Bad news for Cody as camp starts

WESTMINSTER -- Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Dan Cody continues to be plagued by a knee injury that's likely to keep him out during training camp, and possibly the entire regular season if he requires further surgery. Cody hyperextended his right knee and tore a thumb-sized piece of cartilage during a May minicamp, undergoing arthroscopic surgery two weeks ago.

The next step for Cody could be microfracture surgery, a procedure where small fractures are created to make room for new cartilage to grow. If doctors determine that he needs the surgery, when he's examined again this month, the former second-round draft pick from Oklahoma would need four months to recover and would likely be placed on injured reserve for the third year in a row.

"I've got my fingers crossed," Cody said Monday morning outside the team hotel. "Time will tell. It's doing good, though."

Cody has worked diligently to try to get healthy and develop into a situational pass rusher for the NFL's top-ranked defense. However, his hard luck hasn't abetted.

He was officially placed on the physically unable to perform list Monday as the Ravens held their first practice at McDaniel College.

"Obviously, we're just trying to help Dan Cody get healthy and see if we can get him back on the field," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

Despite enduring another medical setback, Cody, who's walking with a slight limp with his knee wrapped up, sounds determined to try to resurrect his career.

"It's really early," Cody said. "I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing: rehabbing and working hard. I'm hoping the scope is going to get me back on the field."

INJURY UPDATES: Meanwhile, All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (turf toe), linebacker Mike Smith (shoulder), fullback Justin Green (knee) and offensive tackle Mike Kracalik (ankle) joined Cody on the PUP list.

Billick said that the team knew in February that Ogden would miss three to four weeks of camp. Ogden pondered retirement during the offseason. He missed training camp for personal reasons last season after his father's death.

"That was the design, we structured it that way," Billick said. "That's a good thing. Even if he weren't hurt, this process probably suits J.O. right now and where he is in his career.

"Due to unfortunate circumstances last year at this time, we are going to be ahead of the curve because he's going to be working out the whole time during camp."

Billick said that Smith and Green could be activated by the middle or end of the week. Kracalik's prognosis is undetermined after getting hurt this spring.

ROOKIE IMPACT: Rookie offensive tackle Jared Gaither wasted no time announcing his massive presence during his first NFL practice.

The 6-foot-9, 350-pound former University of Maryland standout walled off Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, countering his moves with uncanny athleticism.

"I got Suggs once," said Gaither, who was selected in the fifth round of the NFL supplemental draft. "He got me the second time. It was fun."

It was a promising debut for Gaither, who was declared academically ineligible to play for the Terrapins earlier this summer.

"I'm impressed," Suggs said. "He shocked me. It shows Ozzie Newsome knows what he's doing. I like the kid and I think he can help us win some football games.

"It's the first day. You win some, you lose some. The kid's good, but it's a long camp."

STARTERS' HUDDLE: Rookie offensive lineman Marshal Yanda found himself in an unusual position for a rookie: starting at left tackle with Ogden and Kracalik sidelined.

The third-round draft pick from Iowa is hoping to make the most of what shapes up as an extended initiation.

"It's a great experience to get out there, I'll take every rep I can get," Yanda said. "It's cool, but, in the back of your mind, you know you haven't really earned it because a couple of guys are out.

"You take it as a positive. Being with the first-team, that's where you want to be down the road."

QUICK HITS: The Ravens announced an attendance of 3,008 at the morning practice, bigger than last year's first-day total of 2,530. Many fans were still making the trek back from Cooperstown, N.Y., for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction of Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. "I was amazed," Billick said. "Our fans are phenomenal. Half these people were probably in Cooperstown and rightfully so because it was a magical day."

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis said he hasn't spoken to embattled Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who faces dogfighting charges. "My prayers are with everybody in the whole situation," Lewis said. "The thing is ugly, so all you can do is pray for him. I don't go either way. I haven't talked to him at all."

Defensive end Kenny King and linebacker Jim Cottrell are no longer on the roster.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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