Notebook: Reed, Gaither, Gooden doubtful

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed isn't a candidate to be placed on injured reserve at this time despite a groin injury that has sidelined him for the past three games, according to coach John Harbaugh.

The prospect of possibly placing Reed on injured reserve is "not in the equation" after the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year received a second opinion from Dr. John Uribe in Coral Gables, Fla., on Wednesday that confirmed the Ravens medical staff's original prognosis.

Harbaugh characterized the development as good news.

"We're learning about this thing right now, he's had a chance to talk to a couple different doctors now," Harbaugh said. "I think we have a very good handle on what it is and it's going to be a matter of him being able to go as soon as he can, which could be as early as Sunday. We're going to have to wait and see, it really is one of those wait-and-see-injuries."

Reed didn't practice Friday for the third day in a row and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but hasn't been ruled out.

He did run around on the side with his helmet on and Tom Zbikowski is preparing to start in Reed's place again.

The Ravens are confident that Reed's injury involves the groin after the second-opinion doctor's evaluation.

"Yes, I would say it was very consistent with what our doctors had seen," Harbaugh said. "I think it confirmed a lot of things. I would say it's the groin, it's not the hip. That's one of the things we wanted to discuss to see if there was any involvement with the hip and there's nothing."

Meanwhile, long snapper Matt Katula rested his sore elbow due to tendinitis for the third day in a row as practice squad rookie long snapper Nick Sundberg took all the snaps again.

Katula is listed as questionable, but the team expects him to play Sunday.

Katula predicted on Thursday that he would definitely play.

"I think that's probably the assumption that I'm going on, that he'll be able to go on Sunday," Harbaugh said. "As we go forward, our young snapper, Nick Sundberg, is here to take some reps off him. I thought we did a good job bringing him in.

"He's been snapping all year in the UFL. He really looked good, so we really feel comfortable with him."

If Katula can't play, then the Ravens would promote Sundberg from the practice squad. Offensive tackle Jared Gaither didn't practice again due to a toe/foot injury and is doubtful for Sunday.

If he can't go, then rookie Michael Oher would start his third game in a row at left tackle. Gaither has said he's going to play.

"I think he's got a chance to go on Sunday," Harbaugh said. "He's got a good orthotic that's really helped him. We've got to see what he can do in practice [Saturday]."

Inside linebacker Tavares Gooden (groin) didn't practice and is also doubtful.

Dannell Ellerbe will start in his place on Sunday. Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson returned to practice, participating fully after being held out Thursday with a knee injury.

Defensive tackle Justin Bannan was added to the injury report with an illness and is questionable. He was sent home from practice.

Tight end Edgar Jones was added with a back injury and is questionable.

Wide receiver Mark Clayton (knee) was limited in practice and is questionable, as is defensive tackle Kelly Talavou (knee).

Wide receiver Demetrius Williams was added to the injury report with a knee injury, but practiced fully and is probable.

The following players all participated fully and are probable: center Matt Birk (knee), wide receiver Justin Harper (foot), tight end Todd Heap (chest), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained right ankle), tight end L.J. Smith (ankle) and wide receiver Kelley Washington (ankle).

ROSTER MOVES: Rookie safety K.J. Gerard was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

The Ravens re-signed safety Marcus Paschal, who was waived on Tuesday.

QUICK HITS: Wide receiver Derrick Mason attended practice even though he was excused.. … Harbaugh said that his best Christmas present was his daughter, Alison, waking him and his wife up at 3:30 a.m. to open up presents. Harbaugh said he had plans to spend part of his holiday in his backyard, which has a sledding track. Senior vice president of public relations Kevin Byrne advised Harbaugh to be careful and Harbaugh quipped: "You don't have to be healthy to coach.". … The Ravens practiced indoors on Friday, and Harbaugh said the team was focused. "It was a business day," he said. "We had a really solid, focused practice for it being Christmas. Like all of us, they're up with their families with their kids and seeing for the first time what their wives bought everybody for Christmas. Matt Birk had that glassy-eyed stare: ‘How much did we spend?'"

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