Ravens notes: Joe Flacco to be limited to a set number of plays in exhibition games

While John Harbaugh would not use the words “pitch count” while referring to Joe Flacco’s workload in the preseason, the Ravens coach acknowledged the quarterback’s length of time in the exhibition games will be capped depending on the coaching staff’s preference.

Flacco completed five of seven passes for 71 yards and a 6-yard touchdown pass to fullback Patrick Ricard in the team’s opening series from the 30-yard line, but was pulled for the remainder of what turned into a 33-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams a week ago. Flacco finished with a 143.5 passer rating despite playing only 12 snaps to rookie Lamar Jackson’s 42 (62.0 rating on 7-for-18, 119 yards) and Robert Griffin III’s 21 (153.3 rating on 5-for-7, 88 yards, one touchdown).


After four weeks of practice, there is still one major question that remains: Who is the “alpha dog” who can carry the Ravens to a Super Bowl title or deep into the playoffs?

Flacco, who has never asked out of a game unless he is dealing with a serious injury, might have been willing to take several more reps, but Harbaugh said he had seen enough during the quarterback’s brief appearance on the field.

“I was going to get him a few more reps last week, but I didn’t feel the need to at the game,” Harbaugh said Tuesday. “In the heat of battle, I decided to take him out after the first series because it was a long drive. We’ll see in this game. Could be a few more, might not be. For our starting quarterback, or for your veteran players, you have an ‘up to’ number of plays. So it might be 15, it might be 20, might be 25. Whatever it is, it’s an ‘up to’ number of plays. And if you feel good about it before that, you pull him out.”


The cautious nature is probably warranted considering Flacco missed all of last year’s preseason because of a back injury and he appears to be comfortably ahead of Jackson in the race to open the regular season as the starter against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 9.

First for Canady

The interception Maurice Canady made in the second quarter of Thursday’s victory over the Rams was not only the cornerback’s first of this preseason, but also the first since the organization used a 2016 sixth-round draft pick on him.

That does not take into account any interceptions Canady might have had in training camp, which is something he pointed out Sunday.

“It felt good,” said the 6-foot-1, 193-pound former Virginia standout, who unofficially has intercepted one pass in the preseason thus far. “I’ve been catching all these interceptions out here, but nobody else sees it. It was just good for me to display my talent for the world to see.”

Meet ‘Peanut’

To weak-side linebacker Patrick Onwuasor’s mother, he’s Patty. To his childhood basketball coach, he’s Peanut.

“He was like, ‘Peanut,’ ” Onwuasor said Thursday. “I’m looking around, and he was like, ‘Peanut.’ I’m like, ‘Who you talking to?’ And he said, ‘I’m talking to you.’ ”

The name stuck, and he made sure it did by tattooing the Planters Mr. Peanut logo on his forearm.

After a lost season plagued by two suspensions and injury, running back Kenneth Dixon has looked inward to work his way back to the Ravens. Sooner or later, he'll know if it's paid off.

His job as a safety, though, which he held during his time at Portland State, did not. After going undrafted in 2016, Onwuasor signed with the Ravens, and former linebackers coach and current defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale converted him into a linebacker. In his first season as a linebacker in 2017, the 6-foot, 227-pound Onwuasor tallied 90 tackles and a sack.

“He was like, ‘I can turn you into a linebacker.’ So right then and there he’s trying to build confidence,” Onwuasor said. “I think that’s what I’ve been lacking, is confidence in myself playing. So that’s what ‘Wink’ and [current linebackers coach] Mike [Macdonald] are trying to do, and they’re doing a great job with that — just building confidence in me, knowing that I could play.”

Extra points

The Ravens practiced Thursday without only one player who is not on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list as rookie inside linebacker Alvin Jones missed his fourth consecutive practice. Safety Bennett Jackson, who had not practiced since Aug. 4, returned to practice. … The team left after practice to travel to Indianapolis for two consecutive days of joint practices with the Colts. While several teams participating in joint practices have been involved in scuffles, Harbaugh said he did not anticipate similar tensions between the Ravens and Colts. “We expect it to be very professional,” he said. “We expect it to be all about football. We expect to go in there and take the opportunity to improve as a football team.” … The Ravens practiced indoors because their outside fields were being resodded. “The footing was getting a little bit loose, and [team president] Dick Cass and [team owner] Steve Bisciotti just stepped up and said, ‘Hey, we have to put our guys on the best fields possible,’ and they’re being redone,” Harbaugh said. “So they’ll be ready when we get back. That’s why we were inside today.” … Wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo (upper leg muscle), linebacker Bam Bradley (ACL) and cornerback Jaylen Hill (right ACL, MCL) are still on the PUP list, and Harbaugh has said the expectation was for the three players to remain on the list until at least the start of the regular season.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun