HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCE
Opening statement: "Just getting started, I kind of wrote this down, so I want to share it – just some thoughts. Everybody is doing their best, fighting their hardest. I'm really extremely proud of every person on the team, coaches and players, and I'm very, very confident. We have four games left. Each one of those four games represents an opportunity for us to get where we want to go. I'm excited for that opportunity. We have tough, high-character people. It's the NFL; we're in a fight. We're in a fight to get what we want, and we'll be fighting. So, what questions do you have?"
Do you have any updates on QB Lamar Jackson? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, Lamar [Jackson] has an ankle sprain. It's not a high-ankle sprain, which is good news. We'll just have to see what it is from there, how he feels this week going forward and what it looks like."
If it's a short-term injury for QB Lamar Jackson, are the Ravens going to try everything around QB Tyler Huntley entirely? (David Andrade) "We're going to see where we're at with the situation. The plans are right now, in my mind, for Lamar [Jackson] to be out there. So, we'll see where it goes this week. If he can go, he'll go. If not, Tyler [Huntley] will be the quarterback. So, that's where we're at."
We also obviously didn't see DT Calais Campbell in the second half yesterday, and we also didn't see a lot of WR Sammy Watkins. Are either of those potentially significant injuries? (Childs Walker) "No, Calais [Campbell] has a soft tissue injury. It happened in the game. So, you know how those go. We'll see how that looks this week. We just have to go day by day on that and see where he's at. A lot of that has to do with how he feels today and tomorrow. … Sammy's [Watkins] knee was bothering him, and he just didn't feel like he could go on it during the game. So, again, we'll see how that feels this week, how it looks today and tomorrow and how he's practicing."
Regarding QB Lamar Jackson and practice on Wednesday, do you know yet if he's on track? I know it's just hours after… (Shawn Stepner) "Unanswerable. [That's an] unanswerable question."
Is there any idea or thought regarding whether the injury could be something that was lingering from the previous game, stepping on that yard marker? Could the two have anything to do with one another, as if he aggravated something? (Shawn Stepner) "Not that I'm aware of. That's not been something that I'm aware of at all."
You mentioned WR Sammy Watkins, but WR Rashod Bateman really stepped up in the second half and had a great day. How encouraging was that to see after production, numbers-wise, hadn't been there quite as much the last few weeks? (Luke Jones) "Yes, Rashod [Bateman] has been practicing hard. He's been productive in practice. To see it show up in the game, on some of the nine-routes especially, the catch-and-run play [and] also on the two kind of back shoulder fades there, it was just great. It's great to see. [He's a] talented guy; I love it. I love every bit of it. I'm seeing more and more of that. Marquise [Brown] had plays; I want to get him even more involved. He can get more catches. He found his way open a number of times – I think he's going to be a big part of it going forward. Of course, Mark [Andrews] had some spectacular plays, and we found a couple other guys in there, too. Josh Oliver had a catch in a big situation. So, I think we have a chance to spread the ball around to all those guys going forward."
You just mentioned TE Mark Andrews. Obviously, he's been a tremendous player for you for multiple years. Do you think he's even gone up a level this year? (Childs Walker)"I do. I do. The catch-and-run down there on our sideline, the left side there, was pretty beastly. So, I was impressed."
The secondary had some struggles early with the pass interference calls, but they played really well in the second half and finished strong. What was your assessment of how they finished the game? (Todd Karpovich)"I thought the secondary played well. I thought they played well. Credit to them, [and] credit to [pass game coordinator/secondary coach] Chris Hewitt and [defensive coordinator Don] 'Wink' [Martindale]. I thought they did a great job; it was solid. They played the coverages well. We had a little something here and there like always, every team … They run routes on you, and you talk through those things. But I thought they played well."
With DT Calais Campbell out, DT Broderick Washington and DT Justin Madubuike had elevated snaps. What did you see from those two young guys? (Ryan Mink)"Again, they played well. Those two guys played really well. Both those guys were stout, dominant at times, physical, played the run exceptionally well. I thought they played well. The edge-setters played well. All the outside 'backers did a nice job setting the edge. I thought the inside 'backers played good football, too. Just kind of across the board, they had a couple plays here and there, as you mentioned, and that was about it."
You see inconsistency from kickers a lot of times. How much is it an asset to have K Justin Tucker out there and the confidence to know that, given his consistency, when he goes out there, more likely than not, he's making it? (Jamison Hensley)"It's big. What, he made a -yarder and a 55-yarder, I think? And on that field, with the wind blowing the way it was, [it's] pretty telling. The fact that we have him to get the points, I think it's a difference maker. He's worth his weight in gold."
We saw FB Patrick Ricard going through his pre-game warmup on the field yesterday, but he was inactive. That late, when you don't know whether a guy like that, who is of importance to this offense, does that make things challenging? Or did you have a pretty good inkling that he wasn't going to be able to go? (Jeff Zrebiec)"That makes it challenging. When a player like that comes up and he just can't go … He just didn't feel like he could go [with] the way it felt [with] his knee, but it's not a serious thing. We got the MRI. We got good news on it this morning, so we'll see how it progresses during the week, and [we're] kind of expecting to have him next week. We'll see how it goes."
We know it's been such a long process for TE Nick Boyle, but he hasn't been able to play the last couple of weeks. Is he still someone who you guys feel can still help you this year? Has there been a setback? Is there anything you can share with that? (Luke Jones)"No, I just think it's part of the rehab thing. I think you probably don't recover quite as quickly, maybe. Hopefully he's getting better every week with that. But I'm real hopeful for him this week. I've got my fingers crossed and think there's a good chance."
Is it true that S Tony Jefferson is planning to come for a workout? (David Andrade)"Tony [Jefferson] was here for a workout, and we're signing him to the practice squad. So, he'll be with us on the practice squad going forward. He looked good. [It was a] good workout – in shape, moving well. Good to see him."
In addition to the player, S Tony Jefferson was a pretty beloved figure within the community and the team. Is it just fun to have him back from that standpoint, as well? (Childs Walker)"Yes, it's fun. It's fun. (laughter)It will be great. You know, he's our early-morning-workout guy, so I plan on seeing him in there, early morning, in the weight room. [He has] a lot of energy. He brings a lot of energy in there, so, yes, it's great."
You talked about being in a fight these last four games. How validating is it as a coach that this is a team that's competing until the bitter end, regardless of the outcome? (Kyle Barber)"It's great. I don't want to get too caught up in a lot of that, but to me, it's kind of self-evident when you watch it. I think it's a great observation. It just makes me proud to be around these guys every day. It's a joy to coach them. The bottom line is finding a way to win. That's what we're here for, and that's what we fight for. But these guys do – they fight for that. They don't ever, ever say, 'Hey, let's just move on.' I've never seen that once. That character is established in this football team. They're great leaders. We have hard workers, competitive guys. [They're] just guys that you're honored … I tell them all the time … Man, I'm honored to take the field with these guys. [When] we come out there before the game, and I see these guys out there, man, I feel pretty special – being with these guys. So, I think that's really a great point."