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Ravens News 8/17: Biggest Hit and more

Carolina Panthers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Practice Report: Ravens Defense Turns Up the Heat on Commanders

Ryan Mink,

After an intense Day 1 with multiple skirmishes, another one broke out soon after the teams came together. It was a drill between the Ravens’ defensive front and Commanders’ offensive line. Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike and outside linebacker Odafe Oweh were in the middle of the fray. Nose tackle Michael Pierce came out of the pileup limping and slammed his helmet to the turf. Pierce stretched it out and later returned to 11-on-11 work.

Oweh was dominant on Day 1 which continued Day 2, as he came around the edge for a sack on Sam Howell that called for a dance. Oweh also showed his power during another 11-on-11 rep, driving starting right tackle Andrew Wylie off his feet with a bull rush.

Oweh’s running mate, David Ojabo, also had a sack and was routinely affecting the passer.

The first-team offense didn’t have as much success on Day 2 as it did on Day 1, as Lamar Jackson left a couple long throws, including one for Odell Beckham Jr., a little short. Beckham said there’s room for improvement in the deep passing game. Undrafted rookie running back Keaton Mitchell dropped what could have been a long touchdown pass.

Rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers continued to shake Washington defenders, including one straight out of the frame to get open for a touchdown in 7-on-7 work. He also had a touchdown during 11-on-11s when he broke wide open in the back of the end zone.

How Far Can Lamar Jackson Take The Ravens?

Bo Smolka, PressBox

“When you get a Lamar Jackson,” Baldinger said, “you should never stop building around him.”

Jackson joked at his new-contract news conference that he hopes to throw for 6,000 yards this year — which would be an NFL record by more than 500 yards. That seems unlikely, but the expectation is that Jackson will easily eclipse his previous career-best mark of 3,127 yards.

“Let’s get these guys the ball and let them do them,” Jackson said. “We have the guys that will make stuff happen.”

Monken has said he wants to spread the field both vertically and horizontally, creating mismatches and open space for receivers. Last season the Ravens had 33 pass plays of 20 yards or more; only the New York Giants had fewer.

“They need more explosive plays,” Baldinger said. “They need more yards after the catch. And some of these offensive principles can provide that.”

Harbaugh described Monken as “adaptable,” using a “player-driven approach.” Translation: He won’t completely veer from Jackson’s singular running ability.

“You encourage [Jackson] to play the way he plays,” Harbaugh said. “So I think he’s going to throw when it’s time to throw, and he’s going to run when it’s time to run. We’re going to play that kind of football, and it’s going to be great.”

The question lingers, though: With the new players, the new system and the new contract, will Jackson, in the big picture, achieve more than in previous years?

“There are always so many questions,” Warner said. “I think one question people have had with Lamar is, can he be Patrick Mahomes, where it’s drop back 40 times a game and carry a team that way, as opposed to the way he has up to this point?” (Since 2019, Jackson has thrown 40 or more passes four times; Mahomes has done so 28 times.)

“That’s why I’m excited about this year,” Warner added. “It sounds like he’s going to have a chance to answer those questions and give us a chance to see how great Lamar Jackson really is.”

Ravens’ Marlon Humphrey expected to miss extended time after foot surgery

Goon & Yohannes, The Baltimore Banner

The Ravens’ already fraught cornerback depth has taken its biggest hit yet: Marlon Humphrey, the team’s top defensive back, is expected to miss time with a foot injury, coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. Harbaugh wasn’t able to comment on how long Humphrey is expected to miss because said the timeline is undetermined and that he doesn’t believe it’s a long-term injury.

“It’s been a lingering thing and they (the Ravens medical staff) took a look at it and said that’s something they want to take care of now instead of waiting,” Harbaugh said.

In recent days, the Ravens have acquired two corners to add depth at the position. Baltimore claimed cornerback Tae Hayes off waivers from Detroit last Saturday and signed defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson on Monday. Neither of those players, however, would be expected to match Humphrey’s level of play.

Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey to have foot surgery, out indefinitely

Jamison Hensley, ESPN

Baltimore’s top cornerbacks on the field Wednesday were Brandon Stephens, who had been playing safety at the start of training camp, and Kevon Seymour, who is on his fourth team in his six-year career.

“There is plenty of short-term concern,” Harbaugh said. “We got to look at that, and it starts with the guys you have. We have guys who are ready to play, and we’ll see what they can do. And, of course, we’re always looking for players, too.”

Humphrey, 27, is one of the Ravens’ best playmaking cornerbacks ever. A three-time Pro Bowl defender, he is one of three players in franchise history to record double-digit forced fumbles and interceptions in a career, along with Hall of Fame defenders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

The Ravens open the season with likely matchups against rookie quarterbacks in two of the first three weeks when they face the Houston Texans (C.J. Stroud) in Week 1 and the Indianapolis Colts (Anthony Richardson) in Week 3.

“It definitely hurts the defense when a leader like Marlon is not out there with us,” Ravens middle linebacker Roquan Smith said. “I know he’ll get back as soon as he can, and we’ll pick up the slack when he’s not out there.”