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OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens All-Pro offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden didnâ€™t practice Saturday due to the lingering effects of a turf toe injury, but insisted heâ€™ll play in next weekendâ€™s AFC divisional playoff game.
Ogden, a 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle who missed the Ravensâ€™ final two regular-season games, jogged and did conditioning drills with head athletic trainer Bill Tessendorf at the teamâ€™s training complex as the AFC North champions returned to practice after five days off.
â€œIâ€™m getting better, Iâ€™m getting better,â€ Ogden said. â€œWeâ€™ve got another week, so Iâ€™ve got plenty of time.â€ When asked if he would definitely play next weekend in the second round of the postseason, Ogden replied: â€œYep.â€
Ogden hurt his left big toe in a win over the Cleveland Browns last month, and backup Adam Terry has filled in capably. Ravens coach Brian Billick expressed optimism about Ogdenâ€™s status.
â€œGood, he worked through it,â€ Billick said. â€œWe didnâ€™t want to put him in the team drills, but Bill worked him out pretty well.â€
Meanwhile, right guard Keydrick Vincent returned to practice after missing the regular-season finale against the Buffalo Bills with a recurring groin pull. He declared that heâ€™ll be back in the lineup next weekend.
â€œEverything is going to get squared away, a little rest made it feel a lot better,â€ Vincent said. â€œI did a lot at practice, but Iâ€™m a little rusty.â€
MOURNING: Defensive end Trevor Pryce is mourning the tragic loss of his former Denver Broncos teammate Darrent Williams, a popular, talented cornerback who was murdered in a New Yearâ€™s Eve shooting.
Pryce attended Williamsâ€™ recent memorial service conducted by the Broncos earlier this week in Denver. On Saturday, he shared his memories of the fallen defensive back.
â€œI think when he got there he had a chip on his shoulder because he was a small guy, but that also made him funny,â€ Pryce said. â€œIt also gave him a sense of humor about his size. He was a great kid to be around. Itâ€™s pretty sad."
Williams’ violent death has given Pryce a new perspective, especially about the importance of life compared to football.
â€œIt kind of shows how insignificant things can be,â€ Pryce said. â€œIn Denver, they had just lost that game and they werenâ€™t going to the playoffs, so that whole city was up in arms and all that went away the next day. It puts a lot of things in perspective. Sometimes, you need that to realize that winning a football game isnâ€™t life or death.
â€œLife or death is life or death. You deal with it and you mourn. You ask questions why, but you donâ€™t have an answer. You hope justice is served and we remember who he was.â€
NO VOTES: Although the Ravens rebounded from a 6-10 campaign last season that nearly cost Billick his job to win the AFC North title, Billick was shut out in balloting for the NFL Coach of the Year award won by New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton. Billick seemed to take the snub in stride.
â€I didnâ€™t vote for me,â€ he quipped. â€œI donâ€™t know why anybody else would. There are a lot of good stories out there, the job that Sean Payton did and obviously Eric Mangini. Even a job like Marty Schottenheimerâ€™s. There are a lot of guys that are more deserving than I was.â€
QUICK HITS: Nickel back Corey Ivy was excused from practice because of a family emergency, according to Billick. â€¦ The Ravens signed former Arena Football league defensive tackle Joe Minucci (Nashvile Kats, 6-foot-3, 295 pounds) to the practice squad. â€¦ Reflecting on Bill Cowherâ€™s decision to resign as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers after 15 years, Billick said he expects to coach against him in the future. â€œItâ€™s been great competing against Bill, and I imagine we will again at some point,â€ Billick said. â€œI certainly respect the reasons heâ€™s doing it and I wish him the best.â€
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland