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News & Notes: Ravens Optimistic About Getting Six Players Back

HC John Harbaugh
HC John Harbaugh

Head Coach John Harbaugh is "optimistic" that the six Ravens in the five-day window after being determined as "high-risk close contacts" of cornerback Marlon Humphrey will rejoin the team Saturday and play in Indianapolis.

"I am optimistic about all of them. I have not heard anything about symptoms at this point," Harbaugh said Friday.

Outside linebacker Matthew Judon returned to practice Thursday. Linebackers Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort and Malik Harrison, safety DeShon Elliott, cornerback Terrell Bonds, and outside linebacker Tyus Bowser are the remaining players who could be activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday.

Despite being without eight defensive players in practice this week, Harbaugh said he felt good about the team's preparation for the Colts.

"It's not the perfect thing. You always want everybody at practice," he said. "But I have learned over the years that you might assume one thing might lead to this specific outcome, but what I've found is you can never really predict it. You never really know. What you think is for evil turns out to be for good."

Not Going to 'Force Feed' Dez Bryant Into Lineup

Veteran wide receiver Dez Bryant spent another week on the practice squad, and Harbaugh indicated that there's no rush to bring him up to the 53-man roster this week.

"When we feel like he's ready to come up – in shape, knows the offense well enough, has enough compatibility with Lamar on enough plays – then we'll bring him up," Harbaugh said. "When it happens, it'll happen. I don't think it's something you want to force feed in there."

Miles Boykin caught two passes for 20 yards, including his first touchdown of the season, against the Steelers last week.

Tyre Phillips a 'Short-Term' Injured Reserve Stay

Right guard Tyre Phillips shouldn't be out of the lineup much longer. Harbaugh said his belief is that it will be a "short-term injured reserve stay" because of a sprained ankle.

Phillips will miss a minimum of three games since being placed on IR, meaning he could return for the Ravens' Thanksgiving rematch against the Steelers.

Lamar Jackson's Character Is 'Shining Through' in Adversity

After winning the league's MVP award in just his first full year as an NFL starter, Lamar Jackson is facing more adversity this season.

But Harbaugh has been impressed with what he's seen from his quarterback, even coming off a four-turnover performance against the rival Steelers.

"His character is shining through," Harbaugh said. "He's 23. He's a 23-year-old who has seen a lot and done a lot. We all learn, hopefully till you're not here. He still has a lot to learn, but the great thing about Lamar is he recognizes that."

Last season, opponents had to prepare for the Ravens' unique system and quarterback in a week. This year, they've had all offseason to study it.

"People are making him the focus," Harbaugh said. "He's got to find ways to tighten up his game and beat those things with precision and accuracy and his mind and all those things quarterbacks use. It's definitely the toughest position to play in football and they're doing everything they can – a lot of smart people, talented people – to stop Lamar Jackson the week we play them."

The other part of the equation is not only does Jackson need to improve, but he needs more of his offensive teammates to take some of the pressure off his shoulders.

"It's not 11-on-1. It's 11-on-11," Harbaugh said. "They can focus 11-on-1 if they want, but there's 10 other guys out there. That's the thing we try to get across to our guys."

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