Labor Day weekend last respite before start of regular season

For the first time in more than a month, the players will have a rare weekend off as coach John Harbaugh sent them home to take care of their families and tie up loose ends before the start of the regular season.

And with the Ravens slated to open the season on Monday, Sept. 10 and many of the starters kept out of Thursday night's preseason finale against the St. Louis Rams, the players will enjoy a rare extended chance to rest and relax.

Harbaugh said the time off should be a significant benefit for the players.

"It will help," he said after Friday's practice at the team's training complex in Owings Mills. "It will help a lot because we think that's what this weekend is for. We came out and had a good workout here. We got some good work in, some good mental work, especially. Now those guys will get some time over the weekend. And it's not just physical, it's also emotional. [They will] get a chance to kind of get themselves organized, see their families, and then we'll be back at it Monday."

Harbaugh also acknowledged that with the preseason ending, there's a sense of anticipation about the upcoming regular season.

"Yeah, there really is," he said. "You do start getting a little anxious. You take it one step at a time. You never want to take anything for granted, but now, yes, the regular season is here, and everybody is excited about that, and you can feel it out there on the field."