Notebook: McNair's in, Ogden's out

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick confirmed that quarterback Steve McNair will start Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals and officially ruled out All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden for the second consecutive week. McNair missed his first start since joining the Ravens last year, sitting out last week's 20-13 win over the New York Jets due to a groin pull.

He took the snaps with the first-team offense all week.

"Steve seems to have gotten through the week okay, so hopefully it will show up that way on Sunday," Billick said. "It was just a matter of how he felt. He felt pretty good, so that was the key."

Meanwhile, Ogden is out until at least next week with a nagging turf toe injury and a sprained left foot.

Ogden practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, sat out Thursday's workout and was able to do some drills during a light practice Friday.

"It won't be this week, but he's progressing," Billick said.

Ogden, who's listed as out on the injury report, acknowledged that he was unlikely to play this week. It's still a matter of managing the pain and being mobile enough to protect McNair's blind side.

"It has to be able to function," Ogden said. Cornerback Samari Rolle missed his second consecutive day of practice due to an undisclosed illness. He's listed as questionable.

If Rolle can't start, then nickel back Corey Ivy would take his place as Baltimore tries to contain dangerous Cardinals wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.

"We'll see," Billick said. "There's a bit of a bug going around."

INJURY UPDATE: Tight end Daniel Wilcox (ankle) is doubtful and was limited in practice. Fullback Justin Green (thigh) is questionable and was limited in practice.

Listed as probable and practicing fully with the exception of linebacker Gary Stills (knee), who was limited: offensive tackle Jared Gaither (knee), Ivy (thigh), McNair, cornerback David Pittman (ankle), safety Gerome Sapp (foot) and tight end Quinn Sypniewski (neck).

SITUATIONAL: With four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Trevor Pryce sidelined with a broken wrist, rookie outside linebacker Antwan Barnes is about to get an extended audition as the Ravens' situational pass rusher.

He'll line up outside Sunday and try to generate pressure on third downs and other obvious passing situations.

"I'm very excited," said Barnes, a fourth-round draft pick out of Florida International. "They know what I can do, and I need to go out there and play my game.

"I know that everybody needs a backup and the backup needs to be as good as the starter. I hate being a spectator, so this is my opportunity to show what I can do."

KEY MATCHUP: Tight end Todd Heap is keenly aware of what's lurking in the middle of the Cardinals' secondary.

It's Pro Bowl strong safety Adrian Wilson, a physical specimen at 6-foot-3, 230 pound with 4.4 speed who intercepted four passes last season with four forced fumbles, 87 tackles and five sacks.

"He might be one of the biggest safeties in the NFL," Heap said. "When you see a guy that big with that kind of athleticism, it makes you aware of him at all times on the field."

RUNNING STRONG: Cardinals running back Edgerrin James appears to have regained his old form, rushing for an NFC-leading 220 yards with a 4.4 average per carry.

A year ago after leaving the Indianapolis Colts, the former Pro Bowl runner slumped to 1,159 yards and a career-low 3.4 average per carry.

"Oh, Edge is looking like he's getting back to his old Edge," Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis said. "He's always been a patient ball carrier. Now, he looks like he's more patient.

"He's finding his gaps. We've all got to come play football against him because he's one of the premier top backs in the league right now."

Over the past four years, though, Baltimore has only allowed a dozen rushers to gain 100 yards.

"Edgerrin has always been an elite back and now they're committed to the run," linebacker Bart Scott said.

BUILDING BLOCKS: One week after committing no penalties in his first NFL start after drawing three flags in the season opener, rookie right tackle Marshal Yanda has set new goals.

"I want to make sure I keep the penalties out and not hurt the team," Yanda said. "But I had three missed assignments last week. I want to play an error-free game, play physical and work on my feet. Sometimes, I take bad steps."

IMPRESSED: Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart is a streaky passer with three interceptions, two touchdowns, 56.9 percent accuracy and a 66.2 passer rating, but he still qualifies as a strong-armed threat.

"If you allow him to have time and sit in the pocket, he can complete every pass on the field," cornerback Chris McAlister said. "So, he's a guy that we definitely respect in the secondary as being able to get the ball down the field."

QUICK HITS: This marks a renewed ACC rivalry between Ravens offensive guard Jason Brown and Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett. Brown played at North Carolina, and Dockett played at Florida State. "Dockett is very talented, very shifty and quick," Brown said of the Burtonsville native. ... After some shoddy tackling in the fourth quarter against the Jets, it wasn't as if defensive coordinator Rex Ryan was going to institute the Oklahoma drill during practice. "We talk about it constantly, and this is a great tackling football team," Ryan said. "It always has been. It's something we pride ourselves on and obviously we never got it done to our standard in the fourth quarter of that game."

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

Ravens Insider Top Stories