Gaither's status in question

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Harbaugh declines to reveal exam results of lineman's hurt shoulder

November 20, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

There are increasing indications that Jared Gaither will miss his first game when the Ravens play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Gaither, the Ravens' starting left tackle, who has a shoulder injury, did not practice yesterday and had his right arm in a sling.

When asked what Gaither's magnetic resonance imaging revealed, Ravens coach John Harbaugh replied: "Not anything I want to report."

If Gaither can't play, the Ravens likely would move Adam Terry from right tackle to left. Terry isn't at full strength himself but said his injured ankle "feels good."

The Ravens' situation at right tackle is even more of a question mark. Willie Anderson, who has started five games at right tackle, was limited in practice with an ankle injury.

"We're hopeful," Harbaugh said of Anderson. "He's moving around better than he did at this stage last week but not well enough to say he's going to play for sure."

If Anderson can't start, the Ravens have to decide between rookie Oniel Cousins and Chad Slaughter, who was signed yesterday.

Slaughter was signed during training camp and started in the preseason. Asked if he would be ready to play by Sunday, he said, "I hope so."

To make room for Slaughter, the Ravens released backup linebacker Robert McCune, who was signed last week and had one special teams tackle against the New York Giants.

Mason still sore

Besides Gaither, three other starters didn't practice for the Ravens: wide receiver Derrick Mason (shoulder), safety Ed Reed (neck) and cornerback Samari Rolle (shoulder).

Mason didn't practice last week after dislocating his left shoulder Nov. 9 at Houston. He aggravated the injury Sunday against the Giants.

It's likely another game-time decision for Mason, who said the shoulder remains sore.

"Older people say your bones ache when it starts to get cold," Mason said with a smile. "Maybe that's the case with me."

Reed has been limited in practice throughout the season, and Rolle said he is wearing his arm in sling because he slept on it wrong.

Abiamiri comes home

Victor Abiamiri, a former Gilman standout, will return home as a backup defensive end for the Eagles.

Abiamiri was expected to step into a starting role this season, but a wrist injury sidelined him for the first five games of the season.

"He's playing very well," Eagles coach Andy Reid said of the 2007 second-round pick. "He's worked his way back in, getting playing time and getting better every week."

End zone

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who grew up near Camden, N.J., was an Eagles fan, but he never envisioned himself playing for them. "I guess I always dreamed of playing in the NFL, but I never really picked out a team that I would like to play for," Flacco said. "Philadelphia was really close to us, and we ended up watching it every Sunday. But I never really pictured myself playing for those guys." ... After giving up 353 yards to the Giants, the Ravens' defense dropped to No. 3 in the NFL. It's the first time in 12 weeks this season that the Ravens weren't ranked first or second in defense. ... Two backups - tight end Daniel Wilcox (thigh) and safety Tom Zbikowski (thumb and thigh) - were limited in practice.

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