The Ravens are still more than two weeks away from their season opener, but Saturday’s team scrimmage at M&T Bank Stadium will be their last session open to media this training camp.
After their fan-free 5:30 p.m. practice Saturday, the Ravens will have Sunday off. On Monday, they’ll begin their regular-season media viewing format, in which only the first 30 minutes of practices will be open to reporters.
The stadium scrimmage will be the team’s closest approximation of preseason games, which were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Coach John Harbaugh said Friday that outside linebacker Matthew Judon had pointed out to him that rookies in training camp “really get an opportunity to let some steam out when you play the games.”
“I mean, there’s a lot of pressure,” Harbaugh said. “There’s a lot of — I don’t know if it’s uncertainty, but just opportunity to prove yourself. You don’t know. You want to get out there on the field and do what you do and play and establish yourself: ’OK, I’ve played an NFL game.’
“And so many times after the first preseason game, you hug those guys in the locker room and it’s such a relief. You play your first NFL game, you made some tackles, you made some catches, you blocked some people, and you’re like, ’I can do this. I can play. I can play in the National Football League.’ Those guys haven’t had that. They’ve had practice. They haven’t had a game, and they’re not going to get a game, and I think there’s a certain amount of stress that builds up for those guys in this instance.”
Through nearly two weeks of camp, the Ravens have remained relatively healthy, losing only cornerback Iman Marshall and wide receiver Antoine Wesley to the injured reserve. Harbaugh said the team doesn’t have “any long-term issues” elsewhere, and he expects cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Anthony Averett and guard D.J. Fluker to return to practice by next week.
“We feel really good about where we’re at,” Harbaugh said. “We feel like we’re as far along from a football standpoint that we could be. We’ve had no drag. We’ve overcome whatever adversity that’s been present. We’ll find out soon enough in September where we’re at.”