Gaither training away from Ravens headquarters

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said there are no updates on the health of offensive tackle Jared Gaither, who missed all of last season with a back injury.

And there's a reason for that -- Harbaugh hasn't seen Gaither.


"I know that he's training somewhere, training and lifting," Harbaugh said. "It's not at our facility, and that's OK. I look forward to seeing how he progresses. I want to see him put the weight back on, get the strength back. I know he wants to do that." Under the current CBA, Gaither would still be a restricted free agent. But he's expected to become unrestricted when the new agreement is signed.

Gaither's agent talked to general manager Ozzie Newsome after the season about the tackle's future, but the sides didn't come close to a new contract.


Gaither isn't expected to return after a difficult 2010 season, which started with him conditioning away from Ravens headquarters. He reported late to the offseason conditioning program in March, a decision which many believed was Gaither's way to show his unhappiness over the lack of a contract extension.

When the Ravens moved Gaither from left to right tackle at the start of a minicamp in spring, he injured his foot and missed most of the offseason practices.

The 6-foot-9 Gaither then surprised the organization when he reported to training camp 29 pounds lighter than his playing weight of 340 pounds. He missed a few days of practice, but he returned after he underwent blood tests.

On Aug. 5, he suffered what has been described as a thoracic disk injury. Gaither practiced once (Sept. 29) before getting put on IR. Ravens doctors couldn't find anything wrong with Gaither in early October, according to coach John Harbaugh, but Gaither's back specialist in California wouldn't clear him to play after a re-evaluation.

Gaither, 24, a supplemental fifth-round pick in 2007, started 28 games for the Ravens. As a restricted free agent, Gaither received a first-round tender of $2.3 million for this season.

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