Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley missed practice Wednesday with a hip injury, throwing his availability for Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans into doubt.
Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that he’d expected Stanley, who left Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter after a seemingly minor ankle injury, to return for the team’s first practice this week. D.J. Fluker, who spent most of training camp at guard, struggled as the All-Pro’s replacement.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith (back), defensive end Calais Campbell (noninjury related), defensive lineman Justin Madubuike (knee) and wide receiver Chris Moore (finger) also were absent. Running back Justice Hill returned to practice after being sidelined by a thigh injury and was limited.
The Texans had full participation at practice Wednesday. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks (quadriceps,) right tackle Tytus Howard (ankle), running back Duke Johnson (ankle) and defensive end J.J. Watt (hip) were limited.
The Ravens didn’t look like they needed a preseason schedule Sunday. And around the NFL, the quality of play in some respects was up.
But the elimination of this summer’s preseason slate amid the coronavirus pandemic was perhaps a contributing factor to one minor story line from Sunday’s blowout win. Quarterback Lamar Jackson remained in the game for much of the fourth quarter, even with the Ravens leading 38-6.
Jackson defended Harbaugh’s decision not to pull him, pointing to the team’s lack of preseason action. “That was my first time getting tackled since January, so I felt we needed that," he said Wednesday. "Coach knows what he’s doing.”
Outside linebacker Matthew Judon said he hopes preseason games remain on the NFL’s schedule.
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“We have some guys in this locker room that didn’t get to show to the world what they can do" in training camp, Judon said. "And now, unfortunately, they don’t get to suit up on Sundays. So I’m a fan for at least two preseason games, one home, one away. ... Me being a fifth-round draft pick and having those preseason games, I definitely would’ve regretted it if I didn’t have those games.”
- Now in this third season, Jackson said the game has slowed “a lot” for him. He credited film study and practicing against the Ravens defense. "They’re doing all the exotic things they do, different blitzes and stuff like that. [That] has helped me out a lot,” Jackson said. “I always tell those guys I need stuff like that during practice and camp. When I go against other opponents, it’ll be a lot easier for me on the field.”
- With rookie inside linebacker Kristian Welch on the injured list, the Ravens added free-agent tight end Xavier Grimble to their practice squad. Grimble appeared in 47 games over the past four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including three (one start) last year.