Tavares Gooden dealing with neck injury

A day after running with the first defense at inside linebacker, Tavares Gooden sat out Wednesday morning's practice with an injured neck.
Gooden declined to discuss the injury, but coach John Harbaugh said the injury stemmed from the team's preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers last Thursday night.

"It just keeps tightening back up on him, so we just need to sit him down and settle him down," he said. "He’s tried to go the last two days. Every time he’s tried to go, it spasms back up, so we just need to settle him down for a couple days and try to get him out there on Saturday.”

If Gooden can't practice Thursday, that might jeopardize his shot at starting against the Washington Redskins Saturday night. Jameel McClain earned the start against the Panthers, and Dannell Ellerbe might start against the New York Giants on Aug. 28.

Asked if he wants to rotate those three linebackers to give each an opportunity to play with the first defense, Harbaugh said, “Yeah, that’d probably be part of it. We also want to get Jameel some work at SAM [strongside linebacker] because he’s a multiple guy, and in order to play the position, you’ve got to get some work there. So we’ll move those guys around for the next two weeks and we’ll know where we’re at.”

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