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Gooden is Back on the Practice Field

The Ravens’ starting linebacker is taking a wait-and-see approach while working through a knee injury.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

Ravens starting linebacker Tavares Gooden practiced Wednesday during the portion open to the media in an attempt to check the status of the knee injury he suffered last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

After he has finished out the practice week, the Ravens will decide if he can line up next to Ray Lewis in San Diego this weekend.

“He’s practicing, so we’ll see how he gets through practice and how he feels when it’s all said and done,” said head coach John Harbaugh.

Gooden injured his knee on a routine special teams play.  He was helped off the field at M&T Bank Stadium and into the locker room, but returned to the sideline in the fourth quarter and rode a stationary bike. 

“There’s nothing torn, so I’m happy about that,” Gooden said before Wednesday’s session. “I’m just relieved that part is over with. Now it’s just about getting it stretched out and getting it moving again the way I’d like to have it move.”

In addition, tight end L.J. Smith expressed confidence that he was recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Kansas City game, but  it is unknown whether he will suit up against the Chargers.

This version of Smith’s hamstring injury is different than the one he sustained in training camp, according to the free-agent signee. 

“It’s in a spot where it’s not a regular hamstring pull,” Smith explained.  “I had a regular one in camp, but I came back from that.  This is in an awkward spot.  I talked to Bill [Tessendorf, head trainer] and he said I just have to be patient with it.  The timing is terrible.  But I’ve been progressing for over a week. 

“I’m going to try to do some things and hopefully not have a setback.  We’ll see on Friday.”

Smith was also on the practice field, as was safety Tom Zbikowski, who suffered a concussion when he broke up a wedge in the Chiefs contest, and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (knee).

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