Ravens notebook

OWINGS MILLS – The Baltimore Ravens have struck a one-year deal with injured rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle, who's out for the season after fracturing his skull in late July when he fell down two flights of stairs. It's a $320,000 standard rookie deal, but he'll make $282,000 after missing the first two games

The second-round draft pick will be placed on the reserve-non-football injury list and won't play this season.

Kindle is scheduled to sign his contract today and meet with the media. The Ravens can retain Kindle for next season by extending a tender offer to the exclusive-rights free agent. "There's no way to predict these things," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week when asked if Kindle will play again. "You don't know how a brain heals. It's different in everybody and there's just no way to predict it. So, you just have to see where it goes." The final member of the 2010 draft class to sign his contract, Kindle is upbeat about his prospects.

"I know I'll play football again, I don't know when, but I'm going to make it back," Kindle told the Carroll County Times in a recent interview. "Things will get better. I'm staying positive, always."



TOUGH GUY APPRECIATED: All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis calls outside linebacker Jarret Johnson a construction worker because of his hard-hat approach to football.

"He's just going to always come to work," Lewis said. "He don't got that glamorous job. He just loves doing what he does. "Anytime you can play with a warrior like that, there's no greater reward when you actually get to play alongside somebody like that. He's just so big a piece for our defense."

Johnson's durability is impressive, too. On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, he'll play in his 100th consecutive game.

"I knew I had a bunch of 'em but I didn't really keep track of it until this year, and I didn't even realize this was the 100th one until they told me yesterday," Johnson said. "Yeah, it's something I'm proud of. It takes eight years to do."

Johnson hasn't missed a game since the final game of his rookie season when he was deactivated as a coach's decision.

He has played through a torn labrum in his shoulder, back injuries and a broken thumb. In 2007, he registered a career-high 94 tackles despite the thumb injury.

"It's something you've got to do," Johnson said. "In this game, it's not if you get hurt, but when. If you're not hurt at the end of the year, you weren't playing. It's just part of the game and you've got to play through it." Johnson has started the past 55 games, including the playoffs.

Lewis has been calling him a construction worker ever since last year in training camp when he refused to stop playing even though he had damaged his shoulder.

"They kept telling me to come out, and I just kept going," said Johnson, who recorded five sacks and two interceptions last season. "He's like, 'You remind me of my uncle. My uncle's a construction worker and he don't never quit working. You just like him.' So, he started calling me that.

"Everybody's got to have a role. Everybody's got to have something that they bring to the defense. That's the reason I'm in this room. If I was relying on my athletic ability and my build, I probably would have been out of here a long time ago."



WAITING FOR SECOND OPINION: Inside linebacker Tavares Gooden is awaiting a second medical opinion on his dislocated left shoulder from Dr. John Uribe, a Coral Gables, Fla., orthopedic specialist. The initial diagnosis for Gooden is that he's out at least four to six weeks. It's unclear if surgery will be required to repair the damage.

"I got to wait on John Uribe to get all the information back to me and go from there," said Gooden, whose left arm is still in a sling. "By the end of the week, I should know everything." Gooden was hurt in the second quarter of the Ravens' 15-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, landing awkwardly on his shoulder while covering a punt.

"I fell to the ground," Gooden said. "I hit the ground funny. I was sliding around a little bit. It was real painful."

Gooden said he's not sure what the nature of his injury is yet even though coach John Harbaugh already declared that he dislocated his shoulder. "I'm not even sure what it is yet," he said. "The films are sent down to Coral Gables for Uribe to look at them. I don't have an accurate time for how long it's going to take. I need to get with my agent and discuss it and see what exactly is going on so I know how to prepare."



INJURY UPDATES: Wide receiver Derrick Mason (knee) and fullback Le'Ron McClain (shoulder) returned to practice, but were limited after being held out Wednesday. Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (knee) was limited. Offensive tackle Jared Gaither (thoracic disc injury), Gooden and wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (broken foot) didn't practice. Gaither has yet to be ruled out. Participating fully: linebackers Johnson (back) , Terrell Suggs (ankle) and Jameel McClain (knee), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (back), running back Ray Rice (ankle) and tight end Todd Heap (shoulder).



For the Browns, quarterback Jake Delhomme (high ankle sprain), nose guard Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip), running back Jerome Harrison (thigh), wide receiver Brian Robiskie (hamstring) and outside linebacker Marcus Benard (ankle) didn't practice. Delhomme is in a walking boot and Seneca Wallace is expected to start his second game in a row. "He's in a boot while he's walking around," Browns coach Eric Mangini said. "Then when he's doing other things, the rehab and stuff like that, we take him out. That's pretty common, it's not just him." Defensive end Robaire Smith (ankle) was upgraded to limited, and offensive guard Floyd Womack (knee), outside linebacker Matt Roth (foot) and inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson (pectoral) were limited. Offensive tackle John St. Clair (foot) and linebacker Eric Barton (hip) were downgraded to limited. Offensive guard Eric Steinbach (thigh) was removed from the injury report. Offensive tackle Joe Thomas participated fully.



STICKING UP FOR SUGGS: Suggs appreciates how coach John Harbaugh stuck up for him with line judge Ron Marinucci after he was flagged for a controversial roughing-the-passer penalty during a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Harbaugh was fined $15,000 by the league office for impermissible verbal and physical contact with Marinucci.

"I didn't see the contact so I can't say whether or not he should have been fined," Suggs said. "I think we all feel the same way about the call. He showed it. He went to bat for his player and I probably would have got the same fine if something like that happened to my coach." Suggs, who was hit with a questionable roughing the passer penalty last year when he grazed the leg of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, said he doesn't think he's necessarily a marked man with officials.

"Maybe, I guess it's something you'll have to do a survey on," Suggs said. "I don't think so. He made the call, on to the next game." The Ravens defense has yet to allow a touchdown heading into Sunday's home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"We've got a lot of talented guys," Suggs said. "We got a middle linebacker that can ride a Raven bird that's as big as a 747. When you do that and blow up Saturn, you got a pretty good chance of winning on Sundays. Jokes aside, we're trying to get back in front of the fans and play the kind of football we're used to play."

NEXT MAN UP: Since Gooden is sidelined, inside linebacker Jason Phillips is expected to assume a special-teams role and move up the depth chart on defense.

"Just do whatever they ask me to do," Phillips said. "If they put me out there in sub, play good against the pass. If they put me out there in Raven, just make some tackles in the run game. I've got to know every detail of my playbook, and try to perform like they want me to." A four-time All-Mountain West Conference selection, Phillips recorded 315 career tackles at Texas Christian.

Phillips spent his rookie season on injured reserve and was inactive for the first two games of this season.

"Sitting out those first two games and just kind of getting a feel for how things go actually in a real game was cool, but I definitely wanted to be out there the last couple weeks," Phillips said. "So to be able to get my chance this week, I'm just going to try to make the most of it.

"I'm having a little trouble sleeping at night thinking about it. But that's part of the NFL, just waiting your turn and then when you get your opportunity, you have to make the best of it. So, that's what I'm going to try to do."

Phillips was ultra-productive as a run-stuffer during the preseason, but was beaten by St. Louis Rams tight end Billy Bajema for a touchdown during the preseason finale.

"There's a lot of little aspects of my game that weren't quite good enough my first year," Phillips said. "Just from the way I read to not being too quick on some things. One of the main things I learned was just to be patient and let things develop. So, this last year and a few months has been a good learning experience for me."



ON THE MEND: Defensive end Paul Kruger was deactivated for the first two games of the season after injuring his shoulder during the preseason. ‘No longer on the injury report, Kruger is regaining his range of motion and working out the soreness in his shoulder.

"The shoulder's coming around," Kruger said. "It's pretty much 100 percent. It's almost there. Another week or so, it will be 100 percent. It's good enough to go in a game." Last season, the second-round draft pick played in nine games and had a key interception in an overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since last season, he has gained roughly 25 pounds of muscle.

Kruger was expecting to be part of the defensive line rotation. Now, he's essentially an emergency option for the pass rush.

"Nobody waits around for you. You have to get better and work back into the rotation. As far as I knew, I was going to be in the rotation before the injury. That was definitely the case."





CORNER SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD: The Ravens signed former Texas A&M cornerback Danny Gorrer to the practice squad. He takes over the final spot on the practice squad.

Gorrer was signed by the New Orleans Saints last season after going undrafted and has also had a stint with the St. Louis Rams. The 6-foot, 185-pounder was on the Saints' practice squad last year before being signed by the Rams.

Gorrer tried out Tuesday along with cornerbacks John Bowie, Ray Fisher and Coye Francies. "I'm very excited," he said. "I'm happy to be here."

He recorded one tackle against the Houston Texans and started the following week against the Arizona Cardinals and recorded four tackles and a pass deflection, nearly picking off a Kurt Warner pass.

He was cut by the Saints on Aug. 24 after being claimed in June off waivers from the Rams.



QUICK HITS: Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is now ranked 308th on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, a drop of 78 places from last year. The Anne Arundel County businessman's worth is estimated at $1.3 billion. The Salisbury State graduated founded Aerotek, a staffing firm, in 1983. Now, it's called the Allegis Group and is worth $5.6 billion. …



Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison predicted that cornerback Cary Williams will play Sunday, probably on special teams, after serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Williams can also play safety. …

Mattison has been impressed with rookie nose guard Terrence Cody's work this week after sitting out the first two games after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. "He's had a great week of practice," Mattison said.

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