Sergio Kindle to undergo neurological exams

OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens injured rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle is expected to begin the season on the physically unable to perform list due to a fractured skull, but hasn't been ruled out for the season. Kindle is ahead of schedule in his recovery since falling down two flights of stairs in late July, according to Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

It's still considered unlikely, though, that Kindle will play this season.

The former University of Texas star is set to travel to Baltimore at the end of next week for two to three days of neurological testing and other medical exams.

Because Kindle is an unsigned player, the second-round draft pick won't be meeting with football personnel and will be dealing strictly with medical officials because of NFL regulations. The Ravens are awaiting a detailed prognosis about Kindle's immediate and long-term health before signing him to a contract.

"From a football perspective, we're not allowed to see him at all," Harbaugh said. "We've talked to the league about this. We won't be able to see him here at the facility, but he'll be meeting with neurologists and they'll get a chance to evaluate him for two or three days at the hospital facility. We'll be looking forward to seeing how that turns out."

Harbaugh said that Kindle has begun exercising.

"He's been able to work out," Harbaugh said. "Based on what I've been told, and some of this comes from Sergio who's very optimistic but also from the doctors who say he's ahead of schedule, he's really recovering very quickly, which is very encouraging. That's why we want to get him here and have the doctors compare notes with the people down in Dallas and see exactly where he's at."

There's still no specific timetable, just an obvious assumption that he won't be playing football for at least the first six weeks of the season.

"The basic expectation is he'll be on PUP to start the season," Harbaugh said. "There's no way he'd be ready to go. Nobody would risk that, but I think he goes on the inactive PUP to start the season and then we evaluate it from there and see where we're at."

When asked if he would rule out the former All-Big 12 pass rusher for the season, Harbaugh said: "No."

PLAYING IT SAFE: One day after cornerback Lardarius Webb said he envisions resuming his kick return duties when he returns from his torn anterior cruciate ligament, Harbaugh indicated that's not what he has in mind.

Harbaugh said that the team will utilize Webb on defense for probably the whole season rather than expose him to the risk of playing on special teams.

"I think at some point in time Lardarius could be a returner again, certainly not early," Harbaugh said. "I really don't think so this year just coming off an ACL. Now, he'll be a backup if we have to put him out there. But we have Jalen Parmele and we've got some other candidates. I think we're going to be very cautious with Lardarius that way. He loves to play."

Webb was a dangerous returner as a rookie last year, returning a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown against the Denver Broncos and averaging 26.2 yards per return to rank ninth in the league. Jalen Parmele has established himself as the primary kickoff returner.

Harbaugh said he's not opposed to the idea of using Webb on special teams later in the season.

"Not to say you wouldn't see him out there at corner on punt return later in the year or even at gunner or something like that possibly," he said. "We're trying to win games, but we're going to err on the side of making sure we don't put him at undue risk."

EARNING IT BACK: Veteran defensive end Trevor Pryce accepted a $2.5 million pay cut during the offseason, and is now due a $2 million base salary.

However, the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end says he can make all of the money back through incentive clauses

Pryce, 35, said he's not worried about triggering the financial incentives, which are believed to be triggered through playing time percentages.

"Yeah, I can get all of it back," Pryce said. "It's very doable, put it like that."

INJURY UPDATES: Defensive tackle Brandon McKinney, who has battled swelling in his right knee this preseason, didn't practice.

He was in sweatpants and walking gingerly.

Offensive tackles Jared Gaither (thoracic back disc) and Oniel Cousins (concussion), center-guard David Hale (bruised tailbone), safety Marcus Paschal (quadriceps and wide receiver Demetrius Williams (sprained right ankle) didn't practice.

Several players weren't present during the media viewing practice time, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're hurt.

That includes defensive tackle Terrence Cody, defensive end Cory Redding and wide receiver Marcus Smith.

QUICK HITS: Harbaugh praised reserve inside linebacker Jason Phillips, who recovered two fumbles and recorded a sack and a forced fumble against the Washington Redskins. A fifth-round draft pick from Texas Christian last season, Phillips spent his entire rookie year on injured reserve with a knee injury. "There was a little bit of knocking the rust off a little bit because he hadn't played in a while," Harbaugh said. "I would say the last week, he's really come on. He's played well in both preseason games, and he's making a real run out of it right now. He's looked good." … The Ravens are gaining confidence in free safety Tom Zbikowski as the stand-in for former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Ed Reed. "He took that confidence, and he's just taken off from there," Harbaugh said. "He really learns from Ed. I think Ed has taken Tom under his wing and has taught him a lot of tricks of the trade that Ed does differently probably than any other safety in the league. Zibby is never going to be Ed Reed, but he's going to be Zibby. He's going to be his own guy, and ye he's learned so much from Ed. I think it's a credit to Ed Reed that he's done as well as he has."

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