OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens rookie nose guard Terrence “Mount” Cody underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to repair a partially torn lateral meniscus in his left knee and isn’t expected to return until the second game of the regular season.
Cody had the surgery in Birmingham, Ala., with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews performing the procedure.
Under the prescribed timeline for recovery, the 6-foot-4, 349-pound second-round draft pick is regarded as a question mark for the Ravens’ season opener against the New York Jets on Sept. 13 at the Meadowlands.
However, the former University of Alabama consensus All-American is considered to be on target for the Ravens’ Sept. 19 road game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"There’s a chance he could be back for the opener against the Jets or, for the bigger guys, sometimes it takes a little longer," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "The plus is we have a lot of depth on the defensive line right now. That’ll be day-to-day as we get closer to the game."
Cody had said last week that he didn’t think he would need surgery to address swelling in his knee that was initially treated with ice, a compression wrap and a stem device.
The 6-foot-4, 349-pound second-round draft pick said he doesn’t have a history of knee issues.
"He’s got a little bit of a tear in his lateral meniscus," Harbaugh said, "and had a loose body floating around in there."
The injury could boost the roster prospects for defensive linemen Kelly Talavou, Lamar Divens, Arthur Jones and Brandon McKinney.
REED NOT RULED OUT FOR JETS GAME: Star free safety Ed Reed’s status for the regular season will be decided Saturday, according to Harbaugh.
Reed, who has been running although not practicing following offseason hip surgery that relegated him to the physically unable to perform list, hasn’t been ruled out for the Ravens’ season opener against the New York Jets.
The Ravens will either place Reed on the reserve physically unable to perform list, meaning the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year will miss at least the first six games of the season, or they’ll activate him to the 53-man roster.
On Monday, Reed met with Harbaugh, general manager Ozzie Newsome, defensive backs coach Chuck Pagano and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. And the six-time Pro Bowl selection is lobbying to be allowed to play.
"He wants to come back, but he understands the situation, too," Harbaugh said. "There’s a lot more that goes into it. We have until Saturday to make a decision and I’m sure we’ll take until Saturday to figure that out."
Could Reed play against the Jets after not playing or practicing the entire preseason?
"The determining factor is going to be what’s best for his career long-term and what’s best for him to play at the level he’s accustomed to playing," Harbaugh said. "There is no way we’re going to rush him back. He’s probably the kind of guy who wants to come back as soon as he can. But he’s also been in this thing long enough to understand that you got to do it the right way."
Reed has declined to comment, saying he’s not required to conduct interviews during the preseason.
AYANBADEJO, LAWRENCE TO RESERVE PUP: The Ravens got down to the NFL roster limit of 75 players by shifting inside linebacker and special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo and running back Matt Lawrence from the active physically unable to perform list to the reserve physically unable to perform list.
That means they’ll be sidelined for at least the first six weeks of the regular season. After the six weeks is over, the Ravens get 21 days to evaluate them in practice before opting to either activate them to the roster or place them on injured reserve.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Ayanbadejo has been sidelined since last October when he tore his quadriceps.
Lawrence tore his anterior cruciate ligament midway through last season.
The Ravens were surprised that the injuries have taken so long to heal after originally thinking they would be back this spring for minicamps.
“They just have not responded as well as we’d hoped to the treatment,” Harbaugh said. “There’s still a process. It’s just slower.”
Ayanbadejo expressed hope that he’ll be back as soon as the seventh week of the season.
“I hope I’ll be good,” he said. “I’m praying. I’m not going to guaranteed it, but I think I should be OK. The process was a lot slower than I thought it would be. I’ll have missed 13 months by the time I get off the PUP.”
Earlier this week, the Ravens cut cornerback Doug Dutch and placed offensive guard Daniel Sanders (shoulder) and safety Marcus Paschal (quadriceps) on injured reserve.
HALE IMPROVING: Reserve lineman David Hale is improving gradually, working out on a treadmill weeks after bruising his tailbone during a collision with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
“I’m walking more upright,” Hale said. “I’m feeling better and better every day. We’ve been pushing it more and more everyday on the treadmill.”
Hale has been sidelined since Aug. 16 and made no predictions about whether he might be able to return for the Jets game.
“I couldn’t tell you,” he said. “The goal is to get me down in a stance and get out of stance, running around and obviously someone pushing on it.”
STARTERS TO GET THE NIGHT OFF: Quarterback Joe Flacco and other key starters won’t play Thursday night in a preseason finale against the St. Louis Rams.
"Yeah, I’m not going to play at all," Flacco said. "It will be interesting to go back there and see it. It is where it all started, but I ain’t going to be playing."
Several other starters will get the night off.
Middle linebacker Ray Lewis, running back Ray Rice, wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason, tight end Todd Heap, cornerback Fabian Washington and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs are among the players expected to be rested.
"You can know this, we’re going to be very judicious with our guys," Harbaugh said. "We’re going to make sure that we come out of this thing as healthy as we can. We’ll have some guys playing that are going to be important to us, that for sure have already made the team, that are going to have to play in this game. But we’re not going to play a lot of guys as much as we would."
MILLER TO GET A LONG LOOK: The Ravens plan to give undrafted rookie punt returner Prince Miller a long look on special teams against St. Louis.
Miller is the Ravens’ leading punt returner with a 13.9 yard average.
"It’s a great opportunity for Prince to get out there, take most of those shots and see what he does," Harbaugh said. “I think he’s fighting for a roster spot, so that could be a great opportunity for him.”
INJURY UPDATES: Free safety Tom Zbikowski didn’t practice due to a thigh bruise, but it’s not regarded as serious.
Also not practicing: Cody, wide receivers Donte’ Stallworth (broken foot) and Mark Clayton (concussion), Hale, offensive tackles Jared Gaither (thoracic disc back injury), Stefan Rodgers (undisclosed), Oniel Cousins (concussion), fullback Mike McLaughlin (hip flexor) and Washington (bruised ribs).
"I’m just a little banged-up," Washington said. "I’m not playing Thursday."
QUICK HIT: Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, a convicted felon recently released from prison after serving time for armed robbery, signed with the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL on Monday. Troy Smith, who also played for the Buckeyes, didn’t have much of a reaction. “To tell you the truth, I didn’t know about that,” he said. “Hopefully, he does some positive things.”