Neck injury still has hold over Ogden

Ravens notebook

All-Pro lineman still is unsettled, healing

October 23, 1999|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden admits to being a little tentative in Thursday night's loss to the Chiefs. Ogden is still recovering from a neck injury on the artificial turf at Atlanta on Oct. 3.

He picked the wrong game to be tentative, having to face Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Thomas on passing situations. Ordinarily, a matchup like this would be one to watch, but with Ogden not fully healthy, Thomas was able to take advantage a few times.

Thomas did not get a sack, but he did get a couple of hurries on quarterback Stoney Case.

"I was probably a little tentative," Ogden said. "I was going out there going hard. I couldn't help but hesitate a little. But it [the neck] felt pretty good though. I'm happy with the way the neck came out.

"I was good enough to get out there and give an effort. Everybody could have played better. But the effort was there."

After being carted off the field the last time he played, Ogden's hesitation was understandable. It just came at the most inopportune time for the Ravens, who already had so many injuries on the offensive line.

"I think the lack of playing time the past couple of weeks, he may still be conscious of it," coach Brian Billick said. "That's something he's going to have to work through. That's not something you take lightly because you're talking about the neck. I'm sure throughout the game it got tweaked a couple of times."

Ogden started, lined up next to Everett Lindsay. But when starting right tackle James Atkins went down in the first quarter with a strained groin muscle, Lindsay moved to tackle, leaving Mike Flynn and rookie Edwin Mulitalo to rotate at left guard.

All of that led to a rough game by Ogden and the entire offensive line.

"There is something to chemistry," Billick said. "That's the biggest problem with the offensive line when you're talking about injury. We had a specific situation yesterday on a run play where there's what's called a tag block between the tackle and guard. Ogden forgot that Edwin was in. He and Everett are very subtle about it with just a wink or a nod. You don't want to key off the tackle. But Edwin had no clue what Ogden was communicating to him."

Ogden said he should be 100 percent when the Ravens face Buffalo on Oct. 31.

Boulware feeling OK

Strong-side linebacker Peter Boulware suffered a mild concussion against the Chiefs, but said he was feeling fine yesterday.

"It was described as a little concussion, whatever that means," Boulware said. "I got hit in the head and started to get dizzy. Then I lost my balance. My head started hurting so I came out of the game. That's a strange feeling when you can't remember stuff. It's kind of crazy, but I feel fine now."

Moore dusts himself off

Veteran safety Stevon Moore has played in more than 100 NFL games, including starting all 16 last season for the Ravens.

But with Rod Woodson's switch to safety, Moore finally got his first action on defense Thursday night registering two tackles.

"It felt great getting out there and getting into the flow," Moore said. "I wasn't out there long enough to make an impact, but my presence was felt when I was out there. I tried to do whatever I could to help the team and give the team a lift."

Moore entered the game in the third quarter after starter Kim Herring left because of an Achilles' tendon injury. Herring came back in the fourth quarter.

"I bring that leadership and intensity to the game," Moore said. "That is how the game should be played."

Rookie coach on rookie

Billick repeated an adage -- "For every rookie you start, you are going to lose a game" -- in his press conference yesterday, referring to Mulitalo's error that cost the Ravens three points.

It is a stretch to believe Mulitalo's mistake, penalized for being the 12th man on the field when Matt Stover made his 32-yard kick, cost the Ravens against the Chiefs.

It did cost the team a chance to go up 3-0 on a team that does not play well from behind. After the penalty, Stover missed the 37-yarder off the crossbar.

The Chiefs scored a touchdown on their next possession.

"Edwin kind of lost track to where he was and what is going on when we go into field goal," Billick said. "He wasn't sure whether he should have been there or not. He just didn't get off the field and no one recognized it.

"In hindsight, looking at the game, it was not a huge difference. Clearly when they were able to go up seven points, that changes the mentality for them and the way they approach the game. Had we gotten the three it might have changed the complexion. But that is a hard one to follow."

Injury report

Trainer Bill Tessendorf said Herring and Boulware, who both had to leave the Chiefs' game because of an injury, should be fine for the Bills game. Boulware left with a mild concussion and Herring, an Achilles' tendon irritation.

The Ravens are contemplating putting rookie wide receiver Brandon Stokley on injured reserve after he dislocated a shoulder in the Chiefs game. If that happens, the Ravens might add another receiver to the roster.

Billick said Atkins may return for the Bills game, and tackle Harry Swayne is listed as day-to-day.

Sun staff writer Mike Preston contributed to this article

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