The scoreboard behind the end zone at the edge of the Ravens’ practice field said it all: Defense 58, Offense 25.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s return from the reserve/COVID-19 list after a second infection was a rare highlight for the offense at training camp Saturday. Dropped passes, overthrown deep shots, unproductive check-downs and blown-up pass protections dotted the morning practice, the latest with a handful of potential starters missing.
Wide receivers Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (hamstring) and Rashod Bateman (muscle tightness) and guard Kevin Zeitler (foot) remained out, along with wide receiver Miles Boykin (hamstring). Left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and tight end Nick Boyle (knee) have yet to be cleared to practice. And, again, it showed.
“That’s how it works; that’s the process of it,” Harbaugh said of the offense’s struggles. “That’s practice. You have to challenge yourself in practice every day. We have a saying, ‘Bleed now, or sweat later.’ So you have to push yourself, you have to push the envelope.”
Jackson, Trace McSorley and Tyler Huntley all completed less than 50% of their passes in 11-on-11 action, bothered in part by the pass rush. Even with standout rookie outside linebacker Daelin Hayes missing, the Ravens got would-be sacks and pressures from edge rushers Odafe Oweh, Tyus Bowser and Aaron Adeoye, among others.
“The offensive line may be the toughest position to play and be cohesive on,” Harbaugh said. “So I don’t think the first couple days, first week, two weeks, even during training camp, you don’t look at that and say, ‘Oh, we’re not going to be good in that area.’ We throw a lot at them, and it’s the toughest thing to do. So that’s the unit that has to be really step-for-step in sync. That’s probably the toughest thing to do, so it takes the most time.”
- Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who had to be carted off the field Friday after getting his feet tangled with tight end Mark Andrews, will miss a week or two of practice with a low-ankle sprain, Harbaugh said.
- Brown, who hasn’t practiced since the second day of camp, came out to an open field to work on his conditioning with head athletic trainer Ron Medlin. Harbaugh said his recovery is coming along well, but that the team would be cautious not to risk Brown reinjuring his hamstring.
- Safety Nigel Warrior is recovering from a knee bruise that forced him to leave Wednesday’s practice and miss the Ravens’ sessions Friday and Saturday, Harbaugh said.