Reed, Gaither, Gooden likely to sit out Sunday's game

December 26, 2009|By Jamison Hensley | jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

The Ravens have three starters - safety Ed Reed (groin), offensive tackle Jared Gaither (foot) and linebacker Tavares Gooden (groin) - who are listed as doubtful for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh.

Reed, who didn't practice all week, ran off to the side with his helmet on before practice. Asked about Reed's recent visit to a specialist, coach John Harbaugh said it was good news because it confirmed the team's treatment.

"We have a very good handle on what it is," Harbaugh said Friday. "It's going to be a matter of him being able to go as soon as he can, which could be as early as Sunday. It's really one of those wait-and-see injuries."

Harbaugh said placing Reed on injured reserve is "not in the equation."

Tom Zbikowski is expected to replace Reed for the fourth straight week.

"[The evaluation from the specialist] was very consistent with what our doctors had seen and what [trainer Bill Tessendorf] had been treating," Harbaugh said. "It confirmed a lot of things."

Gaither could miss his third straight game. "He's got a chance to go on Sunday," Harbaugh said. "We just have to see what he can do in practice [Saturday]."

Long snapper Matt Katula (forearm) is one of five players who are questionable. If Katula can't play, Nick Sund- berg would be signed from the practice squad. Sundberg has taken all the snaps as the long snapper this week.

"He really looked good," Harbaugh said of Sundberg. "We're comfortable with him if he has to go."

Other Ravens who were questionable are: defensive tackle Justin Bannan (illness), wide receiver Mark Clayton (knee), defensive tackle Kelly Talavou (knee), tight end Edgar Jones (back).

The Ravens who are probable: wide receiver Demetrius Williams (knee), linebacker Jarret Johnson (knee), center Matt Birk (neck), wide receiver Justin Harper (foot), tight end Todd Heap (chest), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata ( ankle), tight end L.J. Smith (ankle) and wide receiver Kelley Washington (ankle).

The only Ravens who didn't practice were Reed, Gaither and Gooden.

Notes: The Ravens placed safety K.J. Gerard (hamstring) on injured reserve Friday and re-signed safety Marcus Paschal, who was released Tuesday. … After having an early-afternoon practice, Harbaugh said he was going to spend the rest of his Christmas in his backyard, where he has a sledding track. Kevin Byrne, the team's senior vice president of public relations, warned Harbaugh not to get hurt. "You don't have to be healthy to coach," Harbaugh said with a smile.

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