Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard made his practice debut Monday as Week 3 of Ravens training camp kicked off, and he came back with a new wrinkle.
Ricard has been working his way back from offseason hip surgery. It's the second time he had a hip procedure during his career. He passed his physical Monday and was removed from the PUP list.
The bruising blocker has gone to four straight Pro Bowls, but the fullback's role will evolve in new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's offense, which won't use as many "heavy" personnel packages as Greg Roman's scheme.
Ricard was working out with the offensive line on Monday, a signal of his changing duties. The man nicknamed "Project Pat" went from a college defensive lineman to fullback, and another pseudo switch could be in order to offensive line.
"We're looking at that. It's just a multiple role kind of thing," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Pat's quite an athlete. He can do a lot of different things. Maybe we expand his role just a little bit for a little bit of time and see how he does."
Ben Mason has been stepping in for Ricard in practices to this point and Mason has caught a fair number of passes. The Ravens are looking for a sixth blocker on the line after the departure of tight end Josh Oliver and without Nick Boyle, and Ricard has already done a fair amount of that.
"I think Patrick's an established player," Tight Ends Coach George Godsey said Saturday. "He's able to block people, move people, [and] he's a good protector. His role is physicality, so with every offense, there has to be that component. He's demonstrated that for the past few years. I think most of our opponents will say that, too."