Lamar Jackson will not play in Thursday's preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans and neither will some of the Ravens' biggest stars and longtime veterans.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said Jackson, tight end Mark Andrews, cornerback Marlon Humphrey, safety Marcus Williams and outside linebacker Justin Houston are among the Ravens who won't suit up.
"Yes, yes, we won't be playing Lamar," Harbaugh said. "I think you can kind of extrapolate who will play and who won't, and then there will be some decisions with some guys that we haven't completely made yet."
Jackson didn't play in the first two preseason games last season either. He had one series in the preseason finale in Washington, in which J.K. Dobbins suffered a season-ending knee injury.
After that, it remains to be seen whether many of the Ravens starters, including Jackson, will see any preseason playing time at all this year.
Nick Boyle Is Mentally Trying to Get Back Into Top Blocking Form
Nick Boyle feels a lot better physically, but there are still mental hurdles for him to get over before making his full comeback.
Asked about how he feels as a blocker now that he's dropped weight, Boyle said that's not bothering him as much as just getting back into the same physical mindset he had as one of the league's best blocking tight ends.
"I'm just as strong. I need to get better, just getting back to football stuff again," Boyle said. "I think it starts with the mentality of just wanting to get after somebody, and then it comes down to technique, like getting a little lower, coming off this, footwork here and there. So, the first day in pads was a little frustrating, because I'm like, 'Why am I not holding this dude right here like I always do.' But I'll get better at that – I know I will – and just go out and play like I did before."
Boyle has missed a fair amount of practice in training camp, but that's been the plan put together by Head Certified Athletic Trainer Adrian Dixon. It's one on, one off, for now and it will increase to practicing two of every three days.
Boyle said he "needs" to play in the preseason games, however, as he looks to reacclimate himself to the physicality of a gameday.
Justin Tucker Is Happy With Jordan Stout's Holding
Taking over for legendary Ravens punter Sam Koch is a tough enough assignment, but rookie punter Jordan Stout also has the job of being a perfect holder for the most accurate kicker of all time, Justin Tucker.
Koch was called the "best holder in NFL history" by former Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg. That's a high bar for Stout, but one he's expected to (eventually) hit.
Stout has been wearing a Go Pro on his helmet so he and coaches can see exactly what the rookie sees on every practice snap. So far, so good.
"Jordan is doing an excellent job drinking from the firehose, so to speak. We've thrown so many detailed things at him," Tucker said, adding that the Ravens have essentially broken him down and are in the process of helping him to build back up.
"Jordan is doing an excellent job of being coachable, and just being the athlete that we all know him to be. He's come quite a long way in a very short period of time."
Tucker gave a detailed answer on exactly how he likes the ball to be held. Some kickers like slightly different holds based off the conditions. Tucker likes the ball held exactly the same way every time.
"I like the lean of the ball to be just so, almost straight up and down, as far as going up and down the field. And then, slightly leaned towards Jordan. That's pretty typical of most kickers," Tucker said.
"The way we operate where we trust Jordan to use his hands as a holder. We don't encourage a guy to catch the ball on the body, because when he's able to see the ball out here, I'm able to see the ball out here. I see the ball from Nick [Moore]'s fingertips all the way to Jordan's hands, where ideally he's catching the ball after just so many rotations from Nick's hands. He's catching it with the laces here, and we refer to that as 12 o'clock laces. The goal is to replicate that time, and time, and time again, so much so that it's boring watching us kick field goals, because we're doing the same thing every single time. Hopefully that means we're making a lot of kicks."
Daniel Faalele Is Getting Work at Left Tackle
Rookie fourth-round offensive tackle Daniel Faalele played right tackle throughout college, but the Ravens want to get a look at him on the left side.
For the first time in training camp, Faalele got a lot of snaps on that side Saturday.
"We've got an opportunity with some reps over there. It kind of makes sense just to put him over there and see how he does – A. And then B, work him in training camp, because during the season, you never know who might have to go where and play what," Harbaugh said.
"And he did a good job, actually. Now, he gets a little tired; his technique fell off towards the end of practice today, but that's something just to focus on – the opportunity of fatigue. When you're tired, you focus on your technique that much more."
Ja'Wuan James is Ronnie Stanley's top backup at left tackle, but the Ravens know that versatility is always important for offensive linemen because injuries can pop up anytime.