As the Ravens contemplate Lamar Jackson’s status for their second preseason game Saturday, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said the franchise quarterback would not necessarily be kept off the field by injuries to other players.
“That’s John [Harbaugh’s] call, but I would say it’s a factor but not the factor,” Roman said.
Jackson dressed for warmups but did not play in the team’s opening preseason victory over the New Orleans Saints. Trace McSorley started and faced relentless pressure from the Saints as a patched-together Ravens offensive line struggled to find its footing. Tyler Huntley, who is the favorite to win the backup job while McSorley is out several weeks with a back injury, took over in the second half and helped lead the game-winning touchdown drive.
Right guard Kevin Zeitler returned to practice Monday, and left tackle Ronnie Stanley has ramped up his work as he returns from ankle surgery, but it’s still unclear how much of the projected starting line will play against the Carolina Panthers.
The Ravens could also be without all of their projected starting wide receivers after Sammy Watkins missed practice Tuesday.
With so little of the starting offense guaranteed to play, would the Ravens risk an injury to Jackson? “Lamar’s making good progress, and we really like where he’s at right now,” Roman said. “But that decision is made somewhat independently.”
Anthony Averett, Pro Bowl talent?
After starting cornerback Marlon Humphrey left practice Tuesday, defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale offered effusive praise for Humphrey’s potential stand-in, Anthony Averett.
“He’s one of my favorites,” Martindale said. “I said in front of the defense last night that to me, he’s the third best corner on the team. I think that he has All-Pro talent. I tell him that every day, and he’s practicing that way this year.”
Harbaugh has also described Averett, entering his fourth year out of Alabama, as a starting-caliber cornerback. Health has been the main obstacle for the former fourth-round pick, who hasn’t played more than 11 games in any season. But his confidence has always remained apparent.
“It doesn’t matter who he’s covering, to him,” Martindale said. “He just goes and covers them.”
>> The Ravens waived punter Johnny Townsend, who appeared in one game last season, averaging 50 yards on two punts. The 25-year-old was selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders, averaging 43.2 yards per punt in his rookie season.
>> Roman said competition for the starting left guard position remains “really wide-open.” With rookie Ben Cleveland sidelined by a concussion and Ben Powers coming off a poor performance in the preseason opener, Roman said “nobody has really grabbed it just yet.”
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>> Center Bradley Bozeman, who left the preseason opener with a minor ankle sprain and did not practice Monday, returned to full action Tuesday. Fifteen Ravens, including Watkins and rookie defensive back Brandon Stephens, did not practice.