As Ravens’ season opener nears, CB Marcus Peters eyes long-awaited return; LT Ronnie Stanley ramping up – Jonas Shaffer
“I feel like I’m doing what I need to do necessary to get me back on the field, and it’s been a process that myself and this training staff and the coaching staff have come up with,” he said. “And we’re going to stick to it until I can get back out there.”
Peters’ rehab work has impressed Harbaugh, who said the 29-year-old looked “really good” even during offseason workouts.
“You could tell, he had really put the work in,” he said. “He’s been in that weight room. I tell you, the guy’s been living in the weight room. He’s been living in the training room. He’s been living out here running, all the way through, even through training camp, when he wasn’t practicing. Then he kind of pushed his way out to practice and has looked good at practice. So he’s done a great job.”
Harbaugh said there’s “not a set timetable” for the return of Stanley, who last year underwent his second straight season-ending ankle operation. The Ravens had hoped Stanley, an All-Pro selection in 2019, would be able to practice for two to three weeks before the season opener.
“He knows his ankle,” Harbaugh said. “I know Ronnie’s very determined to be really at his very best when he comes back. I think that’s kind of part of his thinking on it, so I trust him with it. I know he’s going to do the right thing and be out there as soon as he can, and I’m hopeful for sooner rather than later, for sure.”
Ravens Set Initial Practice Squad – Ryan Mink
QB Anthony Brown
Brown shined in the preseason finale against Washington, completing 15 of 19 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown. He threw two nice deep balls to Demarcus Robinson, including one for a touchdown. Over the entire preseason, the undrafted rookie from Oregon was 35-of-47 for 464 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He said he aspires to ascend in the NFL similar to how Tyler Huntley has done in Baltimore.
NT Isaiah Mack (exception)
Mack was a candidate to be claimed on waivers elsewhere, but the stout run stopper who showed flashes of his pass rush ability cleared and will remain in Baltimore. “He is disruptive, and I think that’s one of the biggest compliments you can give any football player,” Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Anthony Weaver said.
LB Steven Means (veteran)
It wouldn’t be surprising if Means is called up to the gameday roster for the first couple weeks considering that the Ravens have just two healthy outside linebackers currently on the 53-man roster. Means played well in training camp and the preseason.
DB Ar’Darius Washington
Washington made the initial 53-man roster last year and played in three games, but he suffered a broken foot. He missed much of the summer rehabbing but made a good impression after returning. Washington had six tackles in the preseason finale and defended the final pass well that sealed the Ravens’ 23rd-straight preseason win.
Stock up, stock down after the 2022 NFL preseason – Sam Monson
PFF Preseason Grade: 92.2 (1st)
Isaiah Likely had a dream preseason, making the kind of impact where it is immediately clear his general draft evaluation was well off the mark. The focus for Likely was on his blocking deficiencies, but it should have been on just how good and polished he is at every aspect of receiving. Likely caught all 12 passes thrown his way including four contested targets. He averaged almost six yards after the catch and broke seven tackles with the ball in his hands. Likely still may not be the best blocker in the world, but he can be an impactful secondary pass-catching option within the Ravens’ offense.
14. Baltimore Ravens
Quarterback: Lamar Jackson — Rank: 12
Running back: J.K. Dobbins — Rank: 25
Pass catcher: Mark Andrews — Rank: 12
At his best, Jackson is better than 12th among all quarterbacks. But the combination of Jackson’s injury-shortened 2021 season and the state of his contract talks have added a healthy portion of uncertainty around the QB. If the Ravens can again find a way to maximize his rare talents, Jackson will outperform this ranking. But Dobbins is coming off a significant knee injury, and this offseason Jackson lost top wide receiver Marquise Brown, who said he wanted out of Baltimore. That’s not exactly a comforting realization. Jackson can erase doubts by playing like he did in his MVP season of 2019, but it’s going to take help from more than Andrews — a stellar tight end deserving of his ranking ahead of Travis Kelce — to get the Ravens back to the playoffs.
The defending AFC champions aren’t getting a whole lot of respect in their own division. Injuries ravaged the Ravens last season, and The Athletic’s experts think there will be a big bounce back from Lamar Jackson and crew this season. On the other hand, it seems surprising to see the Bengals not get that much love after their run to the Super Bowl that saw them upset the Titans and Chiefs.
Joe Burrow is entering his third season in Cincinnati, and the Bengals’ young core of players is only getting better, led by Ja’Marr Chase, who finished with 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns in his rookie season.
The Athletic’s NFL model gives the Ravens the best chance to win the division (38.6%) while the Bengals come in at 32.4%. The Browns are at 23.2%, and that is with Deshaun Watson being suspended for 11 of the 17 games this season.
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