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News & Notes: Ravens Don't Plan Joint Practice, But Could Extend Arizona Trip

HC John Harbaugh gathers team in huddle.

The Ravens may extend their preseason stay in Arizona, but their plans don't include a joint practice with the Cardinals.

Baltimore's only road game of the preseason is Aug. 21 in Phoenix, and in recent years the Ravens have held joint practices with several opponents. Last year, Baltimore held two days of joint practices with the Carolina Panthers at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.

Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated the team might stay a few extra days after traveling cross country, but at this point, the Ravens are not planning to practice with the Cardinals either before or after the game.

"We kind of thought about that, but it's kind of late to get that set up now," Harbaugh said. "We're going to go out maybe a couple of days early, to make a little bit of a trip out of it in terms of having an opportunity to do some team bonding. But we're not planning on practicing against another team right now."

The Ravens are making some subtle tweaks to practice and preparation after their injury-filled 2021 season. Harbaugh has been pleased with the results so far.

"It's not dramatic in that sense," Harbaugh said. "Most of it's pre-practice, post-practice. To give the guys a different type of movement chain."

Ja'Wuan James Making Strides at OTAs

Ja'Wuan James never played for the Ravens last season after he was signed in June. After tearing his Achilles tendon in May, James did not recover in time to play in 2021 although he practiced late in the season.

Now James is healthy enough to participate in OTAs, and the Ravens hope he will help provide veteran offensive tackle depth that they lacked last season. James was the 19th-overall pick in the 2014 draft and has made 65 career starts, including 62 starts over five seasons with the Miami Dolphins.

"He's been doing good," Harbaugh said. "I haven't really noticed the Achilles. We haven't done any power blocking where he's had to move anybody off the ball yet. That comes in training camp when the pads come on. He's moving really well. He's in great shape. I feel great about him."

Baltimore also signed veteran right tackle Morgan Moses, viewed as the most likely starter at right tackle. Moses had Wednesday off, but he has been practicing on Tuesdays and Thursdays at OTAs.

Strengthening the offensive line was a priority for the Ravens this offseason, and Harbaugh is glad to see James and Morgan taking practice reps months before the season begins.

"I would say those two veteran tackles are major additions from what we had last year," Harbaugh said. "Alejandro (Villanueva) did a great job but those two guys have looked really good."

Ravens Experimenting With Green Dot Helmet Responsibilities

Week 1 is still months away, giving the Ravens time to sort out which defensive player will wear the green dot communication helmet to relay defensive signals to teammates.

Safety Chuck Clark has been the primary wearer of the green dot helmet in recent seasons. However, with the additions of safeties Marcus Williams and Kyle Hamilton, it remains to be seen how playing time among the safeties will be divided. Whoever wears the green dot needs to be on the field for all the snaps.

Harbaugh said different players will wear the green dot helmet during practices and preseason games, as the coaching staff decides how to divide responsibilities.

"We'll have numerous guys with the dot in preseason for sure, and in practice," Harbaugh said. "Chuck's going to play a lot of football.

"All three of those safeties, plus we've got Geno (Stone), we've also got Tony Jefferson. I consider Chuck to be a starter. We'll just see how it goes, as far as when they're on the field situationally."

Leaner Nick Boyle Feels Lighter on His Feet

Not only is tight end Nick Boyle's knee much healthier a year removed from his most recent surgery, but he's leaner than last season after a strenuous offseason workout program in Arizona and adjusting his diet. Boyle is 10 to 12 pounds lighter than last season, and he can feel the difference.

"You take some horsepower out of the car, the horsepower is still the same but you get to move a little faster," Boyle said.

"He does look like a new guy," Harbaugh said. "You can see he's way leaner. He's really worked hard, he's moving well. Last year he just wasn't the same. That injury was a bad injury. We certainly all hoped he'd come back last year and be ready to go. He just couldn't do it. He did have a setback or two along the way. Now it's all clicked. He looks like Nick, I would say a little faster a little quicker."

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