Friday, November 1, 2013
Ravens' Osemele likely done for season
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens left guard Kelechi Osemele has been ruled out for Sunday's game at the Cleveland Browns and is likely done for the season, coach John Harbaugh said after Friday's practice.
A.Q. Shipley told reporters that he will be starting Sunday at Cleveland. It will mark the first start at guard for the second-year lineman.
Osemele has been dealing with a back injury for the past two seasons and acknowledged last week that he would need surgery after the season. His status changed this week when he couldn't practice the past two days.
Harbaugh said the chances of Osemele playing the rest of the season "are probably pretty slim."
"The back was just getting a little worse and a little worse as we went," Harbaugh said. "We went back in and looked at it, and there are some things that may need to get taken care of."
Osemele was limited in practice Wednesday but sat out Thursday and Friday. Shipley said he took most of the reps Thursday and was told he would start Friday.
It was four weeks ago when Shipley was pushed into the starting lineup after Osemele abruptly left with back spasms in the opening series. Since then, Shipley has received reps at left guard in case Osemele went down again.
"I’m ready. I know the position," said Shipley, who acknowledged center is his natural position. "It’s a little different (than center) and a little easier in terms of the mental aspect. It’s just a little more space to deal with now."
Durability had been a strength for Osemele. He had started 27 straight games, including playoffs, since he was selected in the second round by the Ravens last year.
"I’ve been on three different teams and he’s one of the toughest guys I’ve been around," Shipley said. "To be able to push through it, we all know how hard back injuries are. The fact that he’s been fighting, he’s a heck of a player."
Osemele becomes the 11th starter from the Ravens' Super Bowl team to either retire, sign elsewhere in free agency, get cut, get traded or go down with a serious injury. He joins linebacker Ray Lewis (retired), safety Ed Reed (signed with Houston), wide receiver Anquan Boldin (traded to San Francisco), left tackle Bryant McKinnie (traded to Miami), center Matt Birk (retired), tight end Dennis Pitta (hip injury), nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu (not re-signed), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (signed with Miami), cornerback Cary Williams (signed with Philadelphia) and safety Bernard Pollard (cut).