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OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden could be placed on injured reserve if he’s unable to return following the bye week, coach Brian Billick revealed Monday.
If Ogden, who has been hampered by a turf toe injury since last December, can’t return by Nov. 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, then the possibility increases markedly that his injury could be regarded as a season-ending ailment.
"If he’s not ready by Pittsburgh, I don’t know that he will be," Billick said regarding Ogden. "Jonathan Ogden will come back when Jonathan Ogden is ready."
Ogden hasn’t played since spraining his left foot Sept. 10 in the season-opener when he was bull-rushed by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Justin Smith.
So, the Pittsburgh game presents a looming deadline.
"If not by then, it becomes a very legitimate question: ‘Geez, is this going to happen?’" Billick said on whether the 10-time Pro Bowl selection will play this season, adding that he’s optimistic by the way the 6-foot-9, 345-pounder is moving around.
Ogden has been practicing for weeks, varying his workload, but has been dealing with recurring stiffness and pain in the toe and his foot.
"I don’t know what the time frame would be," Billick said. "I don’t know that the toe or the foot is going to get any stronger or better. I don’t know that it isn’t.
"You’ve asked me many times, ‘Am I worried about this being it for J.O. in terms of him not coming back this season?’ Watching him work, I keep holding off the idea that it looks like he might be ready to go. At some point, if it’s not, then we have to consider holding a roster spot."
Ogden expressed frustration last week that his toe hasn’t progressed faster.
"Honestly, Iâ€™m sick of this thing," Ogden said. "As much as you guys are sick of asking me, Iâ€™m sick of talking to you guys about it. I wish I knew. It just gets better, but it gets better so slowly.
"Itâ€™s nothing I can even try to put a finger on right now. No matter what, Iâ€™m going to try to be back after the bye. Iâ€™ve just got to do something already, or I might as well not even bother.â€
INJURY UPDATE: Billick essentially ruled out any possibility of outside linebacker Dan Cody playing this season. Cody, who underwent offseason knee surgery, recently suffered a setback with a foot injury and remains on the physically unable to perform list.
"With the recent injury that he had, that’s not going to happen for Dan Cody," Billick said of the second-round pick, who has ended each of his first two seasons on injured reserve.
Billick didn’t close the door on linebacker Mike Smith, who underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in July, possibly being activated from the PUP list in a week or two.
DIRTY PLAY?: In the wake of Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs’ gripes about St. Louis Rams offensive guard Richie Incognito’s allegedly illegal tactics, the Ravens have filed an official complaint with the league office.
"There were a lot of things that we thought were not right," Billick said. "We’ll go about the proper channels and leave it at that."
SCHOOLED: It was a rough starting debut for rookie offensive tackle Jared Gaither, especially when he had to block veteran Rams defensive end Leonard Little.
Little easily beat Gaither for a sack, forcing quarterback Kyle Boller to fumble.
"He got schooled a couple of times," Billick said of the 6-9, 350-pound former University of Maryland standout. "He learned, particularly as the game wore on a little bit. He was isolated a lot and held up very, very well. All in all, not perfect, but I thought he played very well for his first outing."
QUICK HITS: Billick said he wasn’t overly concerned that Boller nearly left the game with a sore knee. Boller was still limping after the game in the locker room. "He’s a tough kid," Billick said. "It did limit him a little bit as it became much more stiff. I think he’s okay, but, any time you take the hits that he took, you’re worried about the hits on your quarterback." … If tight ends Todd Heap and Daniel Wilcox remain out with injuries, then the Ravens could either go with offensive tackle Mike Kracalik or center Chris Chester as the second tight end if Mike Flynn returns from a knee sprain. "Mike Kracalik is the world’s biggest tight end now," Billick said of the 6-8, 337-pounder. "It’s a little bit of a giveaway when Chris Chester or Mike Kracalik are in at tight end. I don’t know if they’re going to roll a lot of coverages into those two guys." The Ravens also have tight end Lee Vickers on the practice squad. … The Ravens recently worked out wide receiver and return specialist Tim Dwight, but didn’t sign him.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.