Tag Archive | "Joe Flacco"

harbaugh

Tags: , , , , ,

Ravens putting extra focus on youth in preseason opener

Posted on 09 August 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A day after declining to say whether Joe Flacco would play in Thursday’s preseason opener, Ravens coach John Harbaugh all but ruled his quarterback out against Carolina.

And why would he want to force the issue with Flacco not missing as much as a single rep in training camp after undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery in his left knee just eight months ago? The ninth-year quarterback likely won’t be the only healthy veteran held out of the first preseason game with the focus clearly being placed on Baltimore’s youth.

“I think everybody can figure out what’s going to happen,” Harbaugh said. “I just don’t want to get into everybody. I don’t want to be talking about who’s going to play and who’s not going to play. It’s going to be the young guys [playing]. It’s going to be the guys that need to play in this game that we want to find out about.

“Anybody that has a health issue or anything like that is not even going to be thinking about playing. It’s just going to be one of those kinds of camp games that we learn about our young guys.”

Harbaugh isn’t ruling out the possibility of left tackle Ronnie Stanley playing against the Panthers after he returned to the practice field on Tuesday.

However, the 2016 first-round pick’s uncertain status certainly makes for an easier decision to sit Flacco if there were any lingering doubts about doing so. Stanley only missed one full workout after suffering a “soft tissue” injury over the weekend.

“He wanted to be out there,” Harbaugh said. “I think he said right after [Saturday’s practice], ‘It’s nothing.’ I don’t know if anything is nothing, physically, in this league, but we’ll see if he can play Thursday night with how it feels out there and everything. It probably is a game-time decision.”

Stanley wasn’t the only player to return to the field on Tuesday as rookie cornerback Maurice Canady and tight end Daniel Brown were also participating. Brown’s presence was surprising after he took a vicious hit to the upper body that left him groggy and forced him out of Monday’s practice.

The Ravens were still without 12 members of their 90-man roster on Tuesday as wide receivers Chris Moore, Chris Matthews, and Michael Campanaro, tight ends Crockett Gillmore, Dennis Pitta, and Maxx Williams, and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi were sidelined. Wide receivers Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman, linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro remain on the physically unable to perform list and have yet to practice this summer.

The extensive list of ailments likely prompted Harbaugh to use a walk-through practice format two full days before a game, an unusual measure.

“We’ve had some really good practices, some really physical practices,” Harbaugh said. “This is an opportunity for us to recover a little bit from that and get ready for Thursday night and just focus on attention to detail. We emphasize technique and communication. We want our guys to exaggerate technique and exaggerate communication in this setting to build muscle memory in the way we play.”

Comments Off on Ravens putting extra focus on youth in preseason opener

flacco

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Harbaugh not revealing whether Flacco will play Thursday

Posted on 08 August 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have determined whether quarterback Joe Flacco will play in the preseason opener against Carolina.

They’re just just not telling anyone before Thursday night.

“We’ve decided about everybody, but I’m not going to make any announcements,” Harbaugh said. “We’re just going to play the game and do it that way.”

Speculation has persisted that Flacco will not see the field against the Panthers, a notion undoubtedly reinforced by the recent “soft tissue” injury suffered by rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley. The 2016 first-round pick did not practice on Monday morning, leaving rookie fourth-rounder Alex Lewis to man the left tackle position.

Exactly eight months removed from left ACL reconstruction surgery on Monday, Flacco said at the start of training camp that he wasn’t setting a goal of playing in the first preseason game or even playing extensively in the preseason, focusing instead on being ready to compete at the highest level in the season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 11. Flacco has averaged just over 14 snaps per game in the last three preseason openers, making one assume that there isn’t much to gain for the ninth-year quarterback to play this early in the summer.

Flacco has shown very few signs of lingering effects from last December’s surgery beyond the brace that he now wears on his left knee. He has appeared to take the same number of reps in practices that he did in past summers.

“The way our practices are out here and the way we compete and how competitive they are, I’m going to get plenty of work out here,” Flacco said at the start of training camp. “Just talking to [the coaches], you want to keep it [safe]. I’ve played in a million games, and to put it at any further risk of getting hit in a simple early preseason game probably wouldn’t be the smartest thing. I’m not really too concerned with that stuff.”

Harbaugh reiterated that Stanley’s injury would not result in a long-term absence.

Twelve other players were absent from Monday’s practice due to injury reasons, a list that included wide receivers Chris Moore (foot), Chris Matthews (soft tissue), and Michael Campanaro, tight ends Crockett Gillmore (hamstring) and Dennis Pitta (finger), cornerback Maurice Canady (undisclosed), and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi (broken ankle). Wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman (knee), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) remain on the physically unable to perform list.

After receiving a couple scheduled days off earlier in camp, the oft-injured Campanaro is now dealing with muscle strains, according to Harbaugh. The third-year receiver also missed Saturday’s practice at M&T Bank Stadium.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith (left leg), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (ribs), and safety Matt Elam returned to the practice field on Monday. Cornerback Shareece Wright received a veteran day off.

Already light at the tight end position, the Ravens lost Maxx Williams to a non-contact injury midway through the workout. He walked off the field with a member of the training staff and did not return.

In the final minutes of practice, second-year tight end Daniel Brown took a vicious high hit from safety Sam Brown and was down on the ground for several minutes before finally walking inside with members of the training staff.

Comments Off on Harbaugh not revealing whether Flacco will play Thursday

flacco

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Veterans rest as Ravens continue countdown to preseason opener

Posted on 05 August 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With their first preseason game now less than a week away, the Ravens rested a number of veterans during Friday’s practice.

However, that list did not include starting quarterback Joe Flacco, who continues to ease any lingering concerns about the health of his surgically-repaired left knee. The 31-year-old has yet to miss a practice this summer despite undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery just eight months ago.

It remains to be seen whether Flacco will play in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers, but the Ravens are pleased with where the ninth-year quarterback is from a football standpoint despite him missing all spring workouts and their June minicamp while rehabbing.

“It is obvious he has spent time on his own getting himself ready,” offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said. “He is certainly ready mentally. Each and every day, he is just working to try and get better, and we are seeing a lot of productivity out here. It is good stuff.”

A total of 18 players were missing from the field at the start of Friday’s practice with wide receiver Kamar Aiken, running back Justin Forsett, safety Eric Weddle, linebacker Albert McCellan, tight end Benjamin Watson, and offensive linemen Jeremy Zuttah and Marshal Yanda presumably receiving the day off as veterans with no known injury concerns.

Players absent because of injuries included tight ends Dennis Pitta (finger) and Crockett Gillmore (hamstring), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (ribs), wide receiver Chris Moore (foot), cornerback Maurice Canady, and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi (broken ankle). Wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles) and Breshad Perriman (knee), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) remain on the active physically unable to perform list and have yet to practice this summer.

Safety Matt Elam was on the field for the start of practice before leaving the field and not returning. He appeared limited during Thursday’s practice with an unknown ailment.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith was having one of his best practices of camp before he began favoring his left leg toward the end of Friday’s workout. The defensive back broke up a deep ball intended for speedy receiver Mike Wallace in a 1-on-1 drill and broke up another pass later in the day.

Camp highlights

One of the top plays of the day was an impressive connection from Flacco to second-year tight end Maxx Williams with linebacker C.J. Mosley in tight coverage down the middle of the field. The quarterback threw slightly behind Williams in order to fit the ball into a tight window and the 2015 second-round pick made a strong catch.

Williams has quietly had a solid camp despite a few veterans being ahead of him in the pecking order.

Currently atop the depth chart as the Ravens’ primary return specialist, Kaelin Clay flashed skills as a receiver with a great touchdown catch on a back-shoulder throw from backup quarterback Ryan Mallett and brought in another good catch later in practice. However, he dropped an easy one during an 11-on-11 drill.

Safety Terrence Brooks has a lot to prove after an underwhelming start to his NFL career, but he had a strong day, intercepting a Mallett pass that went off the hands of tight end Darren Waller and stripping the ball from running back Terrance West as the whistle blew to conclude a non-live play.

Waller later beat coverage from linebacker Kamalei Correa to catch a touchdown pass from Flacco on a deep corner route.

Late teammate remembered

A number of Ravens players including Perriman, Forsett, Kendrick Lewis, Julian Wilson, and Anthony Levine used Twitter to remember late teammate Tray Walker, who would have celebrated his 24th birthday on Friday.

The young cornerback tragically died from injuries sustained in a motorbike accident in March.

The Ravens have not issued his No. 25 jersey this summer.

Comments Off on Veterans rest as Ravens continue countdown to preseason opener

jimmysmith

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ten Ravens thoughts on first week of training camp

Posted on 02 August 2016 by Luke Jones

With the Ravens approaching the end of their first week of training camp, I’ve offered 10 early thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The Ravens have numerous injury questions, but Joe Flacco is looking less and less like one. Other than the brace on his left knee, you’d never know he’s eight months removed from surgery. He’s moving and throwing like he always did and says he’s not even thinking about the knee.

2. Everyone is rooting for Keenan Reynolds to make an impact after his brilliant career at Navy, but he’s a substantial work in progress. It’s still very early, but he hasn’t played with much confidence and has dropped more passes and kicks than you’d like to see even in practices.

3. With other running backs currently sidelined, Terrance West is taking advantage of the reps and has looked the part of a motivated young player vying for a significant role in the offense. West has shed 15 pounds from last season and is noticeably more explosive running the football.

4. After missing spring workouts to have the screws removed from his right foot, Jimmy Smith has had a quiet start. He hasn’t practiced poorly, but he’s still working his way back to full strength. The defense sorely needs him to return to his pre-surgery 2014 form this season.

5. An understated need in 2016 will be for Za’Darius Smith to become an impact player. He looks comfortable in pass coverage and has shown good pass-rush ability. If he can handle responsibilities formerly held by Pernell McPhee and Courtney Upshaw, less pressure falls on Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.

6. Though Jerraud Powers remains the favorite to play slot cornerback in sub packages, rookie Tavon Young has displayed good ball skills and has shown good aggression in coverage. He also looked smooth and fast returning a kickoff at Monday’s stadium practice. He’s someone to watch in the preseason.

7. Much has been written about Kamalei Correa competing to start at inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosley, but he plays with an edge, evident by the skirmishes on Monday. The Ravens need more attitude and higher-end talent, and Correa has a chance to bring both to the defense.

8. It’s unclear how much time he’ll miss, but it was a shame to see rookie receiver Chris Moore walking with his left foot in a boot on Monday. It was only a couple practices, but his acceleration going after the deep ball reminds a little bit of Torrey Smith.

9. It was interesting to see Justin Tucker repeatedly pop kickoffs into the air that landed inside the 5-yard line on Monday. With touchbacks on kickoffs moving to the 25, John Harbaugh said this offseason that the Ravens could alter their approach instead of just booting it through the end zone.

10. Crockett Gillmore has a rare combination of size and quickness that is fun to watch, but you wonder if his physical style of play will continue hindering his durability. He’s already had quite a few injuries in two-plus years with a hamstring strain the latest ailment to sideline him.

Comments Off on Ten Ravens thoughts on first week of training camp

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 11.07.55 AM

Tags: , , , , ,

Pitta sprains finger, draws mocking from Flacco

Posted on 02 August 2016 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — After what Dennis Pitta has been through over the last three years, no one would dare make fun of the Ravens tight end suffering another injury, serious or not.

That is, unless you’re Joe Flacco.

The quarterback couldn’t help but take a dig at his best friend on the team after Pitta sprained one of his right fingers in a scuffle with rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa on Monday night. Of course, the injury pales in comparison to the two devastating injuries to his right hip that have limited Pitta to seven games over the last three seasons.

“He got his little baby injury that he always gets at camp and gets himself out of a week in camp,” said Flacco as he cracked a big smile. “That’s better than breaking his hip though, so I’m cool with that. It will put him on the sideline for a little bit and protect him for a little bit.”

Pitta was nearby when Flacco spoke with reporters and was ready with a reply.

The two have underrated senses of humor not often revealed to the media.

“I heard Joe say, ‘It’s a good thing he didn’t break his hip,'” Pitta said, “which isn’t that funny, Joe.”

It was unusual to see both Pitta and Flacco involved in some of the many heated exchanges during Monday’s workout at M&T Bank Stadium as Correa got under the skin of a few offensive players with his physicality. Head coach John Harbaugh later sent linebacker Za’Darius Smith and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen off the field for fighting.

Considered one of the most mild-mannered players on the team, Pitta was asked when was the last time he’d gotten in a training camp scrum.

“In college,” said the seventh-year tight end from Brigham Young as he laughed. “Normally, I don’t have a lot of reasons to fight people, but I felt like there was a reason. Without going into detail, there was some after-the-whistle stuff that wasn’t necessary. Me and K.C. already talked about it, so we’re good.”

Shortly after the scrum with Pitta, Correa delivered a hard shot to wide receiver Mike Wallace, which prompted Flacco to get in the rookie’s face. The sight of the franchise quarterback being unhappy naturally made the Boise State product stand down.

So, what was Flacco’s message to Correa?

“Listen, I’m protected, man. I can say whatever I want to him because I’ve got a big army coming behind me,” said Flacco, trying to hold back laughter. “It wasn’t nice, but I really didn’t have to be scared with a big army coming behind me. I think he was too smart. I challenged him to see if he was willing to come after me a little bit and he made the right decision I think.”

Correa certainly did.

“He’s our quarterback, he’s our leader. I can’t say anything,” said Correa with a slight grin. “I’m just out there [and] he says something. He’s a captain. He’s a leader. He’s Joe Flacco.”

Comments Off on Pitta sprains finger, draws mocking from Flacco

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 12.55.36 PM

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wallace turns in strong performance after rough start to camp

Posted on 01 August 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Mike Wallace didn’t get off to the kind of start he envisioned in his first training camp with the Ravens, but the speedy receiver finally made his mark on Sunday.

Though initially failing his conditioning test and being quiet over his first couple practices, Wallace stood out with several receptions and beat Shareece Wright for a touchdown from Joe Flacco during a red-zone drill. With Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman currently sidelined with injuries, Wallace looked like the best receiver on the field for the Ravens on Sunday.

The strong showing came after a drop early in practice that drew an animated pep talk from head coach John Harbaugh. After only being able to work with Flacco in the meeting room during the spring, Wallace is relishing the opportunity to build a rapport with his new quarterback, who has returned to practice less than eight months removed from major knee surgery.

“I’m just trying to get better every day,” Wallace said. “Obviously, I’m on a new team, so I’m just trying to get comfortable with my quarterbacks — all of them, especially Joe. It’s just great to be out there with a guy who has been around for so long and just knows the game.”

Though failing the conditioning test wasn’t the best look for a veteran player in his first season with the Ravens, Wallace has made a good impression with coaches and teammates since signing a two-year, $11.5 million in March. He also downplayed the challenge of learning the Baltimore offense, noting that this is his sixth offensive system in the last six years.

Wallace hopes the latest change will bring a career renaissance after he was held to a career-low 473 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Minnesota last season. The 30-year-old made it no secret that working with the strong-armed Flacco was one of the biggest draws in deciding to come to Baltimore.

“Just seeing Joe is like, ‘This guy is really good,'” Wallace said. “The play-calling is just aggressive, and that’s what I was looking for. I’ve been on some great teams. My quarterbacks before were really good quarterbacks. I have no problems with those guys. It’s just this style of offense fits what I want to do.”

Sunday camp highlights

** After receiving the largest amount of guaranteed money for any kicker in NFL history earlier this month, Justin Tucker connected on a 69-yard field goal to conclude Sunday’s practice, which earned a chest bump from Harbaugh. The NFL record is a 64-yarder.

** Rookie inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor continues to turn heads with his physicality as he delivered a crushing blow to knock over defensive tackle Trevon Coley, who was holding a blocking pad during a kickoff coverage drill. Onwuasor later decked Kyle Juszczyk on a run play, which prompted the fullback to get up and push the 217-pound undrafted free agent from Portland State.

** It was another sloppy day for the offense as Kamar Aiken, Chris Matthews, Daniel Brown, and Wallace were among the receivers with drops. There were also a few quarterback-center exchange problems.

** Veteran safety Eric Weddle continues to impress as he made a nice breakup on a Flacco pass intended for Wallace on a deep out along the sideline.

** Wanting to see more interceptions in 2016 after the Ravens set a franchise worst with only six last year, secondary coach Leslie Frazier had an assistant hit tennis balls in the air for his defensive backs to practice catching in an unusual drill.

Injury report

Guard Marshal Yanda and wide receiver Michael Campanaro received the day off and did not practice.

Rookie cornerback Maurice Canady was the other new absence on Sunday, but Harbaugh would only say that he has a “little issue” that’s going to keep him out for “a little while.” The head coach said he will no longer describe player injuries or speculate about recovery timetables, citing what happened with Perriman last season.

Rookie receiver Chris Moore missed his second straight practice with what Harbaugh described as “a little tweak” that he’ll have to work on. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (ribs) is “fine” despite missing Sunday’s workout, according to Harbaugh.

Others missing from Sunday’s practice included Perriman (knee) and Smith (Achilles), tight end Crockett Gillmore (hamstring), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), and running backs Kenneth Dixon (knee), Trent Richardson (knee), and Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot).

Super Bowl XXXV champions visit practice

The Ravens had two special visitors to Sunday’s practice as former head coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick broadcasted live from Owings Mills and former Pro Bowl return specialist Jermaine Lewis was there with family.

Billick interviewed Harbaugh after practice while Lewis spent time chatting with Smith and Harbaugh.

Comments Off on Wallace turns in strong performance after rough start to camp

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 1.16.29 PM

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Flacco “comfortable” in first full practice since knee injury

Posted on 28 July 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In his first full practice since injuring his left knee last November, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a dart down the seam to Dennis Pitta for a big completion during an 11-on-11 drill.

The play conjured memories of their many connections during the run to Super Bowl XLVII and was the highlight of Thursday’s no-contact session. Less than eight months removed from surgery to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee, Flacco also reminded us of his big-league arm by hurling a 50-plus-yard strike to hit rookie Chris Moore in stride during individual drills.

Flacco, 31, did show some rust as he was picked off by Sheldon Price and nearly threw another interception to Shareece Wright, but the number of errant throws was no greater than you’d typically see in the first practice of the summer.

Regardless of how he might have practiced, the mere sight of the franchise quarterback healthy and back on the field was more than enough for the Ravens on the first day of training camp.

“It felt really good to be out there,” said Flacco, who wore a red non-contact jersey and a black brace on his left knee. “I wasn’t as efficient as I’d like to be, but I felt comfortable. I just need to throw it a little better and complete some more passes.”

Flacco moved well in the pocket and did not appear to be limited in his practice reps, only abstaining from a drill in which the other quarterbacks practiced falling on fumbles.

With other key players such as wide receivers Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman and linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil beginning the summer on the physically unable to perform list, questions will remain about the Ravens’ play-making ability at key positions, but the healthy return of Flacco alone is enough to provide hope that 2016 will bring better fortune than last year.

“He looked good. He seemed confident and wasn’t back there hobbling around or stumbling or footwork was off,” said safety Eric Weddle, who was excited to be able to practice against Flacco after playing against him several times with San Diego over the years. “You couldn’t tell he just had surgery in the offseason. It’s definitely a positive sign.

“He’s got the ‘it’ factor, and it brings everyone else’s level up.”

Nine players absent on first day

Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) was added to the active physically unable to perform list, joining wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles tendon) and Breshad Perriman (left knee), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), and running back Trent Richardson (knee). Those six players may begin practicing at any point, but the Ravens are proceeding cautiously with the aforementioned veterans coming back from injury.

Cornerback Jerraud Powers and wide receiver Dobson Collins joined receiver Mike Wallace on the non-football injury list as the three had yet to pass the conditioning test. Harbaugh wouldn’t comment when asked whether Wallace was any closer to passing the test after failing on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t matter,” Harbaugh said. “You pass it or you don’t. You make it or you don’t.”

Dixon injures knee

After finishing the 2015 season with 20 players on injured reserve, the Ravens couldn’t escape an injury in their first practice of the summer as rookie running back Kenneth Dixon suffered a knee injury diagnosed as a Grade 1 MCL sprain.

The fourth-round pick is considered day-to-day and left Baltimore with just three healthy running backs at the end of Thursday’s session: Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, and Terrance West.

“He’s going to be OK. He’s got just a little slight thing with the knee,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He should be fine. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll see.”

Comments Off on Flacco “comfortable” in first full practice since knee injury

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 5.11.47 PM

Tags: , , , , ,

Wallace fails conditioning test, Long’s deal on hold for now

Posted on 27 July 2016 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Two veteran newcomers could be missing from the field as the Ravens conduct their first full-squad workout of the summer on Thursday.

According to head coach John Harbaugh, wide receiver Mike Wallace did not pass the team’s rigorous conditioning test and will be placed on the non-football injury list to begin training camp. Though it’s not the ideal way to begin his first camp with the Ravens, it’s not uncommon to see a veteran or two — especially those new to the organization — fail the conditioning test at the start of camp and Wallace is expected to pass and be on the practice field within the next couple days.

Wallace could retake the test as early as Thursday morning and would be allowed to participate in the Ravens’ 9 a.m. practice should he pass.

The Ravens’ one-year agreement with veteran offensive tackle Jake Long is on hold as some concern arose about his right knee during his physical. The 31-year-old sustained separate anterior cruciate ligament tears to the same knee in 2013 and 2014 and appeared in only four games for the Atlanta Falcons last season.

Long is visiting Dr. James Andrews for an examination, but optimism still remains that a deal that makes sense for both sides can be finalized.

Comments Off on Wallace fails conditioning test, Long’s deal on hold for now

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 3.50.28 PM

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ravens place six players on active PUP list to begin training camp

Posted on 23 July 2016 by Luke Jones

Set to open their 2016 training camp this coming week, the Ravens announced Saturday that six players would begin the summer on the active physically unable to perform list.

Wide receivers Steve Smith (Achilles tendon) and Breshad Perriman (knee), linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon) and Elvis Dumervil (foot surgery), running back Trent Richardson (knee), and cornerback Jumal Rolle (Achilles tendon) were placed on the PUP list ahead of Wednesday’s report day for veterans. Rolle is expected to miss the 2016 season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon during a spring workout.

Head coach John Harbaugh indicated during last month’s mandatory minicamp that the Ravens would be careful with the workload for Smith, Suggs, and Dumervil during training camp and even in preseason games as they work their way back to full strength. After suffering a left knee injury originally feared to be a season-ending ACL tear in June, Perriman is expected to return at some point during training camp, according to Harbaugh.

Signed to compete for a roster spot with a deep group of running backs, Richardson was hampered by a hamstring issue during organized team activities and underwent knee surgery last month.

Often confused with the reserve list that requires a player to miss the first six weeks of the regular season, active PUP is used for any player who isn’t ready to begin practicing at the start of training camp. Players on active PUP may return to the field at any point, but that activation makes them ineligible for the reserve list that doesn’t count against the 53-man roster limit to begin the regular season.

It’s worth noting that quarterback Joe Flacco (knee), cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot surgery), cornerback Will Davis (knee), and wide receiver Michael Campanaro (calf) were not placed on PUP, meaning they should be ready to begin practicing immediately. Flacco said during last month’s minicamp and reiterated this past week that he would be back on the field for the first day less than eight months after undergoing ACL reconstruction surgery on his left knee.

Comments Off on Ravens place six players on active PUP list to begin training camp

ravens

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

More questions than answers for Ravens entering training camp

Posted on 20 July 2016 by Luke Jones

We’re finally a week away from the curtain rising on the 2016 Ravens.

Sure, we caught a brief glimpse during last month’s mandatory minicamp, but how much could we really learn from non-contact practices that didn’t even include the starting quarterback, their No. 1 receiver, the starting outside linebackers, the top cornerback, and their 2015 first-round pick?

Trying to rebound from the worst season of the John Harbaugh era, the Ravens are hoping for better health after a team-record 21 players finished 2015 on injured reserve or the physically unable to perform list. They believe the free-agent additions of safety Eric Weddle, tight end Benjamin Watson, and wide receiver Mike Wallace and the continuing development of young players will provide the upside to return to the playoffs after failing to qualify in two of the last three years.

With a pedigree that includes two Super Bowl championships, four division titles, and 10 playoff appearances in the last 16 years, the Ravens bouncing back from a 5-11 campaign to once again become an AFC contender in 2016 would hardly be shocking. But there are more questions to ask than answers to offer as players report to Owings Mills over the next week.

What about this roster truly makes the Ravens brass rest easy at night?

Coming back from the first significant injury of his career, Joe Flacco is a franchise quarterback capable of playing at a championship level, even if his regular-season numbers don’t always reflect that. Coaches will need to be smart with him less than eight months removed from major knee surgery, but it’s comforting to know that the 31-year-old will be back on the field for the first day of training camp.

The Ravens offense has the best guard in football in Marshal Yanda and veteran starters at center and right tackle as well as arguably the deepest collection of tight ends in the NFL. The defense has one of the NFL’s best nose tackles, a 2015 Pro Bowl outside linebacker, a young inside linebacker who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, and a three-time Pro Bowl safety in Weddle, who should bring more leadership and order to a volatile secondary.

Baltimore has an elite trio of specialists in kicker Justin Tucker, punter Sam Koch, and long snapper Morgan Cox, who have all been to Pro Bowls and have signed long-term contracts over the last 12 months.

The talent and potential strengths don’t end there, but the serious questions begin at this point.

What can we reasonably expect from Steve Smith and Terrell Suggs coming back from Achilles tendon injuries?

It’s been a difficult recovery for the veteran receiver, who originally intended to make 2015 his last season. Doubting Smith’s heart and determination is foolish, but we know Father Time is undefeated, making it fair to question whether the 37-year-old can play close to the level he did prior to last year’s injury when he was still a No.1 option.

The little we’ve seen from Suggs since his injury last September includes a traffic-related arrest in Arizona in March and a guest appearance on HBO’s Ballers in which he played himself getting into a scrap with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character. Set to turn 34 in October, the six-time Pro Bowl linebacker has been working out at the team’s facility in Owings Mills, but his conditioning and explosiveness will be scrutinized after his second Achilles injury in a four-year period. A substantially-diminished Suggs puts even more pressure on fellow veteran Elvis Dumervil as well as unproven options such as Za’Darius Smith and Kamalei Correa as pass rushers.

Will a second foot procedure allow Jimmy Smith to recapture his No. 1 cornerback form?

The 28-year-old had the screws removed from his surgically-repaired right foot this spring after he was still experiencing soreness from the 2014 Lisfranc procedure. The Ravens paid him handsomely last spring to be a difference-making presence in the secondary and need him to be the player he was in 2013 and 2014 if this defense is going to take a significant step forward this season.

What’s the reality with the Breshad Perriman injury?

It was great news that Dr. James Andrews didn’t recommend full ACL reconstruction surgery for Perriman in June, but the fact that he still prescribed a stem-cell injection makes you wonder about the healing process and stability of his left knee. The young receiver missed his entire rookie year with a right knee injury originally considered to be minor, so you hope this isn’t a cruel repeat of 2015.

For a team in desperate need of dynamic playmakers on both sides of the ball, Perriman may possess more upside than anyone on the roster if he can just stay on the field.

The questions go beyond players coming off injuries.

Even if 2016 first-round pick Ronnie Stanley proves to be more like Jonathan Ogden and less like the many who have tried to replace the Hall of Fame left tackle over the last decade, how confident can the organization honestly feel about a rookie and a new starter at left guard — projected to be John Urschel — protecting the blindside of a quarterback coming off a serious knee injury?

Baltimore has a collection of talented running backs, but is there truly a No. 1 guy in the bunch?

Who is going to play inside linebacker next to Mosley?

Is the rest of the defensive backfield ready to build on its second-half improvement from last year to be more of a force under new secondary coach Leslie Frazier?

Who might step forward to make a difference in the return game?

Finally and perhaps most importantly, are there at least a couple of young players ready to step forward to become special?

The Ravens have solid-to-good football players; they need more great ones.

All teams face questions this time of year, but there are more than usual for Baltimore entering 2016. It’s understandable after a 5-11 season that fell apart even before the injuries piled up at a record level.

We’ll soon get to see what’s behind the curtain.

Comments Off on More questions than answers for Ravens entering training camp