Head Coach John Harbaugh had a positive update on Ronnie Stanley's recovery from ankle surgery.
Stanley will not participate in mandatory minicamp, but Harbaugh still fully expects the All-Pro left tackle to be ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 13 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Stanley suffered his season-ending injury Nov. 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, just days after signing a long-term contract extension. Harbaugh anticipates Stanley will begin practicing at some point during training camp.
"He's on schedule is my understanding," Harbaugh said. "I hear good things about it. He says good things. He's been in the weight room. He's been running. I doubt if we'll start him off the very first practice in training camp. I probably won't do that, even if he's ready. But he'll be out there I would anticipate in training camp, as long as there are no setbacks, and should be ready to open the season for sure. We'll just kind of play that as it goes. He looks good though, he's on schedule."
Derek Wolfe Sidelined Recovering From Pneumonia
Veteran defensive lineman Derek Wolfe watched mandatory minicamp from the sidelines Tuesday, unable to participate as he recovers from pneumonia.
"Derek got sick, I think he had a pneumonia situation which is obviously serious," Harbaugh said. "I don't know the level of it, but that was pretty recent so he will not be practicing this week."
Wolfe had an excellent first season with the Ravens with 51 tackles, one sack and four quarterback hits, but stats alone did not measure his impact. He was a stalwart run-stopper and defensive leader, stepping up his game even more during a period when Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams were both sidelined.
Teammates were delighted when Wolfe re-signed with the Ravens in March, and Wolfe is a guest at Williams's house during minicamp.
"Man, he's a baller," Williams said. "That dude, he's always out there, he's always grinding. When his name is called, he's always going to show up. I love the guy. He's literally staying at my house right now. So, we have a great bond. We want to continue to bring the whole unit [together] like that and make it one huge cohesive unit."
John Harbaugh Discusses Vaccinations
When asked how many Ravens players had been vaccinated, Harbaugh did not reveal a specific number, but said the topic had been discussed with the team prior to the start of mandatory minicamp.
"It's a pretty high number, pretty well above 50 percent without giving out the exact number," Harbaugh said. "That's really not important in terms of individual guys. I think everybody makes that choice for themselves. That's what I told the guys last night. It's your individual decision. There are things that go with being vaccinated, there are things that go with not being vaccinated, so everybody understands that. Guys will make those choices for themselves."
Team leader and veteran Calais Campbell, who contracted COVID-19 last season, said vaccinations are something players have talked about.
"I think it really comes down to comfort level of the person; they have to do what's best for them," Campbell said. "I personally am vaccinated, but it's to each their own, and each person has to do their own research and figure out what's best for them in their current situation."
Harbaugh Hopes to Finalize Joint Preseason Practices
The Ravens hope to finalize joint practices with at least one of their three preseason opponents. They host the New Orleans Saints this preseason before facing the Carolina Panthers and Washington on the road.
During previous preseasons, the Ravens have had joint preseason practices with the San Francisco 49ers (2014), Philadelphia Eagles (2015, 2019), Los Angeles Rams (2018), Indianapolis Colts (2018) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2019).
"I would say we're still in discussions on that, trying to finalize that, make sure the dates work out," Harbaugh said. "I don't want to be premature in terms of announcing anything. I'm hopeful that we'll have at least one set of practices with one team."
Williams Not Worried About Contract Status
Williams has spent his entire eight-year career in Baltimore, and he is entering the final year of his contract in 2021. There will be speculation about Williams' long-term future until he signs his next deal, but he isn't focusing on that.
"Right now, all I'm worried about is Year 9," Williams said. "We'll cross that bridge when we get there. But right now, we have a bad taste to get out of our mouths, and we plan on doing that starting today."
When he was drafted by the Ravens in 2013 (third round), Williams was taken under his wing by veterans like Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs. Now Williams is providing the same guidance to younger linemen like Justin Madubuike.
"Oh, man – now I see what Haloti and 'Sizz' [Suggs] were going through," Williams said. "You just see new guys come in every year and see guys coming in and out. When you step on that field, you have to lead them. We have to lead them to, first of all, being the best they can be in their position and their field, and then helping the team at the end win games. So, that's the biggest goal."