Ravens Notebook

OWINGS MILLS – A slow recovery from a lingering back injury is puzzling to Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither, whose patience is wearing thin. Out since early August when he was carted off the field with a thoracic disc injury that causes back spasms, Gaither is expected to miss his third consecutive game Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

"Obviously, it's frustrating," Gaither said. "I just have to let it take its course. It's just a waiting game for me now."

Contrary to coach John Harbaugh's suggestion, Gaither said that there's not going to be another second opinion.

However, Gaither remains upbeat about the possibility of playing this season.

"We've done that already," Gaither said. "We've been there, done that. Really, like I said, it's about how fast it will heal."

Gaither was adamant that he's not withholding services because he's displeased that he's been replaced at left tackle by Michael Oher and hasn't been given a new contract.

"I would hope you would know better than that," Gaither said. "This is a very serious situation. My back is obviously the main part of your body that you have to take care of. That would obviously be a foolish statement if you think that."

And Gaither said that surgery isn't a medical option for him.

"No, it was definitely not recommended by the first two specialists I've seen," Gaither said. "Surgery was not recommended. I'll obviously follow those guidelines."

When asked if there's risk involved with the injury, Gaither affirmatively.

"Yeah, definitely," he said. When it's with a disc and things like that you want to make sure or you really could be paralyzed. We really want to make sure I'm 100 percent okay."

HAMLIN RELEASED: With cornerback Cary Williams' two-game suspension for violating the NFL personal conduct policy over, former Pro Bowl safety Ken Hamlin was cut to make room for him on the roster.

Hamlin was signed following a minicamp tryout and was expected to compete with Tom Zbikowski as a replacement for injured free safety Ed Reed. However, Hamlin never challenged for the job. He was also taken off the practice field by Harbaugh once during training camp for not working hard enough on special teams. The Ravens didn't need Hamlin anymore with Haruki Nakamura's emergence in nickel packages. Hamlin had played on special teams in the first two games. An eight-year veteran, Hamlin has previous stints with the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks. It's unclear yet if the Ravens are going to use Williams on Sunday. "I don't know yet," Harbaugh said. "It's a possibility. We'll have to see in practice how he looks and really how that 45-man roster shakes out." HARBAUGH, ‘THEY HAVE A POLICY': In the wake of assistant offensive line coach Andy Moeller's recent DUI arrest, Harbaugh commented on the legal situation for the first time. "We've followed the procedures that we have internally for that and also that the National Football League has in place," Harbaugh said. "We're obligated to do that. They have a conduct policy for players, coaches and employees. So, we fall into that. So, we'll be following that procedure."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that the league is reviewing the matter under the personal conduct policy.

Moeller was pulled over for speeding 70 mph in 55 mph zone at nearly 1 a.m. Saturday morning in Baltimore County.

He has been charged with seven traffic offenses, including DUI, negligent driving and speeding. His lawyer, Andrew Alperstein, said that Moeller will plead not guilty.

Moeller was charged with a separate DUI in May and was acquitted in August after it was determined that he wasn't driving. When Moeller was coaching at the University of Michigan, he was arrested on Dec. 8, 2007 for refusing to take a breathalyzer exam following a traffic incident. Moeller was taken to the hospital where blood was drawn.

The case was resolved by him paying a $185 fine at the Ann Arbor district court in January of 2008.

Moeller coached for eight years at Michigan after playing linebacker there for four seasons. He was an All-Big Ten Conference selection, leading the team in tackles.

Moeller is the son of former Michigan head coach Gary Moeller.

Moeller and Harbaugh both attended Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.

SILENCE: Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason is refusing to conduct interviews, saying he won't speak with reporters for the remainder of the season.

After receiving the Good Guy award from Baltimore reporters three years ago, Mason said he'll confine his remarks to his weekly radio show.

Mason said he's not joking about his stance and won't change his mind. He also said that the reason he's not talking isn't because of any dispute with the media. "Listen, there's a vast interest in Radio Derrick can do an interview with Player Derrick because Radio Derrick lives with Player Derrick," Mason said during his radio show. "Obviously, there is a media obligation and I understand that part of the NFL world. I have very good friends with the media. It's not permanent. There's nothing permanent." Mason said there's no particular reporter he has a problem with. "There comes a time in every player's life in his career when he has to sit back and he might have to sit back and evaluate things," Mason said. "Do I have enough time in the day to give an answer to a question? "Our schedules are so busy that I'm in and out of the locker room all the time. There's not always enough time to do it. Technically, I'm still talking to the media. Now, I'm talking to a broader audience."

Mason did interviews during the preseason without incident, but declined an interview request after the Ravens' 15-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals even though he caught a touchdown pass. Mason ranks fourth on the team in catches and has been thrown to 12 times this season. It's unclear if Mason's reason for not talking has to do with the arrival of wide receivers Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh on the roster and all of the attention being paid to them.

Perhaps he's just trying to drum up interest in his radio show.

INJURY UPDATES: The Ravens ruled out wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (broken foot) and inside linebacker Tavares Gooden. Gooden is out at least a couple of weeks due to a dislocated left shoulder. After his magnetic resonance imaging exam, doctors have informed Gooden that he'll be out four to six weeks. "Tavares is going to be out for a few weeks," Harbaugh said. "He just had a dislocated shoulder and that's going to be some healing that has to go on there."

Meanwhile, Mason (knee) and fullback Le'Ron McClain (shoulder) didn't practice. That was a surprise considering neither was mentioned by the team as being injured after the game.

Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was limited with a knee injury.

Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice practiced Wednesday, participating fully after tweaking his ankle against the Bengals before returning to the game.

"My ankle's great," Rice said. "I got a little shook up. I thought it was something more than what it was. But I'm out here today, full-go and I'll be ready to play."

Tight end Todd Heap (shoulder), linebacker Jameel McClain (knee), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (back) and linebacker Terrell Suggs (ankle) participated fully.

Rookie nose guard Terrence Cody expects to play this week after being held out of the first two games following arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Cody is no longer on the injury report.

"I feel it's doing better," Cody said. "I'm not 100 percent yet, but I feel like it's a lot better than it was. Hopefully this week, by the way I practice, they're going to let me play." Cody said he was held out of the first two games as a precautionary measure. "I feel like they wanted to be safe about it," he said. "Don't let it swell up or let anything else happen to it. I feel like if nothing happens with my knee and stuff, I feel like this is the week I can play."

As for the Browns, five starters didn't practice Wednesday.

That includes quarterback Jake Delhomme (ankle), running back Jerome Harrison (thigh), wide receiver Brian Robiskie (hamstring), nose guard Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip) and defensive end Robaire Smith (ankle).

Seneca Wallace might start again for the Browns after completing 16 of 31 passes for 229 yards with one touchdown and an interception in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"Jake's gotten better, and I'm optimistic about where he is," Browns coach Eric Mangini said during a conference call. "Now we've got to take it day-by-day with this like we did last week. With both quarterbacks, I'm comfortable they can run any of the calls that we have. But what we do with our quarterbacks, which I'm sure they do the same thing in Baltimore or anywhere else, is you cater the game plan to the things they do well.

"And you work with the quarterback because he's the guy that has to make decisions on the field, to make sure he's comfortable with the call and comfortable with the plan. So it's a collaborative process, and we have some plays that Seneca may like better than Jake and vice versa. But you plan for both."

The following starters were limited: linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (chest), outside linebacker Matt Roth (foot) and guard Floyd Womack (knee). TACKLE SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD: The Ravens signed undrafted rookie offensive tackle Brady Bond to the practice squad.

The 6-foot-6, 300-pounder from Oklahoma State was with the San Diego Chargers and was cut during the final major roster cutdown.

"I've been waiting for a call," Bond said. "I've had some interest from other teams, but this was my first tryout. I'm excited to be here. I'm just looking forward to getting better.

"I'm on the practice squad so far this year and I just want to get better. It's a good starting point and we'll see what happens." The Ravens have one opening on their eight-man practice squad after cutting offensive tackle Devin Tyler and cornerback David Pender on Tuesday.

They tried out several players Tuesday, including: Bond, offensive linemen Xavier Fulton and Marc Dile and cornerbacks John Bowie, Coye Francies and Ray Fisher. QUICK HIT: Harbaugh wasn't shocked that he was fined $15,000 by the NFL for making contact with line judge Ron Marinucci.

"I'm not surprised," he said. I respect the policy. "You can't touch an official. Ron and I go back a long way, so I think he understood what I was expressing. Obviously, I didn't do it very well, and it's justified.


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