Everything was great at the Ravens’ open practice at M&T Bank Stadium until backup quarterback Robert Griffin III tossed his helmet in frustration and trudged off the field early.
Griffin’s hand hit a teammates’ helmet as he threw a pass Saturday night, which required him to go to the locker room for an X-ray.
“We’ll see what happened with that. Everybody say a prayer,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “I don’t think it’s bad, but say a prayer on that one.”
Griffin said the problem is specifically with his thumb on his throwing hand but said he would let the team share the details from the X-ray.
“I was having a great camp and feeling good,” Griffin said. “I’m really excited about what we’re going to be able to do this year. I’ll let the team let you guys know.
“I hit it on the helmet of one of the defenders coming to the line. I guess that’s why they [coaches] tell them to stay away from us [quarterbacks]. We’ll figure out what’s going on, and I’m sure the team will let you guys know what’s up.”
Griffin did return to the sideline and still signed autographs for fans after practice ended, but he was visibly discouraged by the injury in the locker room.
The Ravens re-signed Griffin to a two-year deal this offseason to back up Lamar Jackson. He’s the perfect No. 2 because of his experience, talent, mentorship and playing style, which would enable the Ravens to keep the same unique offense if Jackson were to get injured.
Baltimore drafted Trace McSorley out of Penn State in the sixth round. McSorley is also a mobile quarterback and has looked sharp thus far in training camp, but the Ravens would have a hole if Griffin were forced to miss extensive time.
Asked if he was concerned about Griffin, Jackson said, “definitely; that’s my brother.”
“I’m always in the meeting room with him,” Jackson said. “We’re always going over stuff. He talks to me a lot about a lot of plays and stuff like that. I really didn’t like that at all.”
Ravens Fans Show Out on a Beautiful Evening
Harbaugh was running a little late getting to practice because of bad traffic on Interstate-83 coming into Baltimore, but once he arrived, he was quite impressed with the showing at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens had 28,312 fans come to the open, free practice and it was a beautiful evening in the city.
The stadium essentially turns into a big dance party as fans and players have fun during practice. Every player stays after to sign autographs when practice ends, and the show is wrapped up by a fireworks and laser show.
Harbaugh said he never attended a professional football game as a kid but seeing the look on the faces of kids in the crowd reminded him of the first time he went to a Major League Baseball game.
“When you walk into that stadium, and you see that green for the first time as a kid, it takes your breath away,” Harbaugh said.
“These kids that have never been in this stadium here, from Baltimore, they got a chance to be in here and see that. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why we do this. It’s a great night for the Ravens, a great night for Baltimore.”
Rookie Miles Boykin Has Welcome-to-the-NFL Night
Rookie wide receiver Miles Boykin missed most of the team’s OTAs and minicamp with a hamstring injury, but he’s off to a hot start at training camp.
Boykin and the other rookies reported to training camp a week before the vets. Boykin made up for some of the lost time then and has rolled that momentum into the “real” start of training camp over the first three days.
He’s been one of the team’s most impressive wide receivers so far, and has a real chance to carve out a sizeable role in the offense this season.
On Saturday, Boykin got behind veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith for a long completion down the sideline from quarterback Lamar Jackson. The big-bodied third-round pick made several other impressive catches as well.
“He’s nice. He’s amazing right now,” Jackson said. “He’s a rookie, just came in. The guy’s pretty fast, runs his routes crisp, has for sure hands. He’s amazing right now.”
For Boykin and the rookies, it was their first time in M&T Bank Stadium and a test of how they’d handle the increased attention. The team practiced in full pads and the intensity got turned up.
“That was my favorite thing tonight was stepping out there,” Boykin said. “I’m in the NFL now. You dream about this moment.”