The Ravens held their final full practice of the week Tuesday before their home preseason opener Thursday night against Atlanta.
The players practiced in shorts and jerseys, as the* *coaches reeled in the physical contact following a very physical stretch of practice on Saturday and Sunday.
"It was a very physical week," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We'd had all we needed."
Here were some of the highlights from practice, which took place during another hot August afternoon:
- Defensive lineman Marcus Spears did not participate in practice, as Harbaugh announced he is dealing with a hamstring injury. The Ravens are giving the veteran a chance to recover while there is still plenty of time before the start of the regular season.
- Running back Bernard Pierce participated in more drills Tuesday than he did Monday, as he's coming back from a bruised knee suffered in last week's game. He could play Thursday against the Falcons.
- Fresh off signing his new contract, veteran tight end Dallas Clark practiced for the first time Tuesday. He admitted that he's still learning the playbook and terminology, and that he'll have to spend the next few days working to pick up the schemes. Despite the transition into training camp, Clark showed that he still has good hands as he made an impressive one-handed touchdown catch over the middle of the field early in practice. That touchdown snag drew big applause from the fans in attendance.
- After Clark's touchdown Visanthe Shiancoe came back with two quick touchdown snags. He and Clark are competing for playing time and a roster spot, and Shiancoe had a strong day of practice.
- While Clark and Shiancoe have attracted most of the attention at tight end recently, veteran Billy Bajema spent much of practice running with the first team Tuesday. He's known as a blocking tight end, but Flacco did throw his direction several times during practice.
- During one red-zone drill, Flacco threw a quick pass intended for Bajema right off the line of scrimmage, but defensive end Chris Canty stuffed Bajema and wouldn't let him get free. After the pass fell incomplete, Canty wagged his finger at Flacco and said, "No, no, no!"
- Recently-signed veteran receiver Brandon Stokley spent much of practice talking with Flacco. Like Clark, Stokley is working to learn the playbook and get back up to football speed. He appeared to be picking Flacco's brain on the sidelines and in between drills.
- Safety Michael Huff picked off Tyrod Taylor on a pass that sailed off rookie wide receiver Rashaad Carter's hands. The veteran safety then went the other direction for a return that may have gone for a pick-six.
- Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw was back at practice after missing the last two days for the birth of his son. He looked good in his return, and has drawn praise from Harbaugh and Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees recently.
- Veteran A.Q. Shipley will start at center against the Falcons this week, Run Game Coordinator Juan Castillo announced after practice. Shipley is in a tight competition for a starting job with Gino Gradkowski, and Gradkowski got the starting nod last week.