RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Gaither out, Clayton doubtful

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Gaither out, Clayton doubtful

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OWINGS MILLS – The Baltimore Ravens will probably be without a pair of offensive starters on Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Offensive tackle Jared Gaither has been ruled out due to a foot injury.

And wide receiver Mark Clayton is doubtful due to knee and hamstring injuries.

Clayton is expected to miss his second game in a row.

With Kelley Washington questionable with a sprained ankle, the Ravens will probably start Demetrius Williams opposite Derrick Mason with Justin Harper filling in as the third receiver.

“Yeah, it is a concern,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We’ve got some guys nicked up. We’ve got Kelley nicked up, Mark Clayton’s nicked up. Some young guys played a little bit last week, and they may have to play this week. But we’re trying to get those guys back, especially Kelley.”

Clayton didn’t practice all week, but has resumed light running.

“It’s coming along,” he said. “I’m just trying to do everything I can to get back. I’m definitely noticing improvement. I think everything will be all right. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help us win further down the line.”

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs returned to practice after being held out Thursday with a minor setback to his sprained knee.

“I tweaked it a little bit, but we had to treat it and get it back to phase one,” Suggs said.

 He’s listed as probable and is expected to play.

“Suggs looked good, we’ll see how it feels,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t play on Sunday unless something comes up.”

Suggs said he doesn’t think the Detroit Lions were trying to injure him after initially accusing them of going after his sprained medial collateral ligament.

“I don’t think they were going for my knee on film,” he said. “It showed they cut before. I think I got do a better job of protecting it. That’s part of the game.”

Free safety Ed Reed is listed as questionable. He didn’t practice all week.

With Gaither out for the second game in a row, the Ravens will start rookie first-round draft pick Michael Oher at left tackle again with Oniel Cousins filling in for him on the right side.

The Ravens also ruled out defensive tackle Brandon McKinney with a back injury.

Linebackers Jarret Johnson (knee, back, left shoulder) and Tavares Gooden (groin), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (sprained right ankle), tight end L.J. Smith (sprained ankle) and safety K.J. Gerard (thigh) are questionable.

Center Matt Birk (neck) and wide receiver Derrick Mason (finger) are probable.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who has dealt with hip, knee, ankle and shoulder injuries this season, isn’t listed on the injury report.

“Joe looks good,” Harbaugh said. “Joe’s been good all year. He’s got the bruise like everybody, but he’s been great.”

QUICK HITS: Bears wide receiver and returner Devin Hester is doubtful with a calf injury. If he can’t play, Johnny Knox would fill in for him. “We’re preparing to face Devin Hester, but we also know who the backups are,” Harbaugh said. “So, the different guys that play in his different positions, we’ve prepared for those guys also. The amazing thing about their return game is, no matter who they put out there, they look the same. Whoever is running the punt return or the kick return looks as good as the other guy. They must all be great returners because they all look good doing it.” … Linebacker Jamar Williams (ankle), cornerbacks Charles Tillman (back) and Zach Bowman (illness), offensive tackle Orlando Pace (groin) and defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) are questionable. … Harbaugh said that quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson addressed the team about the death of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry. Jackson coached Henry in Cincinnati previously. “It’s beyond words to talk about with a situation like that,” Harbaugh said. “Most of our guys know Chris Henry. Hue Jackson has a really close relationship with him, so we asked Hue to come up and we actually prayed for Chris on Thursday before we knew what the outcome was. There’s not much, really, that we can say beyond that other than we just give out our heartfelt condolences to the family, to the children, especially at Christmas. It’s just a tragedy.” … Former Ravens coach Brian Billick, who’s calling Sunday’s game for FOX, visited the training complex for production meetings with Harbaugh, Flacco, Oher and other players. He wasn’t scheduled to meet with middle linebacker Ray Lewis or Reed. … A big black-feathered Ravens cake arrived at team headquarters Friday, a cake created by Chef Duff, the star of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes program and owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata assisted with the construction of the cake on his day off, working on the color and feathers of the elaborate cake. A television crew captured the moment and the episode is expected to air in a few months, according to a Food Network producer.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson


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