Conventional wisdom suggests that Austin Howard, whom the Ravens signed to a three-year, $16 million deal on Friday with a team option after each year, will be the starting right tackle. If that's true, someone forgot to tell James Hurst, who has lined up in that position since Rick Wagner left as a free agent to the Detroit Lions.
"I want to be the starter," the 6-foot-5, 317-pound Hurst said after Monday's practice at the team's training facility in Owings Mills. "I want to play, I want to be that guy at right tackle. If that's the case, I'm grateful. If not, that's out of my control.
"The only thing I can control is my preparation, my practice, my work ethic, just making sure that I'm getting better and putting myself in the best possible position to be a player on Sundays."
For now, Hurst will continue to be the first offense's right tackle because the 6-7, 330-pound Howard has been a no-show thus far. He was released by the Oakland Raiders on July 28 after undergoing offseason surgery in January to repair a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Coach John Harbaugh, who had expressed Saturday his hope that the 30-year-old Howard would practice on Monday, did not shed much light on his absence after the session. "It's up to the trainers when guys get to practice," he said. "When they tell us he can practice, we'll [use] him."
Since joining the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2014, Hurst has played in 48 games, making 16 starts at both left and right tackle. Last season, he filled in once for then-rookie Ronnie Stanley and twice for Wagner.
Hurst, 25, appeared to be on his way to earning a starting role this season until Howard's signing. But Hurst said he is not upset that the team has brought in another player.
"Personally, I understand that this is a league of opportunity," he said. "I've had a chance all offseason to go with the ones, practice with the ones, and be a starter. I'm so grateful for that and as this other opportunity begins, it's going to be what it's going to be. Like I said, it's a production league, and we know that the best players are going to play.
"The only thing I'm going to do is, I'm not going to be resentful. That's not how I approach it. That's a negative mindset that is just going to bog you down. Every day when I go out, I've got to compete with myself and make sure I'm a better player today than I was yesterday and so on and so on. If I do that, I'll be happy with what happens on the field and what happens with the depth chart. That's my mindset. It is a difficult position, but that's how I approach it."
No update on Humphrey: The secondary has gone four consecutive practices without first-round draft pick Marlon Humphrey. The cornerback last participated in a session Aug. 1, but was limited to individual drills.
The cornerback took part in running and agility exercises during Saturday's practice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, but Harbaugh did not have any new information on Humphrey's status.
"Just day to day," Harbaugh said of Humphrey. "I was hoping that he would be out here today."
End zone: The team announced the signing of veteran cornerback Trevin Wade, a 2012 seventh-round pick of the Cleveland Browns who can play in the slot. To make room for Wade, the team waived-injured cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz. … Former wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. attended practice as part of his duties for the NFL Network. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann also watched Monday's session.