Once rosters are trimmed to 53 players Saturday by 4 p.m., the frantic process begins to formulate practice squads and sign players cut by other teams.
Head Coach John Harbaugh expects player movement around the league to decrease this year, however. With no preseason games to scout, talent evaluators don't have as much intel on young players who have been released.
"It's very challenging." Harbaugh said. "How do you do it? Read [media] clips? Is that really going to be enough to determine whether a player could be on your 53? The veterans are a little bit different. The rookies, you just have to go with your draft grades on those guys and go from there. You have no new information that you can count on. I wouldn't expect there to be a lot of claiming going on."
Player movement may also be reduced because the process of signing new players and getting them onto the field quickly has been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that players who were released Friday and Saturday will be allowed to stay in team hotels and be tested for COVID-19 through Monday.
Harbaugh feels good about the roster depth Baltimore will take into Week 1, and is glad the team had a relatively smooth August regarding injuries.
"We're pretty darn healthy," Harbaugh said. "Our players did a great job in training camp.
"We'll be working on the practice squad for the next 24 hours and we'll have that group together by noon tomorrow (Sunday) and we'll be getting ready for game week."
Former Raven TE Crockett Gillmore Getting a Tryout
Harbaugh confirmed that former Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore had been invited to town for a tryout. Gillmore was a third-round pick by the Ravens in 2014 and spent three seasons with the team (2014-16), playing 32 career games with 51 catches for 604 yards and six touchdowns.
Gillmore has not played in the league since 2016, which would make it a challenging comeback for him at age 28. He missed the entire 2017 after an MCL injury, then gained 40 pounds and hoped to return to the league as an offensive lineman in 2018, but he was not signed by any team. Harbaugh did not say if Gillmore, who was a rugged blocker, planned to work out as a tight end or offensive lineman.
"I can confirm he is coming in, but the details of it I would reserve until the workout is finished," Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh Would Prefer Preseason in 2021
Count Harbaugh among the coaches who would like to see the preseason resume in 2021, health concerns permitting. Harbaugh didn't give a specific number of preseason games he'd like to see, but he thinks having a preseason benefits coaches and players.
"If we didn't have preseason games in the future, this is how we would do it," Harbaugh said. "It would be something like this I'm sure. If that's the way the NFL and the PA (Players Association) decides to go down the road, we'll deal with it.
"I would expect us to have preseason games in the future. How many they decide to have or negotiate is really up to them. But we did miss the preseason games I would say. It would've been helpful to see other players on tape around the league. And it would've been helpful to evaluate our own guys. It was tough for these guys to really establish themselves without having some game tape and game opportunities. Hopefully in the future we'll have, to some degree, preseason games."
Jadeveon Clowney Expected To Sign Somewhere Soon
Speculation continues that free-agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney will sign a contract very soon. But as of Saturday afternoon, his destination had not been settled. The New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans have been mentioned as teams in the running for Clowney.
Harbaugh was asked Saturday whether the Ravens had interest in Clowney.
"I'm not going to comment on any impending, possible moves," Harbaugh said. "I think anybody would have an interest in a player like of that caliber. Anybody across the league would. He's a great player. From all accounts a good, hard-working guy. Just depends on people's roster situations, and cap situations, to determine all those kind of things."