WESTMINSTER – Baltimore Ravens rookie outside linebacker Sergio Kindle is still in a hospital after fracturing his skull last month.
The-round draft pick has made enough progress, though, that he’ll be transferred to a rehab hospital in Dallas next week, according to Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
Kindle fell down two flights of stairs at a friend’s house in Austin, Texas. a few days before the Ravens reported to training camp at McDaniel College.
“I spoke to him last night,” Harbaugh said Wednesday morning. “He’s in great spirits. He’s still in a hospital full-time. In a few days, he’s going to move back home and be rehabbing.”
Kindle has been declared out of training camp and is unable to fly.
It’s regarded as extremely unlikely that Kindle will play this season, but he hasn’t given up hope.
“He’s very optimistic about his return,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Harbaugh has confirmed previously that Kindle takes medication for narcolepsy, the sleeping disorder that may have been a factor in this accident.
At this time, the Ravens aren’t engaged in contract talks with Kindle’s agent Joel Segal. They are awaiting a clearer medical outlook for the former University of Texas star before they commit to a contract.
Based on his draft slot, Kindle was due a signing bonus between $1.675 million and $1.76 million.
General manager Ozzie Newsome has consulted with the NFL Management Council on how to proceed on Kindle’s contract.
For now, the contract is on the back burner and the focus remains on Kindle’s health.
“I really don’t know where that’s at right now,” Harbaugh said. “It’s just between Ozzie and the committees. I’m sure they’ll get it all worked out.”
MASON, REED PROGRESSING: Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason was sidelined at practice after spraining his right ankle Tuesday, but doesn’t expect to be out long.
“Sooner rather than later,” Mason said. “I’m happy how my ankle has responded. I thought it was worse than when it actually happened, but it settled down.”
Mason said the ankle didn’t swell up overnight. His ankle is taped up and he’s not wearing a brace.
“It just hurts a little,” he said. “It’s a little stiff. It will be fine. I’ll take a day off and get a lot of treatment on it and I’ll be back.”
PROGRESSING: It’s unclear when free safety Ed Reed will be able to practice after undergoing offseason hip surgery, but Harbaugh is encouraged by what he’s seeing from the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Reed remains on the physically unable to perform list.
“His status is the same,” Harbaugh said. “I like what I see when I see him working. He looks like he’s progressing.”
Reed is attending practices and seems engaged in the action on the field.
“He’s into it,” Harbaugh said.
BIRK NEARLY BACK: Six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk is on the verge of being activated from the physically unable to perform list.
Birk had surgery on his right elbow after minicamps.
“Matt’s getting very close,” Harbaugh said. “He’s getting antsy. I think we’ll be seeing him very soon.”
Birk said he was going to see the doctor Wednesday.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “So, hopefully, it will be soon.”
Chris Chester has been playing center with Birk out.
CHRIS CARR IS BACK: Chris Carr returned to practice after missing two days with a lower back problem.
“It felt good,” he said. “I don’t like seeing my teammates taking all those reps. I know they get tired. I made some plays, it felt good.”
CLAYTON FILLS IN: Wide receiver Mark Clayton stepped in for Mason with the first-team offense.
One year after missing the majority of camp with a pulled hamstring, the former first-round draft pick drew praise from Harbaugh.
“Mark’s had a really good camp,” Harbaugh said. “He’s caught the ball really well. Mark’s a polished receiver.”
With the presence of Anquan Boldin and Mason, Clayton is competing with Donte’ Stallworth for the third wide receiver job.
Unprompted, Harbaugh also praised Demetrius Williams. Williams is competing with rookie David Reed for the fifth receiver spot.
“I put Demetrius in that category, too,” Harbaugh said. “Demetrius Williams has played exceptionally well.”
INJURY REPORT: Besides Carr, tight end Davon Drew (hamstring) returned to practice.
Not practicing: Mason, offensive tackle Tony Moll (concussion) and cornerback K.J. Gerard (hamstring).
“The symptoms have to clear up,” Harbaugh said of Moll. “Obviously, they’ll always be careful with that.”
Still on the physically unable to perform list: Reed, Birk, cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee), linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps), offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (throat) and running back Matt Lawrence (knee)
FIRST-STRING: Michael Oher is listed as first on the depth chart at left tackle with Jared Gaither listed as the No. 1 right tackle.
Oher lined up at left tackle Wednesday and is expected to play on that side during the regular season.
“He’s looked great, he really has,” Harbaugh said. “His body, the work he’s done, you can see it when you watch him come out here. He’s moving really well. The guy is here every single day throughout the offseason getting all that work and all those reps. It shows, and he’s done a great job.”
QUICK HITS: One year after watching Steve Hauschka and Graham Gano struggle, Harbaugh is enjoying watching Shayne Graham and Billy Cundiff compete for the kicking job. “There’s a lot more going through the uprights,” he said. “These two guys really know what they’re doing.” … Cundiff hit John Madden’s cruiser on a 35-yard field goal. He connected on all but one of his six tries, but the miss was from 60 yards. Graham only converted 4-of-7. He missed a 35-yarder as well as from 47 and 60 yards. .. Quarterback Joe Flacco took a fall when defensive tackle Haloti Ngata ran into him, but was unhurt. “We do not want our quarterback getting roughed up unnecessarily, but sometimes you get tangled up,” Harbaugh said. “That’s what happened on that one.”