Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither’s back injury is significant enough that it could linger into the regular season.
Gaither could be sidelined for six weeks with the small tear in his back that’s causing him back spasms, according to NFL sources with knowledge of the situation.
After practice Saturday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh indicated that Gaither could be sidelined for two to three weeks. That may be the best-case scenario, though.
Gaither flew to California earlier this week to visit a back specialist to figure out why he’s been dealing with back spasms and cramps for the majority of training camp.
"It’s a very small tear, I don’t know the medical term for it," Harbaugh told reporters Saturday. "It’s not a serious thing, but it’s going to keep him out for a couple weeks until it settles down because it’s what’s causing the spasms apparently.
"So, he’s going to have to work as hard as he can and we’ll have to try and work it out. I wouldn’t hold my breath for about two weeks, three weeks, through camp here, and we’ll see where we’re at at that point."
With Gaither sidelined, the Ravens have been going with Oniel Cousins at right tackle and he’s expected to start there for the rest of the preseason.
If Gaither is out when the regular season begins or Cousins falters, Marshal Yanda could be shifted from right guard to right tackle with Chris Chester stepping in at right guard.
Gaither acknowledged earlier in camp that he overdid it by drastically reducing his weight to 311 pounds after playing last season at roughly 340 pounds.
Gaither hasn’t practiced since Aug. 5.