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Ravens News 7/12: Rookies report, CB competition and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens-Minicamp Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Avoiding Major Training Camp Injuries Would Signal a New Year With Better Karma - John Eisenberg

Many players, especially veterans, received more time off during the spring season of OTA and minicamp practices, easing the load their bodies must endure.

Also, the Ravens are settling in with Steve Saunders, their head strength and conditioning coach, whose program, entering its second year, features cutting-edge techniques and sports science designed to limit injuries. Flacco and Terrell Suggs have raved about Saunders’ impact.

Injuries will still occur, no doubt – they’re inevitable in such a rugged game, and sometimes a knee gives out on the practice field during a non-contact drill. Injuries are up across the league.

But for what it’s worth, the Ravens sailed through their spring practices without any major subtractions this year. That’s a dramatic improvement, and the trend needs to continue for them to take their best shot at getting where they want to go in 2018.

Injuries are inevitable. Hopefully they strike at positions with solid depth, including cornerback, defensive line or linebacker instead of thinner positions such as offensive tackle or running back.

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies set to report to camp - Kevin Patra

Ravens rookies are scheduled to report to training camp in Owings Mills, Md., today. Veteran players report next week (July 18).

Baltimore imported a bevy of rookies who could have a lasting effect on the Ravens’ 2018 season and beyond, including tight end Hayden Hurst, quarterback Lamar Jackson, offensive tackle Orlando Brown, linebacker Kenny Young and others.

John Harbaugh’s players report earlier than most teams due to the Ravens’ participation in the Hall of Fame Game -- they can thank Ray Lewis. Baltimore’s opponents in the HOF Game, the Chicago Bears, report next week.

Teams participating in the Hall of Fame Game are eligible to begin training camp earlier than the rest of the league. The majority of NFL players are set to report to camp in two weeks.

With an extra week of practice, five preseason games and a pair of joint practices scheduled, Baltimore’s twelve man rookie class should be well prepared for the regular season.

The Competition 2018: Cornerback - Ryan Mink

In terms of the 53-man roster, six spots seem all but locked up with Smith, Humphrey, Carr, Young, Canady and Averett. Smith’s injury status will affect how many cornerbacks the team keeps, but there’s not much more room regardless. The other contending cornerbacks will have to prove that they can also make a difference on special teams. Hill has to show that he can bounce back after his knee injury. Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Bennett Jackson need to show that experience counts and Darious Williams will need to continue to flash as he did during organized team activities.

In Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr and Tavon Young, the Ravens possess four high caliber corners.