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Gregg and L.J. Smith Questionable for Rest of Pre-Season

The status of a pair of Ravens starters is up in the air after defensive tackle Kelly Gregg and tight end L.J. Smith each left Monday night’s 24-23 victory over the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium with injuries.

Gregg is dealing with a shoulder injury and is not expected to play Saturday against the Carolina Panthers. Although coach John Harbaugh said Gregg would have been available to play if Saturday’s contest had been a regular-season game, Harbaugh conceded that the injury was alarming.

“We had a little bit of a scare with Kelly because we weren’t sure exactly what it was, and it turned out to be just kind of a nagging deal,” he said. “As you get older, those things get a little sore. So he’s going to be OK. He’s going to be fine. We’re going to be smart with him through the rest of the preseason. He’s probably had plenty of reps. So we’ll just kind of tune him up and get him ready for the regular season.”

Smith pulled his left hamstring during Monday’s win and will also likely miss Saturday’s contest.

“What probably happened was he had the hip flexor, the groin, the sports hernia, the upper hamstring. These things kind of compensate and tie into one another,” Harbaugh said. “So he’s just going to have to keep working hard. He’s been working incredibly hard to try to get it right, and he’s going to have to continue to do that. But like I told him today – he’s down about it – ‘Don’t get down about it.’ It’s a long season, and we’re going to need him to be a really good player for us, and we’ve got to get him ready hopefully for Atlanta [on Sept. 3], and if not Atlanta, Kansas City” on Sept. 13.

The Gregg injury was reported much until he went in for an MRI to get it checked. Kelly had a long road back and it would be a shame to have a new injury derail for 2009 season.

Unfortunately as I watched L.J. Smith limp to the sideline Monday I wasn’t very surprised and I’m sure most fans were either. Smith has had a history of various injuries but should be ready for Week One against the Chiefs.

Some other injuries of note are on the Offensive line. Oniel Cousins is wearing a protective boot to protect his ankle but he he says he expects to play against Carolina this Saturday. David Hale is also expected to return for that game as well.

Other good news includes, Mark Clayton making his return to practice Wednesday. He started making a few cuts and had worked out on his own. It’s unclear if he’ll be available for Carolina though.


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