Stanley Jean-Baptiste’s last name takes up almost every available inch above the No. 38 on the back of his jersey. It is also misspelled — as in “Jean-Baptitse.”
It would seem like an egregious error, but the Ravens cornerback was surprised to learn of the mistake.
“They misspelled it?” he asked incredulously after Thursday morning’s practice. “I didn’t really see it. I need to go talk to them about that.”
While the team’s equipment staff might not know Jean-Baptiste well enough to stitch the correct spelling of his last name onto his jersey, the same can’t be said for the front office and coaches. The organization signed him to the practice squad Oct. 3, 2017, less than one month after he had been released from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad.
On Dec. 5, the team placed cornerback Jimmy Smith (torn left Achilles tendon) on injured reserve and promoted Jean-Baptiste to the active roster. Although he played in only one game, making one tackle on special teams, the Ravens retained him via a one-year tender.
Jean-Baptiste said he appreciates the team’s investment in him.
“It feels real good to have a team that trusts in you,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep going out there every day and show them that they did not bring in the wrong person.”
At 6 feet 3, Jean-Baptiste is the tallest cornerback on the roster and has used his long arms to bat away passes in training camp. But consistency is a quality that defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale is seeking from Jean-Baptiste.
“He’s got a nice skill set,” Martindale said. “He falls into that group that I was upset with before about being mentally stronger as the practice wears on. He starts out, he’s on fire, and as he tires, that’s where I start to see some mental errors on him and technique errors and things like that. He’s got a chance, though.”
Jean-Baptiste has the unenviable task of standing out from a cornerbacks group that includes Smith, Brandon Carr, Marlon Humphrey, Tavon Young, Maurice Canady and 2018 fourth-round choice Anthony Averett. But Jean-Baptiste said he welcomes the chance to prove himself.
“It’s always a battle,” he said. “Nothing is set in stone, and I’m just trying to get on the field each and every Sunday.”
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No worries: Running back Kenneth Dixon left practice after about 30 minutes and appeared to hobble slightly as he walked back into the locker room with a trainer. There was no update on his condition or his status for Friday morning’s practice.
Dixon’s absence meant the offense had only two veteran running backs in Alex Collins and Buck Allen and three undrafted rookies in Gus Edwards, Mark Thompson and De’Lance Turner. The organization elected not to take a running back in this year’s draft, but offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said he was not concerned about that group’s depth.
“We’re pretty thick right there with some really good ball players,” he said. “By thick, I mean we’re pretty deep with some pretty good ball players. So I’m happy with the depth at the running back spot.”
Defensive tackle Brandon Williams (undisclosed), rookie tight end Mark Andrews (muscle tissue), rookie offensive tackle Greg Senat (unspecified) and cornerback Bennett Jackson (undisclosed) did not practice. Andrews has missed three consecutive sessions and four overall.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith (left Achilles tendon) and rookie tight end Hayden Hurst (soft tissue) did practice. Smith participated for the first time since Sunday’s session.
Right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder), wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo (upper leg muscle), linebacker Bam Bradley (ACL) and cornerback Jaylen Hill (right ACL, MCL) remain on the physically unable to perform list.
Extra points: As the Ravens await former linebacker Ray Lewis’ Hall of Fame induction speech on Aug. 4, defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale predicted the organization would be back in Canton, Ohio, in the near future to attend another induction ceremony for a certain outside linebacker named Terrell Suggs. “I told ‘Sizz’ to make sure he brings a toothbrush with him,” Martindale said. “He can just leave it there because he’s going to be there using it again whenever he decides to call it a career.” … While much of the talk outside of the Ravens’ training facility revolves around how they intend to use Flacco and rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and whether there is a spot on the roster for Robert Griffin III, Mornhinweg dismissed the notion of a quarterback battle. “Well, I haven’t heard that,” he said. “But we know how we’re going to go about our business. There’s no sense in talking about it too much. Joe’s had a heck of a camp. Robert’s doing very well, and like I said Lamar is way ahead of the curve. And Josh [Woodrum], if you remember last preseason, Josh can play now.”