursday after missing the past few weeks following his father's death.

The nine-time All-Pro blocker worked on the sidelines alongside his brother, Marques Ogden, a former Ravens lineman who's not under contract. Ogden's younger brother was there primarily for moral support.

"I'm doing all right," Jonathan Ogden said. "I'm just trying to get back into the flow."

Ogden is expected to be placed on the physically unable to perform list and then be activated as soon as Monday. Adam Terry will start at left tackle in Ogden's place.

"I'm looking forward to getting Jonathan back," McNair said. "We're just taking it slow because you can't forget what he's been through in the past couple weeks. I'm quite sure with the many times he's been to the Pro Bowl and as many years as he's been in the league, he'll be ready."

R. LEWIS TO PLAY: Although middle linebacker Ray Lewis didn't take part in full-team work in the scrimmage against the Washington Redskins, Ravens coach Brian Billick indicated No. 52 will operate as normal against New York with the first-string defense.

TRAINING ROOM: The Ravens ruled out several players, including: first-round defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained left medial collateral ligament), offensive guard Brian Rimpf (pulled hamstring), safety B.J. Ward (migraines), wide receiver Clarence Moore (sports hernia) and cornerback David Pittman (strained hamstring). Tight end Rob Abiamiri (leg) will be a game-time decision.

QUICK HITS: Rookie Dawan Landry will start at safety opposite Ed Reed. Justin Green will start at fullback. Aubrayo Franklin will start at defensive tackle, rotating with newcomer Justin Bannan. ...This marks the return to Baltimore of former Ravens four-year starting free safety Will Demps, who signed with the Giants after the Ravens made no effort to retain him. Demps hasn't been shy about comparing the Giants' defense to the Ravens. "I think we're more talented here," said Demps, who gave tight end Jeremy Shockey a major concussion with an elbow to the head during camp. "I'm not saying what we did have in Baltimore wasn't talented, but we have a lot. We're young here, we're hungry." … The Giants won't be at full strength as coach Tom Coughlin plans to rest several key players, including: linebacker LaVar Arrington (knee), Shockey (post-concussion syndrome), linebacker Carlos Emmons (neck burner), wide receiver Santorice Moss (quadriceps) and offensive guard Chris Snee (knee).

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

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