Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Cody dealing with minor knee injury

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OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens rookie nose guard Terrence “Mount” Cody is dealing with swelling in his left knee due because of an issue involving the cartilage outside of the knee.

He’s not expected to need surgery to repair the damage at this time.

“He got a burst of swelling,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s nothing that needs surgery. He can definitely get through the season with it. It’s like a lot of guys, they have these little things they have to deal with.”

Cody said that he hasn’t had to have the knee drained, adding that it’s being treated with ice, a stem device and wearing a compression wrap.

“It’s a little swelling, a little fluid in the knee,” Cody said. “Hopefully, it’s going to go down. They think it’s something that will go down.”

Cody said he’s not accustomed to getting hurt. He’s hoping to return as soon as today and possibly play in Saturday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants.

“I’m feeling good,” Cody said. “It’s frustrating, but I can’t wait to get back out there.”

GAITHER BACK BY FIRST GAME?:  Offensive tackle Jared Gaither hasn’t been ruled out for a Sept. 13 regular-season opener against the New York Jets as he recovers from a thoracic disc injury.

“That’s what we’ve been told,” Harbaugh said. "We’ll just have to see how it goes. I know one thing: He’s working really hard. He gets treatment all day long.

"He’s worked very hard on his lower body. He’s worked hard on his cardiovascular. I think Jared’s doing everything he can to get himself back.”

Harbaugh originally said 11 days ago that Gaither would be sidelined for two to three weeks.

However, Gaither was informed by a California back specialist that the injury could linger for as long as six weeks.

Harbaugh has said that Gaither has a slight tear in his back, which causes spasms. And Gaither has said he has the thoracic disc condition.

“One doctor says it’s irritated, the other doctor says it’s got a slight tear in it,” Harbaugh said. “I was told by the trainers that’s what is causing the back spasms. Jared described it as best he could. To say it’s contradictory, we all do the best we can to describe it but we’re not doing medical examinations.

“Until it settles down, he just can’t get out there because he can’t get in position and all to do it. We were given that basic time frame for when he might be back, and we just have to see how it goes."

AYANBADEJO UPDATE: Due to uncertainty with special-teams ace and inside linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo’s surgically repaired quadriceps, he could begin the season on the physically unable to perform list.

Ayanbadejo has been out ever since tearing his quadriceps last October against the New England Patriots.

“I would say less confident now, at this time,” Harbaugh said when asked if Ayanbadejo will be ready in time for the season opener. “The fact that he hasn’t been able to practice all through camp means he’s probably going to be pushed back to some extent, and we’ll just have to decide, really, within the next week what status he’s going to be going into the season.

“He works out and trains and all that, but he got no work obviously in practice, which is really the main work that you need. He says he’s feeling a lot better, and that’s where he’s at.”

Ayanbadejo, 34, would miss at least the first six games of the season if he’s designated on the PUP list.

Ayanbadejo acknowledged that he’s running out of time to pass his physical and be activated.

He has done some running and agility drills on the side and had a plasma injection a few weeks ago to accelerate the healing process in the leg.

“I don’t know if they’re comfortable enough, maybe I can talk Harbaugh into letting me do seven-on-seven and individual,” Ayanbadejo said. “Coach Harbaugh and I talked about it and nothing can replicate football. That’s the one negative. Either way, I’m going to come back 100 percent.

“It’s a long season and we play the type of bully ball where at some point in time my services are going to be very valuable. I want to be back as soon as I can. I’m sick of watching.”

It’s been tough for Ayanbadejo to watch film of his teammates.

“Your incentive to watch film after practice is you get to see yourself,” he said. “I never get to see myself. I just get to imagine what it would be like.”

CONCUSSION LINGERING: Offensive tackle Oniel Cousins is still feeling the effects of a concussion suffered last week and isn’t expected to play Saturday despite his desire to play.

“I was trying to,” Cousins said. “That’s always my mentality.”

Projected to start at right tackle with Gaither out, Cousins was carted off the field in Westminster on Aug. 18.

He has been dealing with severe headaches, temporary memory loss and sensitivity to light since suffering the injury, often wearing sunglasses around the Ravens’ training complex.

“You get headaches and you kind of lose your memory for a little bit, and you just continually have migraines,” Cousins said. “It’s kind of hard to focus in on the target and the lights, the bright lights on the camera. I’m improving and I feel a little bit better and better every day. Hopefully, I can be able to go this Saturday night. If not, I’ll be ready for the next game.”

If Cousins is out, then Tony Moll will start again in his place after getting the nod last weekend against the Washington Redskins.

The NFL has adopted stricter rules about when players are allowed to play again following a concussion, and Cousins will have to pass a baseline neurological test before he goes back on the field for contact drills.

“I know that if I try to go back out there, I wouldn’t be healthy,” Cousins said. “I would be making myself worse. Obviously, it’s something dangerous and something that takes time. I’m just going to continue to do what they tell me to and just continue to rest my brain and heal every day.”

FUMBLING: The Ravens have fumbled eight times in two preseason games, losing four.

Their opponents have fumbled six times, losing three.

When asked if ball security is going to be an issue, Harbaugh replied: “It better not be if we want to win games. There’s nothing more important to us. You can’t handcuff the guys, either. You can’t sit out there and lay on the ball, either. We want guys to be aggressive and we want them to protect the football, and that’s what you strive for.”

INJURY UPDATES: Besides Gaither, Cody and Cousins, the following players didn’t practice: wide receivers Demetrius Williams (sprained right ankle) and Eron Riley (undisclosed), safety Marcus Paschal (right quadriceps), defensive tackle Brandon McKinney (swollen right knee), center-guard David Hale (bruised tailbone) and guard Daniel Sanders (left shoulder).

Wide receiver Marcus Smith (root canal) returned to practice as well as defensive end Cory Redding.

QUICK HITS: Harbaugh didn’t have an update on the status of injured free safety Ed Reed, who’s rehabilitating from offseason hip surgery. “Nothing new that I’ve heard of,” he said. “I just know he’s training.” … Sports Illustrated named middle linebacker Ray Lewis as the top No. 52 of all-time, edging out Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster and others. … Harbaugh didn’t offer his opinion on a proposed 18-game regular season. "Not at this time," he said. "I think it’s a good debate, and we all have our opinions on it."


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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 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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