Practice was a bit different Monday.
Head Coach John Harbaugh surprised the team in the morning by telling them that practice was canceled, and they loaded up on buses to head to Washington, D.C.
The team first visited the Pentagon and then went to Arlington National Cemetery. * *
"Football is a meritocracy, and our team has worked hard throughout this offseason and training camp," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Our coaches appreciate and respect that effort. The team deserves a day away from the fields and meetings, and an opportunity to spend some time together away from the facility.
"Our good friend, General Ray Odierno [former head of the Joint Forces Command and Chief of Staff of the Army], stepped up to make this wonderful day happen, and we thank him. This is an amazing experience for all of us."
The trip was a chance for the players, coaches and staff members to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the two historic locations. A particularly powerful moment came at the Tomb of the Unknown Solder where wide receiver Keenan Reynolds (Navy) and defensive back Otha Foster (Marines) participated in a wreath laying ceremony.
Powerful moment as Keenan Reynolds (Navy) and Otha Foster (Marines) participate in a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. pic.twitter.com/xsll5ZmTx8 — Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 21, 2017
After the wreath laying ceremony and the changing of the guard, the team spent time visiting with service members who guard the tomb around the clock.
The moment at Arlington National Cemetery came after spending the morning at the Pentagon and visiting with some of the country's top military leaders.
As part of the Pentagon tour, the Ravens heard from General Mark A. Milley, the Chief Staff of the Army, and General Robert B. Neller, the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
Milley, an avid New England Patriots fan, made sure to point out all of the Boston sports memorabilia in his office. Neller, a Detroit sports fan, also made his rooting interests well known for Baltimore's Week 13 matchup with the Lions.
Both men also spoke to the group of players about their significance as role models in society, and Milley delivered a poignant message about the foundation of the country and the oath of allegiance he took to protect it.
"How fortunate and blessed are we to experience a day like this?" Harbaugh asked. "It's humbling, and we are so appreciative."
As the Ravens wrapped up their visit to both sites, they had a chance to check out the solar eclipse before boarding the buses and heading back to Baltimore.