Yesterday, a fellow reporter and I were talking about how we hadn't seen Jared Gaither in the Ravens' locker room lately.
Today, right on cue, Gaither was back in the building.
The fourth-year offensive tackle suffered a thoracic disc injury in his back the first week of training camp and wasn't able to return to full strength. He only took part in one practice after initially suffering the injury, and the Ravens finally put Gaither on Injured Reserve a month and a half ago.
As a restricted free agent, Gaither is not under contract with the Ravens for next season, but he says that he'd like to return to Baltimore.
"This is where I started my career, and I would love to start and end my career in the same place," Gaither said. "I love this organization. I love the camaraderie of the team. This is my place. Hopefully, I can come back."
There was a lot of drama surrounding Gaither during OTAs this offseason after the Ravens decided to move Michael Oher to Gaither's left tackle spot.
Gaither said all the right things to reporters about how he would do whatever was asked of him, but he clearly was unhappy with being bumped to right tackle.
The Maryland product, who was taken in the fifth-round of the supplemental draft back in 2007, was asked if he would prefer a chance to play left tackle with another team, but he said he's not thinking that far ahead at this point.
"That's a long way away," Gaither said. "Obviously, my main focus and goal is to get healthy now and we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Gaither said he's been resting his injured back, and has been rehabbing to try and get back into shape.
"It's been getting better," Gaither said. "I feel a lot better."
The 6-9, 330-pounder said he was disappointed when the Ravens first informed him that he was going on IR, but he understood that the team couldn't keep waiting around for him to get healthy when it appeared little progress was being made on that front.
"Nobody wants to be put on IR," Gaither said. "Obviously, my initial reaction was I was disappointed about that, but I understand what has to go on in the organization. I take it in stride and I'm working hard to get healthy for next year.
"Obviously, I haven't been able to play football. It's been pretty rough just having to watch, having an injury with my back. It's been a rough year, but I take it all in stride and I'll be ready for next year."