Lloyd starts off on the right foot

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

British kicker shows strong leg in preseason debut

Ngata hurting with swollen knee

August 23, 2007|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN REPORTER

Rhys Lloyd's extended vacation wasn't a vacation after all.

While British and U.S. officials reviewed his paperwork for a work visa, Lloyd admitted that he went a little stir crazy in his hometown of Dover, England.

"I loved being home and seeing friends and family and everything, but you can only do so much during the day when your friends are working," he said. "I was just sitting at home kind of doing nothing all day. It got a little tedious after a while."

After getting approved last Thursday and landing in Baltimore on Friday evening, Lloyd didn't need much time to make an impression with the Ravens, who had invited the former University of Minnesota kicker to be a kickoff specialist.

During Sunday's 13-12 preseason loss to the New York Giants, Lloyd sent five kickoffs into the end zone, with two resulting in touchbacks, and converted field-goal attempts of 40 and 38 yards. His performance caught the attention of coach Brian Billick.

"He has a good, strong leg," Billick said. "He ought to, it's fresh. But very impressed, and the [40-yard] field goal, that thing would've been good from 60."

Lloyd, who played soccer professionally, was signed by the Ravens as an undrafted rookie two years ago, but he did not attempt a single field goal before being released by the team. Lloyd hired a personal trainer to help him with his conditioning, and he made all 32 extra-point tries and 16 of 24 field-goal attempts for Frankfurt in NFL Europa this summer.

Lloyd understands his role on the depth chart behind Matt Stover, but still hopes to show the coaches his worth.

"They brought me in to do kickoffs and possibly long field goals [to preserve] Matt's leg, and I'm fine with that," Lloyd said. "But at the end of the day, I just have to perform and leave it up to the guys in charge, I guess. As long as I do my job, I think I should be OK, but you never know."

Ngata may sit

Kelly Gregg might play in his first preseason game Saturday, but fellow defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is likely to be sidelined with a swollen left knee.

Ngata didn't practice yesterday, and although he said his absence was more cautionary than anything else, Billick said Ngata's status for the preseason game against the Washington Redskins is increasingly questionable.

"We're not going to put him at risk - certainly not now," Billick said. "If he can go and get the reps, great. If it's better that he sit down, that will be for the trainers and the doctors and Haloti to decide."

The outlook was much better for Gregg, who bruised his right knee and thigh July 31. "He's looking pretty good," Billick said. "I'll leave that to him and the trainers and the defense to decide, but I think he feels pretty good. I'm sure he'll get some reps. That would be my guess."

More injury updates

Wide receiver Mark Clayton (sprained ankle) sat out his second straight practice, but he did walk around the team's training facility in Owings Mills without the protective boot he had worn Tuesday.

Cornerback Samari Rolle (sprained ankle), tight end Daniel Wilcox (sprained ankle), running back Cory Ross (flu) and offensive tackle Steve Edwards (knee) missed yesterday's practice.

Running back P.J. Daniels, who has not practiced since tweaking his right hamstring before the Ravens' first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 13, jogged around the practice field without his jersey or pads.

"It's getting better," Daniels said. "Hamstrings are one of those things that you have to be patient with. I'm ready to get back on the field, but we don't want to force it and have it set me back a couple of weeks."

No formula

Billick would not definitively outline how long the starters will play against the Redskins, but he dismissed the notion of letting them play out the first half, which is normally associated with the third preseason game.

"I don't know who came up with that formula," he said. "We're going to play as long as we need to play with the starters to get a good rhythm. If that's a quarter, great. If it's a half, great. We're not going to take them into the second half.

"All of those formulas for this game and for that, and the third game is important or not important, I read about that stuff, but I've never really done it."

End zone

Defensive tackle Atiyyah Ellison had a good reason for missing Tuesday's practice. He and his wife, Jessica, welcomed a 9-pound, 2-ounce baby boy at about 11 p.m. Monday. "It's a new stress level," said Ellison, whose son, Tyson, turns 2 today. "I've got one down, but somebody's got to go to work. So I'm back." ... The team elected to practice indoors for the second consecutive day. ... It was reported in yesterday's edition of The Sun that wide receiver Clarence Moore was the first receiver off the bench when Clayton got injured Sunday night. But wide receivers coach Mike Johnson said Devard Darling was the first receiver off the bench.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.