Jared Gaither returned to practice yesterday for the first time since injuring the thoracic disc in his back August 5, but don't take that to mean that he'll line up at right tackle in Sunday against the Steelers.
Gaither has missed nearly two months, and while he tossed on his jersey yesterday and took part in some drills, he still has a ways to go before the Ravens will be able to play him on gamedays.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron admitted as much today, when asked if it would be too much to ask for Gaither to play against Pittsburgh this weekend.
"Yeah, I think that'd be asking a lot of anyone," Cameron said. "It's nice to have him back. I think it's nice to get the feeling like he's back in the mix."
How did Gaither look to Cameron during his first practice back?
"From what I saw, it was solid," Cameron said. "He wasn't out there a lot, but a step in the right direction."
Cameron expressed sympathy for Gaither, who has been through a myriad of tests and medical opinions since coming down with the back injury during training camp.
The Ravens didn't know what was ailing their offensive tackle initially, and even after the thoracic disc injury was diagnosed, Gaither didn't heal as quickly as the team, or the player, expected.
"That's just part of the process that we're going through, and it can happen to any guy in this league," Cameron said. "Injuries are a part of this game. It's a 100 percent injury sport, and you just kind of work your way through it, and really pull for the player, because players' careers are really short. Coaching careers, you hope, have some length to them. But players have a small window, and you want guys to be able to maximize that opportunity."