Ravens Notebook: Gaither’s X-rays are negative

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In a scary moment during a 27-21 loss Sunday to the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither was carted off the field on a stretcher Sunday with an injury to his neck and shoulder.
 

And the prognosis appears to be encouraging for Gaither. 

After being transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for tests, X-rays were determined to be negative and Gaither was released from the hospital and planned to return to Baltimore on the team charter. 
 

Team spokesman Kevin Byrne said that Gaither would undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam today. There wasn’t a big enough MRI machine for the 6-foot-9, 350-pound blocker. 

Gaither has movement of all of his extremities, but was immobilized on the stretcher as a precautionary measure. Gaither’s family was at the game. 

"We knew with Jared that it wasn’t a serious type of thing," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "So,  he’ll be fine. How long it takes to get him back in play is a matter of we’ll just have to see. Emotionally? You just move on. Guys move on and play." 

The former University of Maryland lineman was down on the ground for roughly 15 minutes after being sandwiched between quarterback Joe Flacco and defensive lineman Jarvis Green. 

Gaither was blocking Green on the play. On the other side, defensive end Ty Warren was rushing Flacco and drove the quarterback backward into Gaither as he got the football off for an incompletion. 

“I hope he is all right,” Flacco said. “I hope it’s nothing too serious, so we can get him back pretty soon.” 

The Ravens shifted rookie right tackle Michael Oher over to left tackle with Marshall Yanda stepping in at right tackle for Oher. 

Oher seemed to make a smooth transition. 

"Didn’t seem too hard for Michael," Harbaugh said. "He’s doing a good job on playing both sides and he’s pretty special, you know. He really is, he’s done a lot." 

Oher has been practicing at left tackle since arriving in Baltimore as the Ravens’ first-round draft pick this spring. 

"I take a couple of snaps at left tackle in practice, but it’s definitely a big difference to switch in the middle of the game," Oher said. "We have to do what we need to do in order to give our team a chance to win."
 

SERIOUS INJURY: Special-teams ace and reserve inside linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo tore his left quadriceps tendon and will need to undergo surgery to repair the damage after suffering an injury that will probably end his season.
 

Ayanbadejo got hurt in the fourth quarter while tackling Sammy Morris on a screen pass.
 

“I was finishing the tackle and I don’t know what happened,” Ayanbadejo said. “I need to have surgery, I don’t know if it’s a season-ending injury. I’ve never been injured before.
 

“It’s pretty tough. It’s football. This is the first time in my career that it’s ever happened to me.”
 

A three-time Pro Bowl selection on special teams, Ayanbadejo had named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting a pass and recording a sack against the Cleveland Browns.
 

ROUGH START: The Ravens were at an immediate disadvantage when returner Chris Carr was stripped of the football on the opening kickoff.
 

Eric Alexander ripped it out of his hands and Brandon McGowan recovered at the Ravens’ 12-yard line. Then, kicker Stephen Gostkowski staked the Patriots to a 3-0 lead.
 

“They just stripped it, they did a good job,” Carr said. “Obviously, they stripped the guy from Buffalo. So, they do a good job of that. They just made a good play.”
 

Carr said he hadn’t fumbled since his rookie season.
 

“It was one of those things that’s really hard to deal with,” he said. “Now, you just got to go on and you can’t let it affect you for the rest of the game. 
 

“I was kind of in shock. That wasn’t normal. I focused and I think I played a really good game on defense, my best game of the year.”
 

In place of Carr, rookie Lardarius Webb returned a kickoff 38 yards.
 

Carr hasn’t been particularly effective since signing a two-year, $5 million contract with Baltimore this offseason.
 

SCARY MOMENT II: Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason was down on the ground for a while after catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco and landed hard on his back.
 

Mason underwent offseason surgery on his left labrum and scapula, but didn’t aggravate those injuries. 
 

The two-time Pro Bowl selection hurt his shoulder last season against the Houston Texans when he tried to break his fall with his left arm.
 

“It was just the back,” he said. “My neck started hurting a little bit. It felt like I was up in the air and it seemed like everything was in slow motion. 
 

“The last thing I wanted to do was put my arm down. I just braced myself for the fall and tried to hold onto the ball.”
 

DEBUTS: After a lot of scrutiny about why he hasn’t been playing, rookie outside linebacker-defensive end Paul Kruger made his NFL debut Sunday.
 

He was credited with one tackle, but seemed to do a solid job overall.
 

“I don’t think I made any big mistakes,” Kruger said. “I put some pressure on the quarterback. It was good to get in the game. I’ll be looking forward to getting back to practice and helping the team for the next week.”
 

Undrafted rookie linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was pressed into action for the first time with starter Tavares Gooden sidelined with a concussion.
 

Ellerbe finished with five tackles.
 

Ellerbe badly missed an open-field tackle against running back Laurence Maroney in the first half, but settled down and made some good plays.
 

“Overall, I think I did good for the first game,” Ellerbe said. “I got the wrong angle on that one. I thought I would hit him before he turned his head.
 

“I had a breakdown, but you live and you learn. I didn’t hang my head and you get to live another play.”
 

PRESSURING BRADY: The Ravens wound up sacking Tom Brady three times, including outside linebacker Terrell Suggs’ 14-yard sack where he forced the star quarterback to fumble and defensive lineman Dwan Edwards recovered it for a touchdown.
 

“He’s a great quarterback, probably one of the greatest,” Suggs said. “We gave a lot to him and he showed why he’s one of the greatest.”
 

Suggs’ sack gives him the franchise record with 437 total sack yards.
 

Although this marked the most times that Brady has been sacked this year, the Ravens probably needed even more pressure against him.
 

“I thought we did okay,” said defensive end Trevor Pryce, who sacked Brady once. “We got after him pretty good. He is Tom Brady. People talk about how tough he is, but he’s even tougher than they say.”
 

Brady’s quick release was a big factor, too, as he completed 21 of 32 passes for 258 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a 100.8 quarterback rating.
 

Brady also rushed for a touchdown in the second quarter, the sixth rushing score of his career.
 

“I thought our guys rushed hard and the picked up pressure, we got some pressures loose,” Harbaugh said. “Tom did a good job getting the ball out under pressure.”
 

FINAL WORD: Middle linebacker Ray Lewis is confident that the Ravens won’t be derailed by this loss.
 

“This team is so resilient,” he said. “No matter what happens, we don’t drop our heads for nothing. We still had an opportunity to win.
 

“Did we win? No, but we weren’t looking to go 16-0. So, if you are going to take one on the chin, might as well take one early.”
 

QUICK HITS: The Ravens deactivated third quarterback John Beck as backup Troy Smith was healthy enough to suit up after an illness, linebacker Tavares Gooden (concussion, shoulder), offensive linemen Tony Moll and Oniel Cousins, running back Jalen Parmale, tight end Tony Curtis and defensive linemen Brandon McKinney and Kelly Talavou. … The Patriots deactivated wide receiver Joey Galloway, cornerback Terrence Wheatley, defensive back Bret Lockett, running back Benjarvus Green-Ellis, linebacker Jerod Mayo, offensive linemen Rich Ohrnberger and Kendall Simmons and nose guard Ron Brace. … The Ravens’ game captains were fullback Le’Ron McClain, wide receiver Kelley Washington and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. … Several players, including quarterback Joe Flacco, Matt Birk and Derrick Mason wore pink cleats, to raise awareness of breast cancer. .. The Ravens held their 39th opponent in a row without a 100-yard rusher, the longest active streak in the NFL. … Wide receiver Randy Moss’ touchdown gives him 137 for his career, passing Marshall Faulk to move into sixth place in NFL history.

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

This entry was posted in The Beat with Aaron Wilson 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

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