Tavares Gooden played Thursday despite injury

Despite sitting out practice on Tuesday with a recurring neck injury, Tavares Gooden made three tackles in the second and third quarters of the Ravens’ 13-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the preseason opener for both teams on Thursday night.

The linebacker sounded happy that he could contribute to the defense despite the losing effort.

“The warrior in me, the coaching staff gave it up to me and let me make the decision, and I felt today that I was able to go,” Gooden said in the locker room beneath Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. “I still have a little soreness, but the competitive beast in me came out, and I just wanted to compete and show what I had and that I could hold my own weight on this team.”

Gooden confirmed that the neck injury is a repeat of a similar injury during last year’s training camp that the team had described as neck tightness. Gooden said the recurring nature of the injury prompted him to consider missing the game against the Eagles, but he changed his mind.

“I thought about that, but just getting ready for the game, my teammates were jumping around, and I kind of fed off of their energy,” he said. “So I had to go. It’s just something that I had to do. I didn’t want to let my team down.”

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