There is no timetable for Jared Gaither's return, and what's ailing the offensive tackle is just as much of a mystery.

Since practicing Friday morning and alternating between the left and right tackle spots with Michael Oher, Gaither has missed four consecutive practices, including the most recent on Sunday morning. Gaither did run on a treadmill on Saturday, a team official said.


On Friday afternoon, Gaither appeared to be stretching his back and was carted off the field at McDaniel College in Westminster with a large ice pack attached to his lower back.

Pained by what was initially diagnosed by trainer Bill Tessendorf as cramps, coach John

Harbaugh said Sunday that the cause of Gaither's absence has yet to be determined.

"I'd like to be able to tell you what it is," Harbaugh said. "I don't know. He's getting bloodwork, and they say they're going to do some tests on him on Monday, and they'll tell us what it is. That's all they've told me."

Harbaugh said he wasn't sure whether Gaither's injury could be linked to his dramatic weight loss – he's down to 311 pounds after playing at about 340 last season – during the offseason.

"He made a decision," Harbaugh said. "He was working out on his own, so it's not like he was around. He made the decision to go lighter. I can't even explain to you why."

Gaither's absence headlines a spate of injuries to the team's tackles. Oniel Cousins is still on the physically-unable-to-perform list due to offseason surgery to remove a cyst from his esophagus, Tony Moll suffered an undisclosed injury during Saturday's morning session, and Stefan Rodgers did not practice and wore a wrap around his right knee and ankle.

That left Oher, Joe Reitz and Ramon Harewood as the team's only healthy tackles. Oher manned the left side, and Reitz took the right side with the first offense.

The team did sign guard Daniel Sanders and waived rookie wide receiver Rodelin Anthony.

"The biggest problem is that we're short on numbers," Harbaugh said. "And Dan's a guy who was with us all through the offseason. So he knows how we work, he knows the offense, he's in shape. So we felt like part of the plan was to have guys that we could bring back if we needed to, and obviously on the offensive line, we needed to do that."