During his post-practice press conference on Saturday, Baltimore Ravens’ Head Coach John Harbaugh ruled a number of veteran starters out for Week 1 of the preseason.
Specifically, Harbaugh said Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, Justin Houston, Marcus Williams and Marlon Humphrey will not suit up this Thursday. He also mentioned that some decisions on other players hadn’t been made yet.
"We won't be playing Lamar... Mark's not going to play."— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 6, 2022
Coach Harbaugh with updates on Thursday's preseason game status pic.twitter.com/YPNGfgXLKP
After last season's disastrous injury woes, there's no wonder the Ravens are playing it safe. J.K. Dobbins was injured last year during a preseason game and has still yet to practice with the team so far. John Harbaugh took it especially hard during the game, saying at the time “I just wanted to get the offense one series.”
This raw bench reaction to J.K. Dobbins’ injury from John Harbaugh, Lamar Jackson and Anthony Levine is so real.— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) September 9, 2021
“I just wanted to get the offense one series, just to be together. I’m not going to be able to get over it right now.”pic.twitter.com/H2xntSccIR
So, it’s no surprise to see Harbaugh taking extra care of his starters right now. It remains to be seen whether or not the starters will play at all during the preseason, an idea that’s been speculated since the injury bug hit the Ravens hard last season.
Young starters such as Odafe Oweh and Rashod Bateman are a mystery as well. With so little depth at both the wide receiver and outside linebacker positions, keeping those two upright is paramount. Both are only in their second year, though, so experience and game reps are still likely needed, especially considering both missed games last season due to injury.
Nick Boyle stated in his press conference today that he “needs” to be in preseason games in order to get back to form as one of the top tight end blockers in the league. Other established starters such as Calais Campbell, Josh Bynes, and Pat Ricard are also likely veteran candidates to be held out during the preseason opener.
There are veterans that are probably going to receive playing time, though. Kevin Zeitler will get some reps so the offensive line can gel. Guys like Tony Jefferson and Michael Pierce are likely going to see snaps after spending seasons away from the team and in other systems.
We won’t know the full extent of who’s playing and not until this Thursday, when the Ravens’ first preseason game commences against the Tennessee Titans.