If anyone has questioned whether offensive tackle Jared Gaither is truly injured or whether he is just making a "power play" of sorts after watching Michael Oher take over his left tackle position this offseason, Gaither has a response.
"Uh, I would hope you would know better than that," Gaither firmly said today.
Gaither hasn't practiced since August 5 after suffering a thoracic disc injury in his back. Doctors had projected this week as the outside window for Gaither's return, but as I mentioned earlier today, head coach John Harbaugh said the fourth-year tackle will likely not play this Sunday against the Browns.
Harbaugh also said he doesn't have a real timetable at this point for when Gaither will be able to return.
"This is a very serious situation," Gaither said. "Your back obviously is a main part of your body that you have to take care of. It would obviously be a foolish thing if you felt that [the absence was non-injury related]."
Gaither said that surgery was not recommended by the two specialists he saw, and despite Harbaugh commenting that the Ravens might seek yet another opinion, Gaither said that's not something he's interested in.
"We've done that already," he said. "We've been there and done that. It's just how fast it's going to heal."
The Maryland product will continue to rehab and try and get back into football shape, but he said he doesn't have any idea when he'll be able to strap on the pads again.
"I obviously want to come back as soon as I can," Gaither said. "Of course I wanted to come back sooner, but I didn't have a set date because I'm not familiar with the injury or anything like that. But of course, I want to come back as soon as I can."
"When it's with the disc, you don't want anything paralyzing," he added. "We really just want to make sure I'm 100 percent OK for physical activity."