Tight end Ed Dickson has not practiced for the last week after suffering a slight hamstring tear, and the fourth-year tight end says he's not rushing back to the field.
"You can't rush back from those things," Dickson said after Sunday's practice. "I'm just trying my hardest to get back out there. It kills me. I'm hard on myself. I wanted to get back there today, but I don't want to go out and hurt the team and be out for weeks during the regular season."
When asked if he would be ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 5, Dickson was non-committal.
"I can't make any predictions, but I'm working hard to do that," Dickson said.
After Dickson went down with the injury, Head Coach John Harbaugh said that the team would re-evaluate the injury after "a week or so," but that the expectation was for Dickson to be ready by Week 1.
Hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger, but Dickson expressed confidence that he will be able to get back to full strength once he does return to action.
"The doctor said that it went, it went all the way through, so it's not lingering through the season and I can get all the way healthy and be back to 100 percent," Dickson said.
In terms of the other injured players, Harbaugh announced that the injuries to wide receiver Deonte Thompson and running back Bernard Pierce are not serious. Thompson has a sprained foot and Pierce has a bruised knee. Pierce may not miss any game action, but Thompson's injury will keep him out of Thursday's preseason contest against the Falcons.
"We're going to hold [Dickson] out of this game and re-evaluate him on Friday [to] see where he's at," Harbaugh said. "I would expect him back for the Carolina game."
With Dickson currently sidelined, the Ravens are bringing in veteran tight end Dallas Clark. The team reached an agreement in principle with Clark, and he'll sign the contract Monday pending a physical. Clark is the second veteran tight end to join the team since training camp, as the Ravens signed Visanthe Shiancoe following Dennis Pitta's season-ending injury.
"The league, you got to have numbers," Dickson said. "You never know what's going to happen. With me down, and Dallas Clark coming in, we're going to show him the ropes and see what he can do for us."
Once Dickson does return to the lineup, the expectation is that he will be the team's No. 1 tight end. The other tight ends currently on the roster are Billy Bajema, Alex Silvestro and Matt Furstenburg.
Before Dickson gets back into the rotation, his top focus is just making sure that he's healthy for that time.
"You have to make sure that you're on top of those things," Dickson said. "I'm pretty sure that we pinpointed it and we're just trying to get it healthy as soon as we can."