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OWINGS MILLS — It remains unclear whether All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden will return Sunday against the Buffalo Bills after sitting out his first game of the season with turf toe in a 31-7 road victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. If itâ€™s a borderline decision, Ogden might be held out of the teamâ€™s regular-season finale.
Because the Ravens (12-3) are currently slated for a first-round bye in the playoffs provided they defeat the Bills, they could opt to rest Ogden for one more week to give him a total of three weeks of recovery time prior to a second-round AFC playoff game.
Ogden suffered what team officials described as a hyperextended toe against the Cleveland Browns, but he described it as turf toe on his left foot.
â€œWe will continue to see how Jonathan progresses,â€ Ravens coach Brian Billick said. â€œObviously the week off was great. If he can go this week, great. If he can, then itâ€™s just a graphic example of how big the bye would be. To give someone like Jonathan Ogden that additional week would be huge.â€
Second-year offensive tackle Adam Terry, a former second-round draft pick from Syracuse, started in place of Ogden and allowed no sacks or quarterback pressures while matched against former Pro Bowl outside linebacker Joey Porter as Steve McNair delivered three touchdown passes.
â€œAdam Terry played very, very well the other day,â€ Billick said.
NEW YEARâ€™S PLANS: Under the flexible scheduling format, the league office has moved the Ravensâ€™ kickoff Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Billick had a humorous take on how the time change might affect New Yearâ€™s Eve revelry.
â€œI donâ€™t know how the two donâ€™t work together,â€ Billick said. â€œI canâ€™t think of a better way to get your New Yearâ€™s Eve cranked up. If anything, you can start drinking earlier, right? And it would be justified: â€˜Honey, I got to start at 10 because the game is at 4.â€™
â€œI have no doubt our fans will take that from the game and then go off on their way to wherever they are going to celebrate the New Year. Hopefully, we can get that kick-started right for them.â€
LAST HANDSHAKE?: Amid all the uncertainty of whether Bill Cowher has coached his final game for the Steelers with an announcement expected by next week on his status, Billick shared a few words with Cowher in a longer than usual postgame handshake.
â€œBill has always been very gracious to me as a head coach,â€ Billick said. â€œHe was very complimentary about this team and wishing us luck into the playoffs, and I wished him luck in whatever it is he decides to do.
â€œOur relationship certainly isnâ€™t of that nature where he would ask my opinion, or give me any idea of what it is he chooses to do. As somewhat of a kindred spirit, as a head coach that maybe understands some of the things heâ€™s going through, I wish him well in whatever he does.â€
FLAGFEST: The Ravens were penalized a season-high 12 times for 89 yards against the Steelers, including an unnecessary roughness infraction committed by outside linebacker Terrell Suggs who admitted that his emotions had gotten the best of him.
There were also two false-start penalties committed by Terry and two more by receiver Derrick Mason and offensive guard Jason Brown.
â€œWeâ€™ve been pretty good with that,â€ Billick said.
â€œWhen weâ€™ve had a difficult day, particularly offensively, thatâ€™s usually part of the equation. A couple of them, the procedures on the road, youâ€™re not forgiving, but you have to step back a little analytically and say, â€˜Sometimes, itâ€™s tough on the road and that will happen.
â€œItâ€™s also, what is real and whatâ€™s not. What was a penalty and what shouldnâ€™t have been a penalty? But the sheer number of them was probably the one negative on the day.â€
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland