Birk expected to miss first preseason game due to back spasms

birk_448

OWINGS MILLS — Six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk missed his fifth consecutive practice Friday due to back spasms, an ailment expected to keep him out until after the Baltimore Ravens’ first preseason game next week.

Birk underwent surgery during the offseason to address varicose veins in his legs.

Now, the 36-year-old is dealing with a back problem as the Ravens prepare for next Thursday’s preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

“Matt is resting,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He had some back spasms, too. It’s probably both me and Matt. Matt has had the back spasms, but I’m going to probably slow him down a little bit more, especially this week. Maybe next week after the game, we will get him back a little bit more.”

Birk has a history of injuries in recent seasons, including issues with his knee, neck and elbow.

The Harvard graduate is durable, though, never missing a start since initially signing with the Ravens three seasons ago. Birk underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last year during training camp, but was ready in time for the opening game against the Pittsburgh Steelers despite an abbreviated preseason.

The Ravens have been pleased with the work of rookie center Gino Gradkowski, a fourth-round draft pick from Delaware slated to back up Birk.

“He’s a young guy, physically,” Harbaugh said. “He’s very smart. He’s very tough. He’s very competitive, kind of a tough, mean nasty type of guy. We like his style.”

 

This entry was posted in Camp Notes by Aaron Wilson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Aaron Wilson

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...more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Hot off the street

THE FINAL WORD: Ravens Need to Lock up a Rising Star

I'll admit it, I thought Owen Daniels was finished. When I was out at Owings Mills covering training camp, Daniels looked sluggish pulling away from defenders on routes, and that was when he wasn't in...read more

The NFL…Still Crazy After All These Years

Confessions of a Sports Nut The NFL never ceases to amaze me. When it comes to evaluating games and looking at who does what well and reflecting on last Sunday's performance, there's only one conc...read more

Week 8: “America’s Team” Keeps Rolling

If Sunday night's game was any indication, Peyton Manning might possibly have thrown 700 touchdown passes by the time he's finished playing. Going by his career average of 2.01 passing touchdowns per ...read more

Daniels Off to Fast Start With Ravens

My how quickly things change once the NFL gets a few weeks under its belt. Heading into the 2014 season under new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, the Ravens and many fans knew just how important...read more

Long Snappers Seem Boring…Until You Need One

It may not be the sexiest position on an NFL roster, but the long snapper is certainly one of great importance in an all too often forgotten part of the game. A good long snapper is the kind of pla...read more

View More