Ravens starting right guard Marshal Yanda could be finished for the season, according to head coach John Harbaugh.
Yanda received a magnetic resonance imaging exam Monday on his right knee after he was helped off the field in last weekend's 31-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
"It's a big blow," Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference. "Yanda, some guys were talking today, Yanda is a Raven in every way. He's really played well. He's been an anchor for our offensive line.
"He's going to be a guy that we're going to have to replace, and it's going to take the whole offensive line to do it."
Yanda, who started 12 games as a rookie in 2007 at right tackle, was part of an interior offensive line that had been relatively healthy throughout the year. Along with center Jason Brown and left guard Ben Grubbs, the trio had taken every practice snap together in the preseason, while tackles Adam Terry and Jared Gaither battled ankle injuries.
The third-round draft choice left the Colts game on Baltimore's final series and was seen in the locker room on crutches with a full sleeve on his right leg.
Harbaugh said that Terry, who was starting at right tackle until he sprained his knee in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans, could be an option to shift inside. Four-time Pro Bowler Willie Anderson started in place of Terry Sunday.
Chris Chester and rookies Oniel Cousins and David Hale could also be considered for the position.
"Whoever ends up going in there and taking that spot is going to have big shoes to fill, and the rest of the guys are just going to have to play that much better," Harbaugh noted. "Communication is going to be critical, and some of those young guys may have to step up."
Flacco Gets Supporting Vote
Despite throwing only one touchdown and having seven interceptions on the season, rookie quarterback Joe Flacco is still slated to start for the rest of the 2008 campaign.
"We believe he's our starter," said Harbaugh. "Joe's our guy. I'm never a guy who's going to sit up here and say never, ever. But I don't envision a day where Joe's not going to be our starter this year, save an injury."
The Ravens welcomed Troy Smith back to full participation in practice last week, and Harbaugh revealed that Smith would compete for a backup spot.
But then, Flacco tossed three picks and was sacked four times in Indianapolis, as the Ravens could muster only a field goal.
Harbaugh chalked it up as another learning experience in the 18th-overall draft pick's maturation.
"It's a very complicated position to play," explained Harbaugh. "It's not so basic as speed of the game. There were just a number of elements – within a play, within a defense that you see, within ways different guys play – that can confuse a quarterback. But I would not categorize him as being confused. I think he's learning."
Harbaugh would not say if cornerback Chris McAlister was expecting help over top when Colts wideout Marvin Harrison raced past him for a 67-yard touchdown reception to open the scoring. "We just didn't cover it well as a defense," he simply stated…The coach also noted that the Ravens would probably not make a trade by Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline. "If we could, if we could make a trade that we thought would help us, we would do it," Harbaugh said. "But there's nothing available right now for us to do that."