Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard and tight end Nick Boyle returned to practice Friday, helping the team’s injury situation ahead of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.
While the Ravens are without a handful of starters because of season-ending injuries, including star cornerback Marlon Humphrey (pectoral), the team was missing just two players in the open portion of practice Friday: right tackle Patrick Mekari (hand), who’s not expected to play Sunday, and cornerback Jimmy Smith, who was a full participant Wednesday and Thursday.
Ricard missed Wednesday and Thursday’s workouts with a back injury, but he played in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers despite limited practice time last week. Boyle missed all of practice last week, and Ravens coaches have said his acclimation to game play after last year’s season-ending knee injury would be gradual.
The Ravens selected cornerback Tavon Young as their 2021 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, which honors NFL players “who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.”
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Young has played every game so far after suffering season-ending injuries three of the previous four years.
“Everybody knows I’ve faced a lot during my career, my young career,” he said Friday. “It means a lot to be voted on by my teammates, my peers.”
Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale said Young is “tough as nails,” noting that he was “sick as a dog” when he played against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
“I’m always going to try to fight to be on the field, no matter what,” Young said. “If I can run and jog, I’m going to be out there. … When I’m fighting, I always think about how there’s other people out there in the world who are fighting through things that take more courage than what I do, kids battling diseases and everything. So I look up to those kids or adults. But I feel like I’m born to fight.”
‘Back in your face’
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, John’s brother, was named the Associated Press’ Coach of the Year on Friday after leading the Wolverines to their first Big Ten Conference title in 17 years and a berth in the College Football Playoff.
Harbaugh received 22 of 53 first-place votes and 103 points from a panel of voters to finish ahead of Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, who had 16 first-place votes and 88 points. Several former Ravens assistant coaches and staff members are now on Harbaugh’s staff in Ann Arbor.
“I’m just really happy for him,” John Harbaugh said. “Congratulations to Jim and the whole staff and the players. To be the Coach of the Year in college football is a pretty remarkable accomplishment. To do it the way they did it this year, after being written off by so many, is very … I don’t know, it’s a good feeling. I’m proud of him. I’m happy for him. I’m happy for all of them. He’s always been a great coach. And all those that want to pile on, especially some of the local media there … there you have it, back in your face. He’d never say it, but I’ll say it.”