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News & Notes: Lamar Jackson Added Muscle to Better Prepare for Hits


Lamar Jackson doesn't want to take hits (the Ravens don't want it either), but he will be a little better prepared for the punishment when he does this season.

Jackson stands in at 6-foot-2 and is officially still listed at 212 pounds – the same weight he was listed at this time last year. However, Jackson said Friday that he's put on seven to 10 pounds of muscle – not fat, he specified.

Jackson said adding more bulk was "definitely" one of his goals this offseason.

"I'm trying to compete at a high level and put some more meat on my bones," Jackson said.

Jackson's added bulk shouldn't be taken as an indication that he'll run the ball more this season. He'll run it as much as the Ravens need him to run it to win games.

The addition of veteran Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram II will help take pressure off Jackson to make as many plays with his legs. But make no mistake, Jackson will run. His speed and elusiveness are part of what make him special, and the Ravens aren't looking to snuff that out.

Asked how the muscle will help him, Jackson said, "take hits."

"Those guys are big out there," Jackson said. "The league is totally different. Grown men are trying to feed their families. [There are] 300-pounders coming at you running 4.5's. It's different out there in the league."

Jackson's added muscle is the result of being introduced to an NFL strength and conditioning program. A lot of players make big strides, physically, between Years 1 and 2 and Jackson is no different.

"I put in my mind [that] I want to get better at everything else, but working with [Head Strength & Conditioning] Coach Steve [Saunders] and all of his staff, I'm going to be looking like him soon," Jackson joked.

Alex Lewis Expected Return in Early August

Fourth-year guard Alex Lewis hasn't practiced yet this summer after having offseason shoulder surgery, but he is nearing a return. Head Coach John Harbaugh said the timetable for Lewis' debut, as stated by his doctor, is in early August.

"If everything stays the same, he should be full-go in early August. When is that, a week and a half, two weeks?" Harbaugh said.

"He looks good. He's strong. He's over 320 pounds. Everything looks stable. He passed his conditioning test. He's moving well, and we just kind of have to get him to practice now."

Lewis started 10 games last season but was banged up for much of the year. He started the first six, sat the next two, started four, then was shut down for the year. The talented and ferocious Nebraska product has been hampered by a variety of injuries in his young career.

Once he gets back on the field, Lewis will have a real shot at claiming the starting left guard job. His primary competition is fellow veteran James Hurst, Jermaine Eluemunor and rookie Ben Powers.

Baltimore Signs Offensive Guard Isaiah Williams

The Ravens signed reserve guard Isaiah Williams before taking the field for Friday's practice. Williams practiced shortly after inking his deal.

Williams was originally undrafted out of Akron in 2016. He has been on the practice squads of the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints. Most recently, he was playing for the Alliance of American Football's Atlanta Legends.

Williams is 26 years old and stands in at 6-foot-3, 306 pounds. He took the roster spot that opened when the Ravens waived (non-football injury) wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo on Thursday.

All Ravens Have Passed the Conditioning Test

Right tackle Orlando Brown Jr., outside linebacker Shane Ray and Eluemunor all made their training camp debuts Friday after missing Thursday's practice because of failed conditioning tests.

That means all the Ravens on the roster have now passed the test. Rookie wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and Lewis are the only players sitting out due to injury, and both have passed it.

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