OWINGS MILLS, Md. — As Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson returned to practice Thursday after a recent bout of the flu, his teammates weren’t about to take it easy on him.
In what was described as a “very vocal” practice after having New Year’s Day off, the Ravens showed no shortage of competitiveness despite not knowing which team they’ll play in the divisional round until this weekend. The competition was evident as Jackson faced a Baltimore defense fully aware that he’d been under the weather over the previous few days.
“He threw a little incompletion. I was like, ‘Where’s the Pepto-Bismol?’” said cornerback Marlon Humphrey as he laughed. “It was a lot of chirping like that. It was fun.”
With the coaching staff preparing for one of three potential opponents — the lowest advancing seed among Houston, Buffalo, and Tennessee — behind the scenes, Ravens players have competed against one another with a focus on their own fundamentals in practices this week.
Jackson wasn’t the only one who returned to practice on Thursday as tight end Mark Andrews (ankle), offensive lineman James Hurst (arm), defensive back Jordan Richards, and defensive end Chris Wormley were all present and working. Of course, Jackson getting back into a rhythm is a priority after he sat out the Week 17 win over Pittsburgh and was under the weather for several days.
“We get a lot of the individual work like we do every single day,” said quarterbacks coach James Urban about preparations for the postseason. “I don’t see any reason to change at this point. We’re certainly aware that he hasn’t taken a snap in however long it’s been in a real game. I don’t have any concerns there. Just the dropping back and throwing, we’re getting good work with that today and tomorrow.”
Running back Mark Ingram (calf), wide receiver Marquise Brown, tight end Hayden Hurst, defensive back Brandon Carr, and guard Ben Powers remained sidelined during Thursday’s practice.
Head coach John Harbaugh will meet with the media after Friday’s practice and then give players the weekend off before the Ravens ramp up preparations for their divisional-round opponent next week.
“Harbaugh came and told us, ‘It’s not really time to rest.” [Matthew] Judon echoed that, too, ‘It’s not really time to rest. It’s time to get a little bit better,'” Humphrey said. “We all went out there with a great attitude thinking, ‘Let’s just try to get better today, tomorrow, and then get two days off and come back and get ready to do it.’ Sometimes, to get yourself going, you just have to talk a little trash to the offense. Then, they score and celebrate.
“We just had a lot of fun today.”