OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens had their final media availability Friday morning at 1 Winning Drive before Sunday’s AFC North showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
The session was highlighted by significant news from head coach John Harbaugh concerning unsigned rookie LB Sergio Kindle. Harbaugh said that after Baltimore doctors put Kindle through a “battery of tests” from independent doctors in Charm City; it has been determined that Kindle is dealing with “serious (head) issues.” Harbaugh admitted “I think the chances of him playing this year are slim.”
Kindle suffered a fractured skull in an accident at a friend’s house in Austin, Texas the week before the team was to report to Training Camp at McDaniel College in Westminster.
Harbaugh said the team still intends to sign Kindle to “some form of a deal that reflects the situation”, admitting that the team is both trying to “protect Steve (Bisciotti)’s investment” in their 2nd round pick; but also give the rookie “an opportunity” to get into the facility and around the team. The team will work with the NFL and the NFLPA regarding the contract, a team official said they do not know of a precedent as to how the contract will be formulated.
Harbaugh said he expected Kindle to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but said he “highly doubts” Kindle will play in 2010. While on PUP or IR, Kindle would still be able to participate in team meetings, work out at the Owings Mills facility and be monitored by team doctors.
While the team wants to get Kindle signed as quickly as possible, the Ravens would not face a league deadline to sign Kindle as they do not intend for him to play in 2010. Should they not sign him before the 2011 NFL Draft, they would lose the exclusive rights to negotiate with him and he would be eligible to be selected by another team.
INJURY UPDATE: WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot) and OT Jared Gaither (back) have already been ruled out for the game, so it was no surprise to not see them on the practice field during the portion open to the media.
The more alarming news for the Ravens was that LB Jarret Johnson (back spasms) was on the field but did not participate for a 2nd straight day.
Johnson was listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game on the team’s final injury report. Should he be unable to play Sunday in Cincy, LB Prescott Burgess would be likely to start in his place. LB Edgar Jones and DE Paul Kruger could also be asked to help fill the void.
Johnson has played in all but one game during his career since being selected in the 4th round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Alabama. When asked whether Johnson had a good chance to get on the Sunday, Harbaugh said simply “I think he does.” Johnson also said he “should be” good to get on the field.
Five Ravens were listed as “limited” participants on Friday’s injury report. LB Ray Lewis (foot), LB Jameel McClain (knee), TE Todd Heap (shoulder), LB Tavares Gooden (thigh), WR Anquan Boldin (thigh) and DT Terrence Cody (knee) were all limited participants Friday, but are all listed as “questionable for Sunday”. Heap and Cody are the only players on that list whose status is a legitimate concern for Sunday’s game; but Cody has practiced all week and Heap has practiced on back to back days.
When asked about his chances of getting on the field Sunday, Cody said the “only thing that could stop me is if the coaches won’t let me play.” Cody however stopped short of declaring himself a lock for Sunday’s game. When asked if he would definitely see the field, Cody responded “I don’t know.”
When asked about his shoulder injury, Heap said “I feel good right now, we’ll have to see how it feels on Sunday.” Heap reaffirmed that he “should be good” to play.
WR Anquan Boldin (thigh) and WR Marcus Smith (knee) were full participants in practice Friday and are listed as “probable” to play Sunday.
CB Lardarius Webb (knee) has not been listed on any of this week’s injury reports and was a full participant in every practice leading up to the Week 1 win over the New York Jets. Webb did not play in Week 1, and there is no guarantee he will play Sunday. Harbaugh offered only a response of “I don’t know” when asked about the 2nd year corner from Nicholls State; but said “I think there’s a chance (he plays).”
For the Bengals, DE Jonathan Fanene (hamstring) has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. RB Brian Leonard (foot) and LB Keith Rivers (foot) are listed as probable.
NOTES: Hear from Harbaugh, Heap, Cody and Johnson NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net……Bisciotti watched practice Friday morning from the field at 1 Winning Drive, he spent part of practice chatting with Harbaugh……The Ravens will hold a walkthrough Saturday and then travel to the Queen City Saturday night. Saturday’s walkthrough is not open to the media……P Sam Koch joined Drew Forrester Friday morning on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST, that conversation can be heard in the Audio Vault as well……For the quickest and most significant Ravens updates respectively, follow WNST on Twitter (@WNST) and make sure you’re signed up for the WNST Text Service.