While the Ravens are preparing to be without Jared Gaither for the near future, they're still hoping that the offensive tackle will be able to return in time for the regular season opener on Sept. 13.
Gaither missed the majority of training camp because of a back injury, and hasn't practiced since August 5th. About a week and a half ago, Harbaugh said that Gaither would miss at least two to three weeks of practice time.
The Ravens have been monitoring the fourth-year tackle's progress, and Harbaugh says that there's a chance that Gaither will be ready to go at the start of the season.
"Yeah, that's what we've been told," Harbaugh said. "We'll just have to see how it goes. I know one thing: he's working really hard. He gets treatment all day long. He's been working very hard on his lower body and lifting, he's been working hard on his cardiovascular. So I think Jared's doing everything he can to get back."
While the Ravens would like to have Gaither in uniform for the opener against the Jets, they have no choice but to prepare for a scenario in which he still is unable to play.
"You practice with the guys you have," Harbaugh said. "Jared knows that. The offensive line that we have out there on any given day is the line that you practice with, and you prepare the guys that you have. So we'll go with the guys that we have, and when guys who aren't healthy now come back, that becomes a big plus for us.
"We want all of our guys healthy, but look around the league, that's just not the case. As soon as our guys come back healthy, we'll add them into the mix."
Gaither said yesterday that he had thoracic disk injury in his back and did not have spasms. Harbaugh said previously that it was a slight tear in Gaither's back which was causing the issues.
Today, Harbaugh disputed the notion that Gaither's comments contradicted those of the team.
"There's a lining on the thoracic disk that is either irritated or torn," Harbaugh said. "One doctor says it's irritated, the other says it's got a slight tear in it. I was told by the trainers that's what's causing the back spasms. He clearly had back spasms.
"Jared described it as best he could. We all do the best we can to describe it, but we're not doing medical examinations. Until it settles down, he can't get out there because he can't get in position to do it. We were given a basic time frame for when he can get back, and we'll just have to see how it goes."