Grubbs the latest Raven to get injured

WESTMINSTER -- Offensive guard Ben Grubbs became the latest player to join the Baltimore Ravens' lengthy injury report, limping off the field Tuesday morning at McDaniel College. Although the injury isn't regarded as serious, the veteran blocker could be among several players who will be held out of Thursday night's preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers for precautionary reasons.

The injury wasn't disclosed, but Grubbs has a history of foot and ankle problems. If Grubbs is out, Chris Chester will start in his place at left guard.

"It's not major," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Whether he'll play Thursday night or not, we're going to be cautious with all that kind of stuff."

Meanwhile, offensive tackle Jared Gaither has all but been ruled out for the Carolina game.

Gaither, who's down to 311 pounds from a playing weight of 340 pounds last season, has been plagued by back spasms throughout training camp. "I don't think he'll be able to play because he hasn't practiced enough," Harbaugh said. "I don't know if the injury is going to hold him out. It will be hard for him to play with the little bit of practice he's had."

Oniel Cousins is preparing to start in Gaither's place.

Cornerback Chris Carr has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury Saturday, but hasn't been ruled out.

He's not expected to play.

If Carr is out along with Fabian Washington, Travis Fisher will start at cornerback opposite Cary Williams. Undrafted rookie Prince Miller is slated for nickel back duty.

Carr hasn't practiced since getting injured Saturday, but has been getting healthier. "He could play," Harbaugh said of Carr. "It's a matter of whether we decide to put him out there or not."

Washington, who had a torn anterior cruciate ligament last season, has been practicing since being activated from the physically unable to perform list earlier in training camp. If it were up to Washington, he would play Thursday. He's expected to be a game-time decision.

"I still don't know, it's up to coach Harbaugh," Washington said. "If it's up to me, yeah. I'm not the smart one out of the two."

When asked if he would accept not being allowed to play, Washington replied, "I would understand that. He knows how I feel about this game." Ultimately, the team will decide Thursday night before kickoff if it wants to hold him out.

"He's ready to go, it's just a matter of whether we want him to go," Harbaugh said. "I think we'll take him out in pregame and see how much work we get done and we'll decide. We're not going to push it."

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata returned to practice after suffering back spasms when he caught a helmet in his back Monday morning. "I feel good," Ngata said. "So, I'm going to play."

GETTING READY: Cousins is preparing to start at right tackle after being sidelined earlier in camp on the non-football illness list following offseason throat surgery to remove a noncancerous cyst from his esophagus.

"I'm going to do my thing," Cousins said. "Every day is important for me to try to do my thing and take my game to the next level."

Cousins said he has regained most of the weight he lost while dealing with the illness.

Down to 290 pounds at one point from his former playing weight of 320 pounds, Cousins said he's back up to 315 pounds.

"I'm getting stronger," he said. "I'm putting my weight back on. I feel good."

The coaching staff has been impressed by Cousins' progress.

"I think what Oniel has done has been pretty amazing," Harbaugh said. "He's just made up so much ground in the last week that he's practiced. He looks good, so he should play quite a bit."

KICKERS TO ALTERNATE: Instead of their originally announced plan to have dueling kickers Shayne Graham and Billy Cundiff kick for one half apiece, the Ravens have called an audible.

Now, special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg has decided to have the kickers alternate on each field goal try.

"That's what coach Rosburg wants to do," Harbaugh said. "He feels like it'll keep both guys in the game for the whole game and give them a fair amount of reps. So, we're looking forward to that."

Harbaugh said he thought that they would alternate kickoffs, too.

Graham had a huge miss Tuesday where he sailed the football several yards wide left.

INJURY REPORT: Offensive tackle Tony Moll said he's still dealing with the effects of a concussion, including headaches.

"I'm trying to get rid of them," Moll said. "Concussions are something the NFL has been focusing on this year more than ever. They're taking it very seriously. I think it's a good thing. I'm almost there. It's definitely very frustrating and challenging. This isn't an issue I've had before."

In order to be cleared medically, Moll has to pass an NFL-mandated baseline test to examine his brain functions.

"They do a good job with that," Moll said. "When you come into a new system, they redo your baseline and it sets the standard for you. It's a good take when you do that test. It's a lot of memorization and quick reactions. Being able to stay up with the baseline shows your brain can handle the NFL asks you to do."

Cornerback K.J. Gerard didn't practice as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Safety Marcus Paschal is still sidelined with a right quadriceps issue.

"It's up to the coaches," Gerard said. "I'm feeling better every day. I'm ready to get out there and run again."

Reserve offensive lineman Daniel Sanders has an injured shoulder and didn't practice Tuesday. "I'm doing a lot of rehab stuff since I popped my shoulder," he said. "It's not a dislocation, so I should be back in a few days. I'll take a little time and then I'll be back."

Rookie offensive tackle Ramon Harewood returned to practice after being out Monday. Both of his knees were still wrapped.

Wide receiver Demetrius Williams returned to practice after missing Monday with an undisclosed injury.

Still on the physically unable to perform list: safety Ed Reed (hip), linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps), cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee) and running back Matt Lawrence (knee).

QUICK HITS: Inside linebacker Jameel McClain, who's in the lead for the starting job next to middle linebacker Ray Lewis, said that he's always been ready to play in the NFL. "I knew I belonged the day I came out of my mother's womb," McClain said. "I was born to play this game. I'm born to go out there and hit somebody and play with a high intensity and a lot of rah-rah. So, it's not like I came here wide-eyed, like, ‘Man, I don't deserve this.' I understand that you've got to work for everything in life, so I'm my biggest critic and my biggest fan." ... McClain's hand is bandaged, but he said it's not a problem. "My hand is perfect," he said. "It's because I'm getting my shadow boxing on, that's all. The air hurts." ... A feisty defense recorded consecutive sacks with outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and strong safety Dawan Landry applying the heat. ... Justin Harper caught a long pass from Marc Bulger behind Williams.


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