Training camp has gotten underway for the Ravens, and the team now has two practices under their belt. Even though they are just under two weeks away from playing their first preseason game, there are already some headlines. Here are some key takeaways from the first two days of practice:
Long deal falls through
On Tuesday, it was reported that the Ravens had agreed to terms with veteran tackle Jake Long. However, after Long met with the Ravens he was sent to meet with Dr. James Andrews. Andrews operated on Long’s left ACL twice after two tears to the ligament. After further screening, the Ravens decided that they did not feel comfortable with the state of Long’s knee. As a result, the deal was never finalized and the four time Pro Bowler is a free agent once again.
Two days, two injuries to keep an eye on
The start of training camp also means that at any moment an injury can occur. Two days in, the Ravens already have some players seeing the medical staff, mainly on the offensive side of the ball.
- Tight end Crockett Gillmore left practice early on Friday with a hamstring injury. John Harbaugh addressed the media after practice and said that Gillmore would be getting an MRI done. Obviously, any time you hear that a player has to undergo an MRI, you cross your fingers and hold your breath.
- Rookie running back Kenneth Dixon tweaked his knee during Thursday’s practice after getting shoved out of bounds. Harbaugh told reporters after practice that Dixon suffered an MCL sprain and would be “day to day” following the injury. However, “day to day” turned out to be an entire season for wide receiver Breshad Perriman last year, so it will be interesting to see how long Dixon is out.
Taliaferro placed on PUP list
After ending the first two seasons of his NFL career on injured reserve with foot injuries, third-year running back Lorenzo Taliaferro will be getting a late start to training camp. On Thursday the Ravens placed Taliaferro on the “physically unable to perform” list, as his foot still appears to not be ready for camp. There is no timetable for his return.
The Ravens’ conditioning test gets the best of two veterans
It seems like every year at least one player fails the ever dreaded Ravens conditioning test. This year, it was two veterans; wide receiver Mike Wallace and cornerback Jerraud Powers who were unable to complete it. Wallace apparently failed the test twice, but was practicing for the first time on Friday, meaning he had to have passed it before Friday’s practice. Powers did not practice Friday, meaning that he has yet to pass the test.
The Ravens signed these two veterans to improve their team, so the coaches cannot be happy about these veterans getting a late start to practice.
Pitta looks like his old self
According to reporters watching practice, tight end Dennis Pitta looks like his old self. Pitta suffered dislocations and fractures to the same hip twice, and has not played in a game since September 21, 2014. He tried to make a comeback last season, but was not ready and went on injured reserve.
Even though there are no pads on yet, Pitta looks to be running well and is catching passes from his best friend in Joe Flacco once again. The real test will come when Pitta puts on pads and gets tackled in a game, but he says that he feels good and is not thinking about his hip during practice. His return would be a huge boost for the Ravens offense and for Flacco.
Flacco wearing knee brace but moving around well
After tearing his left ACL last November, many doubted whether Joe Flacco would be cleared for the start of training camp, let alone the regular season. Flacco was able to make a full recovery and was on the field for the first day of camp. In his first day back, Flacco was able to move around well and even made some plays on the run, even though defenders are not allowed to hit him.
The real test to see how well the knee is holding up will not come until Flacco plays in a game, whether that be in the preseason or week 1 against the Bills. But for now, all signs point to a healthy Flacco who is looking forward to playing in his first game since suffering the injury.
Upcoming, the Ravens will continue their first few days of training camp. They will be holding a “Military Appreciation” practice at M&T Bank Stadium this Monday, Aug. 1 at 7:00 pm. For more information on that, visit this webpage.