Billy Cundiff and Justin Tucker know that each kick they attempt will go toward a final determination as to who to keep on the 53-man roster.

Cundiff's a reliable veteran that's usually good from inside of 50 yards. Tucker's a rookie from Texas that's still running off the adrenaline of kicking a game-winner against archrival Texas A&M this season.

There's a chance Tucker wouldn't have been brought into this offseason if Cundiff didn't miss his 32-yard attempt against New England in the AFC Championship, one he rushed and pushed to the left. Now there's a competition, one that could become more interesting as the first preseason game against Atlanta draws closer on Aug. 9.

Tucker's made more kicks than Cundiff since training camp opened and has shown a stronger leg. On Wednesday, Tucker went 5-for-5 with a long of 55. Cundiff missed one from 43 but also hit a deep try from 55. Kicks in training camp are harder to judge since little pressure is applied, but each one is judged by a simple formula: Did he make it or not?

It's too early to tell whether Tucker will seriously push Cundiff for his job. But each time Tucker makes a field goal and Cundiff misses, Tucker will continue to put himself in good position to unseat Baltimore's veteran.

"You go by your instincts a little bit, you know the stats inside and out," coach John Harbaugh said. "You certainly factor all that in. You get more kicks (in practice) so that's pretty important, but the kicks in the games weigh more per kick because they are in games."

Ngata close: Harbaugh said that defensive tackle Haloti Ngata believes he's close to returning to training camp. Ngata tweaked his hamstring during his conditioning test the day before camp opened. He's been rehabilitating inside the facility during practices. Harbaugh added the organization is probably taking Ngata's recovery time slower than Ngata would like out of precaution.

McPhee returns: The Ravens welcomed defensive end Pernell McPhee (knee) back to the practice field. McPhee was eased into play at certain times but also continued to run some off to the side. Nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu (undisclosed) also returned to practice Wednesday.

New addition: The Ravens signed veteran tight end Billy Bajema to add at least a practice body to the roster while Dennis Pitta recovers from a broken hand. To make room for the move, Baltimore released quarterback John Brantley.

Keep an eye out for him: Cornerback Corey Graham got some work in with the first team Wednesday at both wide and nickel corner spots. Graham, who signed with Baltimore after spending five seasons in Chicago has made plenty of plays this preseason. Graham's shown great awareness and has been quick in identifying routes.

Ouch: Rookie safety Omar Brown laid the biggest hit of training camp thus far on tight end Matt Balasavage, one that knocked Balasavage's helmet off. But Balasavage didn't blink and held onto the pass through the hit.

C'mon Curtis: Cornerback Cary Williams became quite amused at third-string quarterback Curtis Painter during 7-on-7 drills. Williams began chastising Painter for pump-faking too much when there was no rush coming his way. Williams was critical enough to the point that Ray Lewis said, "Tell 'em how you really feel, Cary."

Play of the day: Receiver Logan Payne got cornerback Chykie Brown to bite on an out-and-up double move and was wide open for an easy touchdown. Payne's slowly coming onto the radar, though still has an uphill battle when it comes to making this team.

Injury update: Receiver Patrick Williams and guard Cord Howard were added to the list of players absent from practice Wednesday. Also sitting out were WR David Reed (ACL), WR Tandon Doss (hamstring), RB Bernard Pierce (hamstring), LB Josh Bynes (undisclosed), OL Jah Reid (calf), LT Bryant McKinnie (back) and OLB Courtney Upshaw (shoulder).

Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter: @JasonButtCBS and @CBSSportsNFLBAL.