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Time for John Harbaugh to take the Marv Levy preseason approach

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John Harbaugh shouldn't risk injuries to his starters in meaningless games.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

John Harbaugh has to have some friends in high places. Those friends being Tyche, Fortuna, the Seven Lucky Gods and a Leprechaun. Because Jimmy Smite and Ray Rice have both gotten injuries that aren't severe enough to keep them out for any significant amount of time, but significant enough to scare the heck out everyone.

This is lucky. Sam Baker tore his patellar tendon against Houston and will miss the season, forcing the Falcons to start rookie Jake Matthews at left tackle. Granted he's a very talented rookie, but left tackle is still a hard position to play a rookie at.

The Ravens should remove any possibility of this occurring by sitting the starters in the preseason.

Is it going to make an ugly product? Yes. But preseason is rarely pretty football. It's a good opportunity to test the second and third stringers for an extended period of time. The starters don't need preseason that much, as schemes on both sides of the ball are going to be vanilla, and the records are meaningless.

This isn't a unique idea, Marv Levy was openly disdainful of the preseason and didn't play anyone of importance to the team in those games. Harbaugh should do the same. He certainly wouldn't lose anything by risking starters in a meaningless game.