Fabian Washington is unsure about his status for the Ravens' preseason opener Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium. Coach John Harbaugh is equally uncertain about the cornerback's availability.
Washington has practiced with the first-team defense during the past three days, but he was held out of Saturday's practice at the stadium because of concerns over how his surgically repaired left knee would react to the new artificial surface installed in May.
"He's ready to go. It's just a matter of whether we want him to go," Harbaugh said. "I think we'll take him out in pregame and see how much work we get done and we'll decide. We're not going to push it."
Washington said he will abide by Harbaugh's decision but would prefer to play.
"Yes, I would understand that, but he knows how I feel about this game," Washington said. "If it's up to me, yeah. But I'm not the smart one out of the two. It's up to Coach."
Chris Carr is not expected to play, as he has missed three straight days of practice since injuring his left hamstring Saturday.
"He could play," Harbaugh said. "It's a matter of whether we decide to put him out there or not."
Travis Fisher probably will start at one cornerback spot. If Washington doesn't play, Cary Williams could start at the other cornerback position.
"Every day, you've got to go out there and assume that you're going to start," Williams said. "You always want to go out there and compete and do what's right when you're on the field. You don't want to let your teammates down."
Grubbs gets hurt
Left guard Ben Grubbs was the most recent starter to leave the field with an injury.
Harbaugh declined to be specific about the injury, suffered Tuesday morning, but said, "It's not major." It's uncertain whether Grubbs will play Thursday.
Chris Chester replaced Grubbs with the first offense. Chester, who had been filling in for center Matt Birk for most of camp, said there are minor adjustments when moving from center to left guard.
Offensive line coach John Matsko "has us under the mindset that we're all starters and we're all a play away," Chester said. "It's a little bit cliche, but it's the truth."
Gaither likely to sit out
Offensive tackle Jared Gaither probably won't play Thursday night as he has not practiced since Thursday because of back spasms.
"I don't think he'll be able to play because he hasn't practiced enough," Harbaugh said. "I don't know if the injury is going to hold him out. It'll be hard for him to play with the little bit of practice he's had."
Oniel Cousins would start at right tackle.
Cornerback K.J. Gerard (hamstring), offensive tackle Tony Moll (concussion), safety Marcus Paschal (right leg) and guard Daniel Sanders (unspecified) joined Carr and Gaither as players who did not practice Tuesday morning. Wide receiver Donte' Stallworth did not return punts in the afternoon because of a minor finger injury.
Ngata intends to play
Haloti Ngata returned to practice Tuesday morning after sitting out Monday afternoon's session with a back injury. The defensive tackle said he intends to play against Carolina.
Ngata said he was hit in the back with a helmet during Monday morning's practice and followed the training staff's recommendation that he rest it Monday afternoon.
"It kind of got me in the right spot, and it locked up a little bit on me," Ngata said. "But I got some good treatment yesterday, and I felt pretty good this morning, so I was able to come out."
Wide receiver Demetrius Williams (unspecified), rookie offensive tackle Ramon Harewood (knees) and rookie cornerback Prince Miller (birth of daughter) also returned to practice.
Harbaugh said Tuesday that kickers Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham would alternate kicks Thursday night, a slight change from Monday when he said each would get a half. ÃÂ Edgar Jones, who has spent the previous three years lining up as a linebacker and tight end, is back to playing linebacker and defensive end -- a position in which he flourished at Division I-AA Southeast Missouri State. "I'm getting more comfortable as time goes by," said Jones, who led the nation in sacks with 12 in 2006. "As soon as you put the pads on, you have a tendency to get high and play high. But the more you get into training camp, you've got to work on your pad level. But I'm getting a lot more comfortable at linebacker and defensive end." ÃÂ The Baltimore Football Alumni, a group organized by team owner Steve Bisciotti, attended Tuesday's practice.