Ravens to place OT Gaither on IR; Reed return imminent?

Offensive tackle Jared Gaither's season has ended without playing a snap for the Baltimore Ravens.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported on Friday that the team has informed Gaither he will be placed on season-ending injured reserve.

Gaither has missed all season with a back injury.

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The move is likely tied to the return of safety Ed Reed, who missed the first six weeks of the season while on the physically-unable-to-perform list recovering from offseason hip surgery. Reed returned to practice on Wednesday.

La Canfora reported that the Ravens plan to activate Reed and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo before Sunday's game, barring a setback.

Ravens coach John Harbaughtold The Baltimore Sun on Monday that Gaither's injury hadn't improved.

"I asked him how he's feeling and he said it's unchanged through the weekend," Harbaugh said. "So, that's going to be part of the equation [when Reed and Ayanbadejo return]."

In other Ravens news, tight end Todd Heap practiced on Friday and is listed as questionable against the Bills. Heap injured his neck Sunday on a vicious hit by New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather, who was fined $50,000 as part of the NFL's crackdown on dangerous play.

"It was a tough week, but I'll be ready to go," said Heap after Friday's practice, according to The Baltimore Sun. "I'm feeling relatively good right now. So we'll see how it feels Sunday, but right now, I expect to play."

Wide receiver David Reed (thigh) is also listed as questionable for Week 7. Three Ravens players have been declared out: Safety Tom Zbikowski (foot), linebacker Tavares Gooden (shoulder), and wide receiver Donte' Stallworth (foot).

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