Ravens Notebook

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither hasn't been medically cleared to resume playing football by California back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins. Although Gaither's back injury is improving, he's still not considered ready to play. His status is regarded as week to wee

Gaither flew to California on Monday for another second medical opinion from Watkins to examine a thoracic disc injury suffered during the first week of training camp.

Gaither was carted off the field Aug. 5 with an upper back injury that triggered back spasms.

Gaither returned to practice last Wednesday on a limited basis, but was unable to practice after saying his lower back was bothering him. "We just don't know, that's a mystery right now," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week. "Jared is as frustrated as anybody. We'll know more on Monday when he gets a re-evaluation. We'll see how that goes."

Gaither was initially feeling better, but had trouble making it through a light practice. "He said he was feeling better and he'd be able to go next week, he thought, so he went out there and went through a very light practice," Harbaugh said. "The next day, came in and his back was sore. So, we're sending him for a re-evaluation. "Our doctors have looked at it, and they don't see it in there right now. So, we've got to find out from the best experts what exactly is causing that problem." Harbaugh said that injured reserve is a possibility.

"Obviously, the clock is ticking on something like that," Harbaugh said.



RAVENS CUT MILLER, SIGN KOOISTRA: The Ravens cut undrafted rookie cornerback Prince Miller and signed veteran offensive lineman Scott Kooistra. Miller is expected to be signed the practice squad if he clears waivers. He was added to the roster after trying out Tuesday along with offensive linemen Jake Grove, Brett Romberg, Nick Leckey, Kynan Forney and Kirk Chambers.

The Ravens tried out offensive linemen Donald Thomas and Quinn Ojinnaka on Monday.

Kooistra is a 6-foot-6, 335-pound former Cincinnati Bengals seventh-round draft pick from North Carolina State.

Kooistra, 29, has played in 84 career NFL games with one start.

Drafted in 2003, Kooistra played in every game in 2004 and 15 games in 2005 and 2006 for the Bengals.

Cut by the Bengals in 2009, he was re-signed briefly in November of last year and then waived again a few weeks later.

Kooistra signed with the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 22, 2009 after quarterback Brady Quinn was placed on injured reserve, but was waived four days later.

Signed to a future contract by the Browns on Jan. 5, Kooistra was cut on Sept. 4 in the final major roster cutdown.

Under NFL rules governing practice squad players, Miller had to remain on the Ravens' roster for three weeks because he was signed off the New England Patriots' practice squad.

So far this season, the rookie punt returner from Georgia has been off and on the Ravens' roster.

Cut one day after the Ravens' final roster cutdown, he declined an opportunity to join the Ravens' practice squad and signed with New England.

One week later, the Ravens signed him to the active roster.

Miller wasn't active for any of the Ravens' past three games as free safety Tom Zbikowski continues to handle the majority of the punt return duties despite a low return average.

PRAISE FOR WEBB: Harbaugh was complimentary of cornerback Lardarius Webb for how he contained swift Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace.

Webb broke up a pass intended in the end zone for Wallace, who caught two passes for 24 yards.

Webb tore his anterior cruciate ligament last December against the Chicago Bears, ending last season on injured reserve.

He displayed good recovery speed to catch up with Wallace.

"That's probably the first time you got a chance to see him in a one-on-one situation going up to make a play," Harbaugh said. "Since he didn't go through training camp, this time of year you don't get too many of those kind of battles in practice. Just playing the ball is something he does extremely well, and that showed up in those two plays.

"Mike Wallace can run, he can go up and get a ball, and Lardarius made up a little ground on him and then timed it perfectly and got the ball out twice. Those were huge plays in the game."



DOMINATION: Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata thoroughly trounced the Steelers' offensive line, recording a career-high 11 tackles with one sack.

Ngata lined up at defensive end for the majority of the game and was practically unblockable.

"Haloti Ngata, first of all, is playing as well as any defensive player in the league right now," Harbaugh said. "There's no denying it. I'm proud of him. He's a great guy. Nobody works harder, he's a good family man. "He's just the kind of guy you root for, and he's dominant. We played him at defensive end most of the game, you know, out there over Flozell [Adams] and Max Starks, and he just held up really well against some of their inside and outside zone schemes.


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