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Harbaugh: Ravens OT Gaither could be back Sunday

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither could play this Sunday against Cincinnati, depending on the result of an MRI he received Monday.

Gaither was involved in a scary scene Sunday in Baltimore's 27-21 loss to New England. While blocking defensive end Jarvis Green, Gaither was struck by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who was sprawling backward after being shoved by defensive end Ty Warren.

The 6-foot-9, 340-pound Gaither lay motionless for about 10 minutes and was taken off the field on a stretcher, but he had motion in both legs and arms.

"We're real hopeful," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday. "It could be he could play this week because it's not a serious injury as far as we know right now. It could be a couple of weeks, it could be longer. It's wait and see."

Harbaugh spoke before the Ravens received the results of an MRI that Gaither was to receive Monday.

After Gaither left Sunday's game, rookie tackle Michael Oher moved from right tackle to left tackle, replacing Gaither, and Marshal Yanda took over Oher on the right side.

"I thought those guys did a great job," center Matt Birk said Monday. "That's part of the game. Guys are going to go down, and you need guys to step up."

Birk said he knew from the outset that Gaither's injury was not serious.

"The thing was, where I was standing, Jared looked conscious the whole time," Birk said. "It looked like he had movement in all his extremities."

In other news, the Ravens have probably lost special teams standout and reserve linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo for the season with a torn left quadriceps.

"It's a big loss," Harbaugh said. "It's something we're going to have to fill, obviously, and someone else is going to have to step up. ... It's disappointing to lose him, but he'll be back next year ready to go."

The Ravens are expected to sign Prescott Burgess, who was traded to the Patriots on Sept. 22 and recently added to New England's practice squad.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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