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Ravens battling slew of injuries from opener vs. Bengals

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens return specialist B.J.
Sams is out for the season with a torn knee ligament.

Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden's status is unknown due
to a lingering hyperextended left big toe, coach Brian Billick
said.

"B.J. is definitely out for the year," Billick said Tuesday
night on his weekly WBAL radio show. "It's just a shame."

Sams, in the final year of his contract, tore the anterior
cruciate ligament. He is likely to be replaced by rookie Yamon Figurs. This marks the second consecutive season Sams has suffered
a season-ending injury at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium; last
November he broke his ankle.

Meanwhile, Ogden, who limped off the field early in the second
quarter and didn't return in the 27-20 loss Monday night to the
Bengals, is still dealing with an injury initially suffered in
December.

"[Ogden] didn't reinjure the toe, but he's going through the
pain," said Billick, who didn't hold his usual Tuesday interview
with reporters. "It's going to be painful all year long. It's a
matter of him adjusting to it. I don't know if Jonathan will be
able to come back from this or not."

Ogden pondered retirement during the offseason after aggravating
the injury in January during a playoff loss to the Indianapolis
Colts. After consulting with Carolina Panthers orthopedic surgeon
Robert Anderson, Ogden and team officials decided he would not
undergo surgery and recommended rehabilitation and rest.

Ogden missed the team's entire offseason and preseason schedule.

"Whether it was surgery or rehab, they chose the course of
action together," Billick said. "Jonathan worked very hard. I
think Jonathan acted responsibly. I understand the frustration, but
I don't think Jonathan did anything wrong. They really felt that
this was the better way to go about it."

Meanwhile, linebacker Ray Lewis (triceps), along with
quarterback Steve McNair (groin), tight end Daniel Wilcox (ankle)
and Ogden received treatment at the team's training complex.

Lewis insisted after the game he had torn his triceps, but team
spokesman Kevin Byrne said that team doctor Leigh Anne Curl
diagnosed it as a strain and that the team wouldn't have sent Lewis
back into the game with a tear. Lewis, along with a few other
players, was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam Tuesday.

Wilcox was on crutches Monday night with a sprained right ankle.
He had just recovered from a sprained left ankle.

McNair was replaced in the fourth quarter by backup Kyle Boller
because of the injury.

"He's a soldier," running back Willis McGahee said of McNair.
"That right there shows the character of him. He's out there
playing hurt. He could have easily sat out, but he chose not to."