Ravens coach John Harbaugh revealed Friday why center Matt Birk hasnt practiced since last weekend.
Matt has had some back spasms, Harbaugh said after the teams daily training camp practice in Owings Mills.
Birks continued absence is attributable to both me and Matt, Harbaugh continued. Matts had the back spasms and Im probably going to slow him down a little more, especially this week.
The Ravens open their preseason schedule Thursday night in Atlanta, and it sounds as if Birk wont play.
Maybe after the game well get him back, Harbaugh said.
The coach didnt seem overly concerned. This time a year, Birk, 36, was coming back from knee surgery and sat out much of training camp and the entire preseason. But then he started every game for the Ravens in the regular season and playoffs, and after contemplating retirement, elected to re-sign with the Ravens, landing a three-year, 8.5 million deal.
Nonetheless, the news of a new health issue for Birk is only going to fuel speculation about whether he is capable of holding up for an entire season in his 15th year in the NFL. He has dealt with several knee issues in the past few years and underwent a procedure to repair the varicose veins in his legs in June.
Now he has a sore back, too.
In other injury news:
Defensive end Arthur Jones underwent an MRI on his hip. Hes had a hip flexor issue. We dont know the results (of the MRI) yet, Harbaugh said.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith left practice Thursday because his back locked up, Harbaugh said. Its a muscular thing, nothing serious, something he dealt with in college. It should take a couople of days.
Rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw missed another practice Friday with a bruised shoulder. Like Birk, he hasnt practiced since last weekend.
Fullback Vonta Leach sat out Fridays practice because of back spasms, and David Reed (knee), Jah Reid (calf) and Bernard Pierce (hamstring) were among those who also didnt practice.
Harbaugh said that Bryant McKinnie's sore back, which reportedly kept him from reporting on time to training camp, has cleard up. McKinnie passed his conditioning test Friday and returned to practice.