Hunter out for season, Harris breaks leg

Following an outbreak of injuries, the Baltimore Ravens are suddenly a tad shorthanded.<p> Wide receiver Javin Hunter ruptured his right Achilles' tendon Monday morning at training camp and is out for the season.<p> Veteran inside linebacker Bernardo Harris fractured his left fibula and is supposed to miss four to six weeks.<p> Safety Ray Perryman dislocated his left shoulder and will be out for an indefinite period of time.

"Yeah, a little rash of injuries this morning," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "It's unfortunate, the most serious being Javin. The other guys we anticipate being back."

In the case of Hunter, it's bad luck piled upon having been suspended the final four games of his rookie season for testing positive for ephedra. Hunter was expected to contend for playing time as the Ravens' fourth or fifth receiver and return kickoffs. Last season, Hunter started three games and caught five passes with four kickoff returns for 105 yards.

"Javin worked extremely hard after missing the last four games last year and he was probably in the best shape of his life," receivers coach David Shaw said. "It means more reps, more opportunities for others."

That group includes Randy Hymes, Ron Johnson, Milton Wynn, Chisom Opara and Marc Lester.

As for Harris, it means the loss of an experienced, physical tackler who started 12 games during Ray Lewis' absence last season. Harris collected 73 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.

With Harris out, second-year pro Bart Scott becomes the primary backup to Lewis and Ed Hartwell at inside linebacker. Billick said the Ravens will investigate signing another linebacker.

"Bart's got the comfort zone of when he's in there, Bernardo's there," Billick said. "Now, Bart's going to be the signal guy. He's got to know. He can't rely on Bernardo. That's good for Bart."

For Scott, it's ironic that he'll be in such a position a year removed from making the Ravens as an undrafted free agent from Southern Illinois.

"Ain't that funny," Scott said. "I'm the experienced guy now. Bernardo's kind of like a coach on the field. Without him, I have to be a little more vocal. He will be sorely missed."

Perryman is a special teams standout and a reserve safety who intercepted a pass in Friday's scrimmage.

Offensive tackle Orlando Brown (thigh), tight end Todd Heap (back spasms), cornerback Tom Knight (torn ligaments in thumb) and running back Musa Smith (knee) are day-to-day, according to trainer Bill Tessendorf.

Smith still has swelling in his knee from a sprained capsule that hinders his ability to cut. "They aren't going to drain it yet," Smith said. "They've switched me to a stronger anti-inflammatory. It's near my MCL (medial collateral ligament). I can't come out here half-ready and make it worse. "I'm learning too much about the knee."

Wide receiver Marcus Robinson left a hot afternoon practice early on a cart as did offensive guard Bennie Anderson.

Johnson didn't practice for precautionary reasons in the afternoon after experiencing a twinge in his leg, Shaw said.

Center Mike Flynn will be out for the next few weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee.

Cornerback Corey Fuller returned to practice after missing the last few days with a sprained foot.

Defensive tackle Joe Salave'a took part in the afternoon after missing the last week with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

As for Heap, Billick said, "Todd has this down to a science. He's got it down as to how much time he can miss."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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