Injuries mount for Ravens

Surviving an arduous training camp is a battle of attrition, and the Baltimore Ravens' list of nagging woes continues to multiply.

Starting cornerback Gary Baxter is highly questionable for Thursday night's preseason game against the New York Jets at Ravens Stadium because of a strained hamstring, according to trainer Bill Tessendorf. Alvin Porter will start again in his place.

A magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed a stress fracture of rookie defensive tackle Josh McKibben's tibia. He's out indefinitely.

An arthroscopic procedure on rookie linebacker Andre Arnold's knee showed enough damage that he's estimated to be out for four to six weeks.

Defensive end Anthony Weaver is still feeling the effects of a high ankle sprain and is unlikely to play against the Jets. The second-round pick from Notre Dame might be available to play against the Philadelphia Eagles next week.

Veteran cornerback James Trapp is practicing only once a day because he had minor knee surgery seven weeks ago. He played against the Detroit Lions and will take some repetitions against the Jets.

"James is one of those AARP guys," Tessendorf said. "We're going to take it slow with him as a precautionary measure."

Wide receiver Lonny Mitchell's strained neck improved enough that he practiced on Monday.

 Outside linebacker Peter Boulware (ankle) and defensive end Michael McCrary (knee) remain on the physically unable to perform list. However, Boulware may be able to increase his workload from running drills to some football activity by next week.

McCrary is more of a long-term project after undergoing surgery last fall that ended his season after 7.5 sacks. McCrary has experienced some swelling in his knee.

 Tessendorf didn't say when either player would come off of the injured list. Of course, Boulware and McCrary won't play against the Jets.

 "We're more worried about 16 games with Mike than one game," Tessendorf said. "We don't want to rush him."

DB SIGNED: The Baltimore Ravens signed free agent safety Jeremy Unertl to a contract on Monday, waiving wide receiver Kendrick Gibson. Both players tried out for the Ravens on the opening day of training camp.

 Unertl, a former Green Bay Packers player from Wisconsin-Lacrosse, arrived at the team hotel in Westminster about noon, signed his contract and was on the field a few hours later.

Unertl was released the day before the Packers opened camp.

As a native of Wisconsin, land of the Cheeseheads, there was considerable pressure on the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder in Green Bay. Family and friends' expectations and optimism were a tad overwhelming.

"It was a double-edged sword," said Unertl, who collected 209 career tackles and 16 interceptions in college while also returning kicks and punts. "I wanted that situation to work out, but I wasn't only thinking about how it would be great to play for the hometown team. Other people thought that way, but I set my goals much higher.

"I have high standards and want to be successful in whatever I do in life. Hopefully, this is the right fit for me."

TAYLOR HITS THE FIELD: Chester Taylor has waited a long time to carry the football in an NFL game atmosphere. Against the Jets, he'll get his wish in relief of starter Jamal Lewis along with fellow rookie Tellis Redmon.

The sixth-round draft pick from Toledo is projected to be Lewis' primary backup. Now, he's able to contend for that duty after bruising his lower leg in the first week of camp.

"I can't wait to play in this game," said Taylor, who finished seventh in the nation with 1,492 rushing yards along with 20 touchdowns. "I just want to show everyone what I can do and start contributing to this team. It hasn't hit me yet about being nervous."


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