The Ravens' joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers scheduled for Friday at M&T Bank Stadium has been canceled, the team announced Saturday, citing rules in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement with its players.
The CBA limits the number of consecutive days a team can practice or take part in football activities during training camp. The decision to call off Friday’s event stems from the 49ers’ practice and travel schedule leading up to Thursday’s first preseason game at 7:30 p.m.
"The CBA, the way their schedule sets up, they’re not going to be able to do it," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It’s not a big deal as far as practice. It would have been neat for the fans, and that’s what’s disappointing, but we still have the Navy practice."
The Ravens will hold a free and open practice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Monday at 7 p.m.
"Having a practice like that a little bit away from Baltimore, we have great fans everywhere," Harbaugh added. "Annapolis, obviously, is very important. It doesn’t hurt that Steve [Bisciotti, the Ravens owner] is from down around that way, and we have great fans down there, too. It’s good for our guys to get away, and what better place than the Naval Academy? It’s a monument. It says a lot about who we are as a nation."
The Annapolis practice will have interactive fan events, including post-practice player autograph signings for children, activities designed for youths, giveaways and cheerleader/mascot meet-and-greets. It will also feature a youth football clinic on the field before practice.
“We’re very disappointed for fans who were planning to attend Friday’s practice against the 49ers,” Ravens team president Dick Cass said in a news release. “We hope some of them will be able to come to the practice at Navy on Monday.”
The Ravens-49ers stadium practice would have been only a walk-through-type session because of the game Thursday night. Also, because the Orioles play at Camden Yards on Friday evening, there also wouldn’t have been player autograph signings after the practice.
After Thursday’s game against the Ravens, the 49ers will stay in town for joint practices against the Ravens. Though Friday’s session is canceled, the teams will practice against each other from Saturday through Monday. Those sessions, however, are at the Ravens’ training facility in Owings Mills and are not open to the public.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun