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The Ravens have been waiting nearly eight weeks for offensive tackle Jared Gaither to make it back to the playing field, and he took a step in that direction this week.
Gaither was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice, almost two months after suffering a back injury early in training camp. Diagnosed with a slight tear in his thoracic disc, Gaither had spasms and was unable to join his teammates.
When he finally returned this afternoon, Gaither could only take part in drills during the portion of practice open to the media. There was no contact in anything Gaither did, which largely consisted of him getting in and out of his stance.
The Ravens are heading into this weekend’s battle against the Pittsburgh Steelers starting Marshal Yanda at right tackle and Chris Chester at right guard.
But with one practice under Gaither’s belt, Wednesday marked a positive development in his recovery.
Meanwhile, running back Ray Rice did not practice due to a bruised knee that Head Coach John Harbaugh deemed a “significant contusion.”
Rice walked out to the fields to watch from the sideline just as the portion open to the media ended.
Defensive end Cory Redding (head) and offensive lineman Tony Moll (hip) also did not participate.
Starting linebacker Jarret Johnson (back) was limited along with Gaither, while center Matt Birk (back), guard Chris Chester (back) and tight end Todd Heap (shoulder) were all full-go.
The Steelers’ injury report only featured three players who did not practice: Quarterback Dennis Dixon (knee), guard Trai Essex (ankle) and defensive tackle Chris Hoke (knee).