Ravens hopeful Gooden, Zbikowski will return for playoffs

While the Ravens will end up putting long snapper Morgan Cox on season-ending injured reserve, they’re hopeful that they won’t need to do so with linebacker Tavares Gooden and safety Tom Zbikowski.

Gooden suffered a dislocated left shoulder yesterday against the Browns - the same shoulder he dislocated back in September.

Head coach John Harbaugh said that Gooden is “pretty sore” today, but the team is optimistic that he’ll be able to return and play at some point this season.

“I think he’s going to be OK,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll just have to see how it responds, but our trainers are pretty confident he’ll be OK.”

That optimism is also there with Zbikowski, who has missed the last two games because of a back injury. Harbaugh said he doesn’t expect the third-year safety to play in this Sunday’s regular season finale against the Bengals, but is hopeful that another week of rest will leave him ready to play.

“We’re not going to do anything as far as IR,” Harbaugh said. “We think he’s got a good chance to get back for the playoffs. He was running around today a little bit. Again, we’ll keep our fingers crossed, but I’m hopeful for the first round of the playoffs.”

Rounding out the injury talk, Harbaugh gave as much information as he could on rookie tight end Dennis Pitta, who suffered a concussion on the opening kickoff of yesterday’s game.

It’s Pitta’s second concussion of the season, and when a player is concussed multiple times in a short window, some believe that it could make that player more vulnerable to future similar situations.

“I’m not really sure of the science behind it,” Harbaugh said, “but we’ll just sit tight. The thing we’ve learned to do with concussions is just to assume they’re out until they’re back. You just can’t count on those guys. We had Oniel Cousins and Tony Moll in training camp it seemed like forever. Other guys come back the next day.

David Reed’s another guy in that boat right now, we’ll just have to see how he does too. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed on both those guys.”

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