Defensive tackle Edwards to miss 2008

The Baltimore Sun

The Ravens placed defensive tackle Dwan Edwards on injured reserve yesterday with a back injury, ending his 2008 season.

"Dwan had an ongoing thing where he was feeling a little bit of tightness there," coach John Harbaugh said. "They did an MRI just as a precautionary [procedure], and they caught something, which was really fortunate and a great job by our medical team. As a result, he's going to be out for the year while they can correct it. He'll play again, but it's going to take a good part of this year to get it corrected. It's not something you could take a chance with and let him play."

The 51st overall pick in the 2004 draft, Edwards started 13 games last season in place of an injured Trevor Pryce and had a career-high 58 tackles. He did not play in the Ravens' 24-10 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Saturday and did not practice this week.

His presence on the defensive line will be sorely missed.

"Edwards is a kid that everybody knew was a second-round pick, and they thought he was a bust," assistant head coach-defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said. "But it takes some guys a little longer sometimes to get it, and this guy was [getting it].

"Everybody in the league knew about him. ... We had big plans for him this year, but unfortunately, he got hurt, and the next guy's got to step up. Hopefully, we can find that guy."

The loss of Edwards further depletes a defensive line that has not had the services of Kelly Gregg or Haloti Ngata in three preseason games.

"Everyone's working their hardest to get back and get ready for the first game," defensive tackle Justin Bannan said. "We'll go with what we've got, and hopefully, everyone's ready to go on that first day."

In addition to Edwards, the team got to the NFL-mandated 75-player limit by placing defensive tackle Kelly Talavou (dislocated right shoulder) and linebacker Terrence Melton (broken bone in right hand) on injured reserve.

The team released wide receiver Darnerien McCants (Arundel) and tight end Aaron Walker. McCants caught just one pass for 30 yards in three preseason games. Walker, who had battled a knee injury, did not have a catch.

QB watch

While quarterback Troy Smith is improving from his illness, the status of Kyle Boller is more uncertain.

Harbaugh said Boller underwent a magnetic resonance imaging on his throwing shoulder. Results of the MRI won't be known until Friday.

"We'll see how it goes day to day," Harbaugh said of Boller.

Smith, who has an issue with his tonsils, attended meetings yesterday morning but didn't have the energy to stay beyond that, Harbaugh said. He is dealing with dehydration after not eating for four days.

If Smith and Boller can't play, rookie Joe Flacco would start tomorrow's preseason finale.

End zone

Players who did not practice during the portion of yesterday's session open to the media included cornerbacks Fabian Washington (hamstring) and Derrick Martin (right shoulder), free safety Ed Reed (shoulder), running back Willis McGahee (arthroscopic knee surgery), defensive tackle Gregg (arthroscopic knee surgery) and rookie wide receiver Marcus Smith (separated right shoulder). Rookie linebacker Tavares Gooden (concussion) returned to practice after sitting out yesterday's session. ... Wide receiver Demetrius Williams, who was activated off of the team's physically-unable-to-perform list with a lower left leg injury, hopes to play in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 7. "These last few days, I've been out there practicing and doing a lot better and feeling good," Williams said. "Just hope that it continues."

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