Cousins 6th offensive lineman to miss practice with injury

Right tackle carted off field will be checked for concussion, Ravens official says

August 18, 2010|By Edward Lee and Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

Another offensive lineman went down for the Ravens when right tackle Oniel Cousins was carted off the field Wednesday after suffering a headache.

One Ravens official said Cousins would be checked for a concussion. Another official indicated that Cousins could be exhausted after a throat procedure sidelined him for most of the offseason as well as the first week of training camp.

Cousins became the sixth offensive lineman to miss practice time this week because of an injury and the second to be carted off the field in three days (backup David Hale was taken off after bruising his tailbone). The Ravens finished practice with nine offensive linemen.

"He developed a headache, so that's where we're at," coach John Harbaugh said of Cousins.

Cousins had been starting at right tackle for Jared Gaither, whose status for the start of the regular season is uncertain because of a back injury. Tony Moll replaced Cousins with the starting offense.

Besides Cousins, Gaither and Hale, other Ravens offensive linemen currently injured are center Matt Birk (neck), tackle Stefan Rodgers (partially dislocated shoulder) and guard Daniel Sanders (shoulder).

Webb could come off PUP

Lardarius Webb's recovery from season-ending knee surgery has progressed so well that the cornerback could be activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list as early as this morning, the last day of the team's public workouts in Westminster.

Webb, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in December, was seen taking part in the Ravens' conditioning test Wednesday afternoon during special teams practice. If he passes that, he could suit up for his first practice this year. Webb, though, wouldn't play in Saturday's preseason game at Washington.

One holdup in activating Webb could be the cornerback himself. He has been very cautious during his recovery and indicated earlier this week that he hoped to avoid playing in the preseason because of concerns over his surgically repaired right knee. So, Webb could have reservations about moving forward this quickly.

Carr to start Saturday?

Chris Carr's left hamstring has improved so much that the cornerback could tackle a full workload in today's practice.

He has taken part in individual and positional drills for the past couple of days, but he has been mostly relegated to the sideline during full-team exercises. If Carr practices today, he could start alongside Fabian Washington against the Redskins on Saturday night. Carr said he would not oppose that plan.

"Yeah, if they want me to, and if I feel good tomorrow in practice," he said.

"But it's all precarious because in a live situation, it's different in practice. So we'll see."

Gooden dealing with neck

A day after running with the first-team defense at inside linebacker, Tavares Gooden sat out Wednesday morning's practice with an injured neck.

Gooden declined to discuss the injury, but Harbaugh said the injury stemmed from the team's preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers.

"It just keeps tightening back up on him, so we just need to sit him down and settle him down," Harbaugh said.

"He's tried to go the last two days. Every time he's tried to go, it spasms back up, so we just need to settle him down for a couple days and try to get him out there on Saturday."

If Gooden can't practice today, that might jeopardize his shot at starting against the Redskins on Saturday. Jameel McClain earned the start against the Panthers, and Dannell Ellerbe might start against the New York Giants on Aug. 28.

Asked whether he wants to rotate those three linebackers to give each an opportunity to play with the first defense, Harbaugh said, "Yeah, that'd probably be part of it. We also want to get Jameel some work at [strong-side linebacker] because he's a multiple guy, and in order to play the position, you've got to get some work there.

"So we'll move those guys around for the next two weeks and we'll know where we're at."

Ravens to 'be smart' with Rice

Ray Rice didn't get one touch in the preseason opener, which could be a trend for the running back this preseason.

It could be similar to the time when San Diego used to spare LaDainian Tomlinson the needless pounding in preseason.

"Ray's a competitor. He wants to play," Harbaugh said. "And we'll be smart with Ray. He'll play as much as he needs to in the next few games, but Ray is going to play a lot in the regular season, too."

L.McClain vows to return soon

Le'Ron McClain was held out of Wednesday morning's practice after developing what the two-time Pro Bowl fullback called "a little back tightness."

Rookie Mike McLaughlin took a majority of the snaps at fullback, but McClain vowed a quick return to practice.

"I'm practicing tomorrow," he said. "That's my goal. I hate missing practice. So I've got to get back out here."

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