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#pounditSaturday, August 13, 2022

Articles tagged: Baltimore Ravens

John Harbaugh provides Lamar Jackson injury update

Lamar Jackson without a helmet

Lamar Jackson has missed the Baltimore Ravens’ last two games due to an ankle injury, and his status for Week 17 remains up in the air.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Friday that Jackson “has a chance to play” against the Los Angeles Rams. It sounds like the former MVP could be a game-time decision.

That update is a little more optimistic than we expected. Jackson threw some passes at practice on Wednesday, and he appeared to have a visible limp. He certainly doesn’t look 100 percent healthy, but the Ravens are fighting for a playoff spot. He may try to play hurt.

Jackson’s ankle injury is clearly more serious than the Ravens initially thought it was. Even if he does suit up against Los Angeles, his mobility will likely be impacted.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) reacts against the Las Vegas Raiders during Monday Night Football at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald hints at major motivation for Rams against Ravens

Aaron Donald

The Los Angeles Rams face a significant game against the Baltimore Ravens this weekend, and appear to be coming into it with a bit of extra motivation.

Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald admitted that the last meeting between the two teams has been on his mind. On Nov. 25, 2019, the Ravens beat the Rams 45-6, with Lamar Jackson throwing five touchdown passes.

Anyone who is still on the Rams likely remembers that drubbing as well. With the Ravens playing poorly, there may be even more reason for the Rams to smell blood heading into this one.

The Ravens facing a motivated opponent might be bad enough. Things could get even worse considering how shaky Jackson looked in practice this week.

Photo: The 61st Contingency Response Wing/Flickr via CC-by-S.A. 2.0

Joe Burrow has great take on running up score against Ravens

Joe Burrow

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh did not seem pleased that the Cincinnati Bengals kept their foot on the gas late in Sunday’s game, but don’t expect to hear any apologies from Joe Burrow.

The Bengals continued to throw the ball late in the fourth quarter of their 41-21 win. Burrow ended up with 525 yards passing, and 52 of them came on a deep connection late in the game. That led to some questions about whether Cincinnati violated so-called unwritten rules. Burrow told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that he has “no sympathy” for his divisional rival.

“This is the NFL,” Burrow said. “This isn’t peewee, this isn’t high school where you go out and run up the score. You play until the final whistle. I don’t care what the score is. We’ve been in spots where teams go out and do that to us. They did it to us last year. No sympathy from me.”

The Ravens beat the Bengals 27-3 and 38-3 in their two meetings last year. Even if they weren’t calling deep pass plays late in the fourth quarter, they probably weren’t making a conscious effort to not embarrass their AFC North foe.

Burrow also admitted after the game that he had added motivation from some comments Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale made about him. Cincinnati’s coaching staff was likely aware of those as well. Head coach Zac Taylor said he intentionally wanted to teach his players a lesson about not letting up down the stretch.

Harbaugh seemed irritated in his postgame handshake with Taylor (video here). Of course, this is the same Harbaugh who infuriated an opposing coach by blatantly chasing a record earlier this season.

Burrow is right — this is the NFL. Teams are under no obligation to let up on their opponents, who are also professionals making millions of dollars. The Ravens have nothing to complain about except their defense’s inability to stop anything.

Photo: Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Joe Burrow fires back at Ravens DC after career game

Joe Burrow wears a Santa hat

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale made some comments this week that many expected Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals to use as motivation in Week 16. Burrow’s stat line proved that he did just that, and his postgame remarks removed all doubt.

Martindale was asked on Thursday if the Ravens would double- and triple-cover Ja’Marr Chase the way they did Davante Adams last week. He said they would not because Chase is not Adams and Burrow isn’t ready for a Hall of Fame jacket just yet. Martindale likely meant for the comment to serve as a compliment to Adams and Rodgers rather than an insult to Chase and Burrow, but there was little question the Bengals stars would use it as motivation.

After Burrow threw for 525 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-21 win over Baltimore on Sunday, he admitted Martindale’s remarks bothered him. The former LSU star said he didn’t think they were “necessary.”

Chase finished with seven catches for 125 yards. Burrow was asked if he was thinking about Martindale when he eclipsed the 500-yard mark. He smirked and said “maybe.”

The Ravens started veteran journeyman Josh Johnson with Lamar Jackson injured and Tyler Huntley on the COVID list. They had little chance of beating the Bengals to begin with, but Martindale’s comments didn’t help.

Justin Tucker voices his opinion on Ravens going for two instead of kicking PATs

Justin Tucker looking on

Despite having the consensus best kicker in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens have controversially chosen to go for two points in multiple one-point losses this season. Now that very same kicker is offering his take on the matter.

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker appeared this week on “The Lounge” podcast and reacted to the team’s decisions to go for two instead of kicking the PAT.

“I fully support it,” Tucker stated. “Everybody on our team fully supports going for two because you have the chance to put the game away right then and there.”

“Of course, there is plenty of folks who have their opinions and comments about it,” Tucker went on. “But it’s one of those things where, if you’re a part of it, a member of the team, if you’re in it, you just understand that is the move. You go for two and you put the game away. If it doesn’t work out, you pick up the pieces and you just move on.”

Twice this month after late touchdowns while down seven, the Ravens chose to go for two to win instead of kicking the PAT with Tucker to tie and go to overtime. Both two-point tries failed, and Baltimore lost both games. Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history and has not missed a single PAT all year. He also has supreme leg strength, which would be an asset to the team in a potential overtime period. Tucker already nailed an incredible NFL-record field goal to win a game earlier this season.

Of course, Baltimore was facing two respected veteran QBs in both games (Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers). Thus, it made sense in theory to not let either of those guys get the ball back in an overtime period. A Tucker field goal would also not be as much good in overtime (unless it came after a defensive stop), as you need a touchdown to win the game on the opening overtime possession.

Tucker himself clearly believes that the right decision was made both times, and that makes sense when you see the video of what went into the call against Green Bay in particular.

Photo: Dec 19, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker (9) before the game against the Green Bay Packers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens DC has some bulletin-board material for Joe Burrow, Bengals

Wink Martindale fields questions

The Baltimore Ravens are preparing for an important divisional game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and their defensive approach on Sunday will look a bit different from the one they used in Week 15. Joe Burrow will try to take advantage of that.

The Ravens made a huge effort to slow down Green Bay Packers star receiver Davante Adams last week. Adams still caught six passes for 44 yards and a score, but he was double- and triple-covered on many plays. Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was asked if he will try to do the same with Bengals rookie Ja’Marr chase on Sunday, and he said it’s not going to happen. Why? Because Chase is not Adams, and Joe Burrow is not Aaron Rodgers.

Martindale obviously meant for the comment to serve as a compliment to Adams and Rodgers, not an insult to Chase and Burrow. He’s right that the former duo have proven to be much more dangerous than the latter. Still, Burrow and Chase are more than capable of burning defenses. They may be motivated to prove to Martindale and the Ravens that they deserve just as much attention as Rodgers and Adams.

Chase has struggled with drops this year, including one very costly one a couple weeks back. That hasn’t stopped him from being one of the best deep threats in the NFL, and he should have a chance to prove it against a Baltimore secondary that has been banged up all season.

Awesome video shows what went into John Harbaugh’s two-point decision

John Harbaugh huddles with his players

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh made a gutsy call once again on Sunday to attempt a two-point conversion rather than playing for overtime, but the decision wasn’t his alone. The players had plenty of input.

Harbaugh was mic’ed up for his team’s tough loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Ravens shared a great video on Monday that showed Harbaugh talking about the decision with Tyler Huntley, who started in place of the injured Lamar Jackson. Harbaugh confidently asked Huntley, “When we score the second touchdown, do you want to go for two and try to win it right there or do you want to go for overtime?” Huntley said he wanted to go for two.

When the Ravens actually did score, Harbaugh asked several players what they wanted to do. They all said “let’s go win.” Here’s the video:

The Ravens did not convert, as a pass that was intended for tight end Mark Andrews was broken up. Andrews came up to Harbaugh afterword and put his arm around him. He told the coach “it was the right move.”

Harbaugh made the same call two weeks ago, and the Ravens would have won if not for a bad throw from Lamar Jackson. Players almost certainly appreciate the fact that he consults them before making a major decision like that.

Mike Tomlin shares how he knew Ravens would go for 2

Mike Tomlin smiles during a game

The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers appeared to be headed for overtime on Sunday night after Lamar Jackson found Sammy Watkins for a touchdown as time expired. John Harbaugh had other plans, however, which was no surprise to Mike Tomlin.

Tomlin said after Pittsburgh’s 20-19 win that he knew the Ravens would attempt a 2-point conversion after they scored. The Steelers coach said Harbaugh’s reliance on analytics makes Baltimore “predictable.”

Harbaugh trusted his offense to get two yards to win the game. The analytics likely said that Baltimore’s best chance of winning was to try to pick up those two yards rather than kicking an extra point and heading to overtime. The play call was also perfect, and the Ravens would have won had Jackson made a more accurate throw (video here).

Tomlin probably wasn’t trying to take a shot at the Ravens by calling them “predictable,” but don’t be surprised if they interpret it as one. The two teams will meet again in their final game of the regular season on Jan. 9.

Photo: Nov 21, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts before the Steelers play against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson unable to play against Bears due to illness

Lamar Jackson without a helmet

Lamar Jackson has been dealing with an illness all week, and the Baltimore Ravens star is sick enough that he will not play on Sunday.

Jackson has been ruled out for the Ravens’ game against the Chicago Bears. He has tested negative for COVID-19, but Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the former MVP is not himself because of whatever other illness he has.

Jackson missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday because of the illness. He traveled to Chicago with the team, but he isn’t healthy enough to play. Tyler Huntley will take his place.

Players rarely miss games due to non-COVID illnesses, so Jackson must be feeling extremely under the weather.

Photo: Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) reacts against the Las Vegas Raiders during Monday Night Football at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Le’Veon Bell sends tweet after being cut by Ravens

LeVeon Bell

Le’Veon Bell is one of several veteran running backs the Baltimore Ravens signed this season after dealing with injuries to the position, but that experiment has seemingly come to an end.

Bell was informed by the Ravens on Tuesday that he will be waived. He issued a statement on Twitter saying that the decision “hurts” but thanking the team for the opportunity.

According to USA Today’s Josina Anderson, the Ravens are still hoping to sign Bell back to their practice squad at some point.

Bell rushed for just 83 yards on 31 carries with the Ravens. His tenure with the team was the latest in a long line of disappointments for him.

Bell was a star with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2013-2017 before he sat out the 2018 season due to a contract dispute and signed with the New York Jets the following year. Bell spent a disappointing season with the Jets and was dropped by them after two games last season. He signed with the Chiefs but had a limited role that left him disappointed.

He may find work here and there, but the days of Bell being a major factor with a team are long gone.