It’s finally here, the first-day of real football! The Ravens kicked off their first day of practice yesterday morning and there was no shortage of activity on this hot Thursday morning.
Kenneth Dixon needs to be helped off the field
The Ravens fourth-round draft pick did not get off to a great start this season. Dixon was shoved out of bounds by Patrick Onwuasor. Dixon sat on the ground for a few minutes talking to trainers, in pain. Eventually, he was helped off the field by Justin Forsett and others.
Luckily for the Ravens, the injury does not seem to be too serious. Dixon was diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, which is the least serious grade. John Harbaugh furthered in a press conference that the injury was minor, it was just a slight tweak, and that Dixon would be back very soon.
Lorenzo Taliaferro placed on PUP list
Lorenzo Taliaferro did not get as lucky as Dixon did. Taliaferro was placed on the PUP (physically unable to preform) list following today’s practice due to a foot injury. Taliaferro is not the second Ravens running back to be placed on the PUP list (Trent Richardson). For a player thought to be on the outside looking in at the 53 man roster, being placed on the PUP list is very hurtful to Taliaferro’s chances of making the team.
Wallace isn’t the only Raven to fail the conditioning test
Kyle Barber reported yesterday that Mike Wallace failed the conditioning test and that he wouldn’t be able to participate in practice until he passed. Well, Wallace is not the only player in that boat. It was reported that Jerraud Powers and Dobson Collins also have no passed the test. However, this really isn’t as bad as it may seem.
Using Wallace as an example, Wallace only failed one of the six wide receiver benchmarks he needed to pass. He will take the test again and likely pass. The same can be said for Powers and Collins. Failing the test isn’t a huge deal as someone fails virtually every year.
Ladarius Webb, Haloti Ngata, and Jacoby Jones have all failed the test before. Powers and Wallace are locks to make the team anyway and while Collins may be facing an uphill battle, the Ravens will likely care more about his football skills than his first conditioning test.
Rookie initiation has begun
Poor Ronnie Stanley. Coach Harbaugh said, "There seems to be a lot of costumes that have shown up at the Under Armour Performance Center," and Ronnie Stanley was a victim. According to Stanley, Steve Smith went out and bought Stanley a chicken suit. Stanley had to wear the suit while singing "Ignition" by R Kelly in front of the team at the rookie talent show. "I knew that it was a crowd pleaser," Stanley said, "I know every word to the song. That was the song I picked, so I was practicing all throughout this break that we had...I didn't know about the chicken suit unti yesterday...that was the first time I had sung in a chicken suit."
No kidding. NFL Network reported that the suit, "was not meant for an offensive tackle". Thankfully, there is no video of the performance, as frankly, I’m not sure anyone wants to see Ronnie Stanley in a too small chicken suit.
Joe Flacco returns to the field
It was expected that Flacco would return today, but it was good to actually see him throwing the ball:
Flacco is, as reported, wearing a knee brace, and he looked perfectly comfortable with it. Flacco's teammates raved about his performance. Eric Weddle said, "You couldn't tell he had surgery in the offseason."
Hopefully, Flacco's return will be the first of many Ravens to return during the coming days of training camp.