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Notebook: Cousins Taken Off The Field


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The Ravens may have taken another hit at offensive tackle when Oniel Cousins was carted off the practice field Wednesday morning.

The extent of Cousins' injury was unknown by the time the session ended.

"He developed a headache, but I don't know any more than that," said Head Coach John Harbaugh in his post-practice press conference.

The Ravens recently confirmed that Jared Gaither will not be able to play for the next two to three weeks with a small tear in his back that is causing spasms.

Now, a Cousins absence could lead to a makeshift offensive line that would mean either Tony Moll or Ramon Harewood with the first team this weekend against the Washington Redskins.

Moll has some starting experience, but he is still working back after missing time in training camp with a concussion.  He previously started 18 games with the Green Bay Packers at both guard and tackle.

"Tony's a veteran player who's very experienced," Harbaugh said of the fifth-year veteran. "I think he's kind of knocking the rust off, technique-wise, but he's looked pretty good.  He knows what he's doing, and it's good to have him."

Moll was the immediate replacement at right tackle when Cousins went down. Ramon Harewood could also get a shot with the starters.  When Cousins was recovering from an offseason procedure to remove a cyst from his esophagus and Gaither was out of the lineup, Harewood logged a few reps with the ones.

Should Cousins not be available, Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said that he was looking forward to seeing how some of the younger tackles, a list that includes Joe Reitz and Devin Tyler, develop heading into the Redskins matchup.

"If they're on this roster, they're on this roster for a reason," Cameron said, praising the Ravens' personnel staff.  "I just have to make sure I don't put inexperienced guys on an island too much."
Over 30 Day
The Ravens had a short session because it was an "Over 30 Day," which means veterans over the age of 30 did not suit up – or really even make it to the field.  That meant less bodies to take reps, and less reps means less time.

As such, wideout Derrick Mason, linebacker Ray Lewis, defensive tackles Trevor Pryce and Kelly Gregg, tight end Todd Heap, and cornerback Travis Fisher were among the absent group.

"I thought the guys who were out here did a nice job," Harbaugh said of the remaining Ravens.  "That's why practice was a little bit shorter, obviously. We had a few fewer reps, but they were very quality reps, and we had a good day."

Gooden Held Out
After practicing with the ones on Tuesday, linebacker Tavares Gooden watched practice from the sideline with a towel around his neck. His soreness was not deemed serious after he twisted it last Thursday against the Carolina Panthers.

Harbaugh said the Ravens will try to get Gooden ready to play Saturday at FedEx Field.

"Tavares has got the neck thing from the game," said Harbaugh.  "It just keeps tightening back up on him, so we just need to sit him down and settle him down. He's tried to go the last two days.

"Every time he's tried to go it spasms back up, so we just need to settle him down for a couple days and try to get him out there on Saturday."

Without Gooden or Ray Lewis, the Ravens had Jason Phillips and Dannell Ellerbe at both inside linebacker spots.
Reed Works On Hands
Fifth-round draft pick David Reed had a tough day at McDaniel College.  

The Utah wideout had several drops, including one perfectly-placed bomb from Marc Bulger that glanced off his hands as he neared the sideline.

Reed did redeem himself somewhat with a spectacular leaping grab over cornerback Chris Hawkins in the back of the end zone, but he knows he must improve in that area.

"I talked to coach Cam and said, 'I'm in a slump.' He said, '[Your aren't] in a slump.  You never was.'  I thought about that as practice went on, and it's true. I wasn't in a slump.  I was just getting myself down.  I'm my biggest critic, and I have to get out there."

After practice, Reed, who boasted 81 receptions for 1,188 yards last year for the Utes, put in extra work catching balls hurled from a JUGS machine.
Practice Twitterings

  • During one 11-on-11 sequence, cornerback Doug Dutch batted a pass, as did safety Ken Hamlin.  Safety Haruki Nakamura also came clean on a blitz on quarterback Joe Flacco.
  • Billy Cundiff hit field goals of 19, 40 and 51 yards, missing wide left with a 45-yarder. Shayne Graham answered by nailing from 19, 40 and 51, but was wide right on another attempt from 51.
  • The offensive and defensive linemen continued to go at it.  During one two-play sequence, tackle Michael Oher shoved outside linebacker Antwan Barnes to the ground, and then Barnes beat Harewood by feinting outside and going untouched inside.
  • Cornerback Domonique Foxworth, who recently had surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, was out on the field observing.  He even shouted out some defensive calls.  
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