In addition to Terrell Suggs' much-anticipated return, the Ravens welcomed many previously-injured players back to practice Monday.
Joining Suggs on the defensive side of the ball were cornerbacks Chris McAlister (knee), Samari Rolle (leg) and David Pittman (foot), safety Ed Reed (shoulder), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (MCL), and linebacker Tavares Gooden (hip).
Offensively, tight ends Todd Heap (calf), Daniel Wilcox (toe) and Aaron Walker (knee), wideout Patrick Carter (shoulder), and offensive tackle Adam Terry (ankle) were also on the field.
Having so many players participate, especially several key contributors, encouraged head coach John Harbaugh.
"The numbers help," Harbaugh said. "It was good to see a full group, almost, out there, and guys who have been working through those injuries and have been getting treatment while we've been playing.
"We've been on the road, and guys have been getting treatment with Bill [Tessendorf, head trainer]. I think Bill has done a tremendous job of working around the clock to get these guys back and get them going again."
And, the outlook for this weekend's matchup with the St. Louis Rams continues to be rosy.
Terry, who injured the left ankle that required offseason surgery when a defender rolled on him in training camp, hopes to see some action at the Edward Jones Dome.
"It is what it is," Terry said in the locker room. "If I'm moving around and I'm out there, I have to be at 100 percent. We'll see this weekend, but so far, so good."
The same applies to Ngata, the 340-pound lineman that sprained his medial collateral ligament July 27.
"Going against the guys, I'm starting to get back into things," Ngata said, noting that he is looking for about one quarter of play. "Hopefully, I can strengthen it throughout the week to get in the game and see how it feels to get in game shape."
Meanwhile, the Ravens missed starting defensive tackle Kelly Gregg (knee), running back Willis McGahee (knee) and offensive tackle Jared Gaither (ankle), in addition to defensive linemen Kelly Talavou (shoulder) and Lorenzo Williams (undisclosed), and linebacker Dan Cody (foot).
Cody only recently was able to wear cleats and run after spraining his right foot. The former second-round draft pick is in the third week of a four-week rehab process.
"I'm hoping to play within the next week," Cody said. "I don't know if I'm playing in the next game or not, but I'm hoping to. It's just one day at a time, I guess."
Another Raven whose return Harbaugh is eyeing closely is cornerback Derrick Martin, who returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown against Minnesota on Saturday night and leads the team with three passes defensed.
Martin had his right arm in a sling Monday.
"Derrick Martin's had a really good camp all the way around," Harbaugh said. "He's been making plays every day. He looks like he's improved tremendously from last year, so he is in the hunt."
Quarterback Decision for Rams Still TBD
Harbaugh stated that he had decided who will start at quarterback in St. Louis, but declined to reveal the choice this early.
Both Kyle Boller and Troy Smith have started a preseason contest, while Joe Flacco has seen only spot duty in each of the Ravens' initial two games.
"We're not ready to announce it yet," he said. "I wouldn't make any assumptions. We'll talk about it this week."
Wilcox took his first rep of 2008 after offseason surgery on a left toe injury. The tight end had been working diligently towards his return, as the Ravens have plugged in several subs for him and Heap during camp. "It's not fun sitting out and watching a lot of guys rotate in and out of your position, not knowing whether or not you'll get the opportunity to get your job back and earn that respect back. I've been a free agent from Day 1, and even when I signed my first contract, I always had that free-agent mindset. I go in every day and continue to play every day like it's my last."…The Ravens released wideout Kerry Reed to make room for Suggs, who signed his franchise tag tender Monday.