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Ngata Leaves Field, Gaither in Limbo


PLEASE NOTE:The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Ravens defensive tackle **Haloti Ngata** left the practice field on Monday due to back spasms, according to Head Coach **John Harbaugh**.

The injury is believed to be minor, though.

"I think he caught a helmet or something in his back," Harbaugh said after the non-contact session.  "He should be fine."

Ngata has looked as solid as ever in training camp after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in January when he played in his first-ever Pro Bowl appearance.

A first-round draft pick out of Oregon (2006), Ngata is coming off the best season of his career. He posted 41 tackles and 1 ½ sacks last year and was key in a Ravens' defense that only allowed 93.3 rush yards per game, fifth-fewest in the NFL.
Gaither's Status In Limbo
Meanwhile, **Jared Gaither**'s status remains a mystery.

The big lineman has been in and out of practice with spasms between his shoulder blades.  He saw a specialist on Saturday.

Harbaugh did not have any update on Gaither, who is expected to start at right tackle, but did say the Ravens were going to perform one more test to diagnose his problem.

"Nothing new, it's still in limbo," said Harbaugh.  "I think we know what it is, and it's just a matter of working out the spasms and getting him out here. From what I've been told, it's not serious, we don't think. There's one more thing they're going to do to make sure it's not serious, but [Gaither has] just got to work through the spasms and get him out here so he can practice."
Carr Still Waiting
Along with Gaither, Cornerback **Chris Carr** headed a list of starters that did not practice.

Carr's injury was not disclosed by the team, but he did come off the field in Saturday's practice at M&T Bank Stadium holding the back of his leg.  

The cornerback is hoping for a speedy recovery.

"It feels like it is [getting better]," Carr said without discussing his specific injury.  "It's not as fast as I like. I'd like to be with my teammates out there playing.  It's tough not being out there when you want to work on your skills and technique. I'll be back out there soon enough. I don't want to rush it."

Ravens Team Up With Maryland Lottery Again
The Ravens unveiled their new partnership with the Maryland Lottery on Monday with another year of the Cash Fantasy game.

Last season, the scratch-off tickets were the most-popular $5 game in Maryland Lottery history.

This season, the Ravens and Maryland Lottery think they can do even better.

"We're looking forward to a second year," said Ravens President **Dick Cass**. "We've got a lot of prizes and are aiming to sell all of the tickets again this year."

The Ravens game now has three $1 million prizes and several "experiential jackpots," according to Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino.

"I think the drive behind it is the Baltimore Ravens," said Martino.  "They are a thoroughly-Maryland institution.  It really does bring together our players and their fans.  It gives the fans a way to participate and feel closer to our team. Of course, the team has been extremely successful, and I know they will again this year."

Tickets are available for purchase at local markets and training camp now, and the Ravens will have lottery kiosks open at M&T Bank Stadium during home games.
The Perfect Age?
Heading into training camp, the Ravens held the NFL's fifth-oldest roster, with an average age of 26.68.

While some might say that means the Ravens' window to win is closing, Harbaugh thinks his team has the perfect blend of young, aspiring playmakers (i.e. **Ray Rice**, **Joe Flacco**, Haloti Ngata) and veteran leaders (**Ray Lewis**, **Derrick Mason**, etc.).

"I think it's a plus for us because of the way we're set up," said Harbaugh.   "We've got some old guys that I would say that are kind of the pillars of the team. You've got the **Ed Reeds** and the **Todd Heaps** and the Ray Lewises… Maybe that bumps your numbers up a little bit.

"Those guys are great players, and those guys, the young guys can learn from. And then, under them, you've got a bunch of young guys that are also very good players that have a chance to learn underneath those guys. So, to me, it's a little bit the ideal mix right now, and hopefully we can take advantage of that."
Kickers Will Get Halves
Harbaugh expects to have **Billy Cundiff** and **Shayne Graham** each take a half of the kicking duties when the Ravens open their preseason Thursday against the Carolina Panthers.  

And, it will likely stay that way throughout the preseason, with only one making the active roster.

"We haven't talked about it specifically, but my guess is we'll have a first half and a second half plan, and just alternate throughout the preseason," said the coach.
Practice Twitterings

  • Play of the day has to go to **Donte' Stallworth**, who tipped a deep pass over cornerback **Fabian Washington** and then came down with the ball. The crowd erupted in cheers as he ran to the end zone.
  • Anquan Boldin also hauled in a perfect rainbow pass from Flacco for a touchdown.
  • Washington also got called for pass interference, although to this reporter, it looked like a clean play.  He redeemed himself with a batted ball when covering Stallworth, however.
  • Marcus Smith showed good hands when he wrestled a ball away from **Chris Hawkins**. He also out-jumped Washington for a touchdown.
  • **Marc Bulger** showed his accurate and powerful arm when he fit a pass past four sets of hands to **Davon Drew** in the back of the end zone.
  • Both kickers worked on Monday, but only Graham missed.  He shanked a 51-yard field goal.
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