30-somethings take breather

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Ngata injures knee during drill

McGahee, Gaither miss practice

July 28, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun reporter

Trevor Pryce and Kelly Gregg watched yesterday's morning practice from the sideline.

The reason wasn't injury; it was seniority.

First-year Ravens coach John Harbaugh has instituted "the 30-plus club," which gives the older players every third day off.

"The camp is structured [repetition]-wise for a certain amount of recovery time," Harbaugh said. "The guys who are over 30 just don't recover quickly. They're working hard, but you got to pull those guys back or it starts piling up on them. They need that extra day off."

Along with Pryce and Gregg, linebacker Gary Stills and cornerback Corey Ivy were included in the group that received a day off from Harbaugh's camp, which has featured more hitting than Brian Billick's summer routine.

So did the veterans welcome the day off?

"Believe it or not, I had a number of guys that were really disappointed and wanted to get out there and practice," Harbaugh said.

Other 30-plus players such as Ray Lewis and Derrick Mason used their day off Saturday to attend the funeral for Samari Rolle's father.

First big scare

Silence fell over the morning practice when defensive tackle Haloti Ngata lay on the ground for a few seconds after a contact drill.

Ngata limped to the sideline with an apparent knee injury and was carted off the field.

"We don't think it's serious," Harbaugh said, "but we've got to find out as we go."

Banged-up offense

The starting offense practiced without two of its starters, running back Willis McGahee and left tackle Jared Gaither.

McGahee didn't reveal the nature of his injury when questioned by reporters after practice. He indicated it would be only a "short-term" injury. Ray Rice, the team's second-round pick, ran with the first team.

"I'm hoping to get him [McGahee] back soon," Harbaugh said. "I don't know what the term is, but I'm hopeful."

Gaither, who injured his right ankle Saturday, missed his first full day of practice. Adam Terry moved from right to left tackle, and Mike Kracalik filled in at Terry's right tackle spot.

"He woke up, and it was swollen," Harbaugh said of Gaither. "They're evaluating it still."

End zone

Cornerback Chris McAlister passed his physical and was removed from the nonfootball injury list. ... Three players on the physically-unable-to-perform list - safety Ed Reed (undisclosed injury), tight end Daniel Wilcox (offseason toe surgery) and cornerback David Pittman (undisclosed injury) - worked out on the side. ... Running backs P.J. Daniels (cramps) and Cory Ross (undisclosed injury), along with offensive lineman David Hale, did not practice. Daniels said he experienced "full body" cramps. "I think everybody has been catching them lately," Daniels said.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Q & A.

Defensive tackle Salomon Solano was added to the Ravens' practice squad as part of the NFL's International Practice Squad program. A native of Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Solano has meshed with his teammates but is a long way from home.

Q: What do you miss about Mexico?

A: Well, maybe I miss the food. After that, everything is good. But if I could, I would just get a bunch of corn tortillas with some homemade salsa. That would be great.

Q: How does the weather here compare with the weather in Mexico?

A: To me, it's like winter. Right now, in my hometown, it's 120 degrees. So right here, that's why I'm wearing these [long sleeves under his jersey].

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