With contract talks between the Ravens and Lamar Jackson now on hold until after the season, Head Coach John Harbaugh said Friday that the big picture has not changed.
The main focus for Jackson, and for the team, is the 2022 season and Jackson will be the starting quarterback Sunday. Eventually, Harbaugh expects the Ravens and Jackson to work out an agreement that keeps Jackson as the franchise quarterback for years to come.
"Those things will work themselves out in the end. I'm confident in that," Harbaugh said. "I said at the beginning that it will happen when it's time, and when it's time it will happen. Lamar is playing quarterback, he's going to be playing quarterback here for a long time. He and I talked about it yesterday a little bit, like, 'Hey man, let's go be our best, and go focus on football.' That's what he's been doing all along, so I know nothing will change with that."
All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey said Jackson has already shown he knows how to separate business from football.
"He doesn't really talk about it, so it hasn't really been a distraction," Humphrey said. "I have no doubt he'll be here for his whole career, so I'm excited about that, being his teammate for a long time."
Ja'Wuan James Ready If Needed to Play Left Tackle
Ja'Wuan James hasn't played an NFL game since 2019, but that long hiatus will end Sunday if he takes over as the starting left tackle for Ronnie Stanley.
James played three games for the Broncos in 2019 after recovering from a knee injury. He sat the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then missed the 2021 season with a torn Achilles suffered during offseason training.
After playing right tackle his entire career, James has been at left tackle during training camp and the preseason getting valuable reps and familiarizing himself with Baltimore's system. Harbaugh has been impressed with James' work ethic and feels confident he will play well.
"Ja'Wuan has really made a commitment to changing sides over there, and he's practiced really well." Harbaugh said. "He's ready to go, great spirit, great attitude, hard worker. I'm looking forward to seeing how he does."
James has focused on getting more comfortable at left tackle every day, after not playing the position since high school.
"It's definitely been a challenge. I'm not going to lie," James said last month. "It was frustrating in the spring – coming back for the first time in years, I wanted to be at my best. This is a new challenge, but I'm definitely embracing it."
Ravens Plan to Honor Tony Siragusa and Jaylon Ferguson
The Ravens were struck by tragedy in June when outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson and former defensive tackle Tony Siragusa passed away suddenly. Harbaugh said the team has made plans to recognize both players this season.
"We're going to do two separate honoring moments, one for 'Goose' [Siragusa] and one for Jaylon at different moments there to call attention to those guys separately," Harbaugh said. "Then, we have a sticker on our helmet to honor those guys."
There will also be a wall wrap around the M&T Bank Stadium field honoring both lost Ravens.
Every Ravens Interception Will Benefit Local Kids Thanks to Kyle Hamilton
The Ravens will celebrate every interception this season, and so will some local youngsters.
For every Baltimore interception during the 2022 campaign, Ravens rookie safety Kyle Hamilton will donate $1,000 to Druid Hill YMCA to benefit programs in the Baltimore area.
"I'm blessed to have the opportunity to do this," Hamilton said. "Can't wait to see how much we can raise!"
Interceptions have been a major focus for the Ravens defense this offseason and they have the playmakers to capitalize with the additions of Hamilton and Marcus Williams and return of Marcus Peters.