After today’s slightly shortened practice - the Ravens’ last before their preseason opener Thursday against the Eagles - head coach John Harbaugh announced that a handful of his key veterans will likely just play one series in Philadelphia.
Harbaugh said that linebacker Ray Lewis, safety Ed Reed, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and linebacker Terrell Suggs will see minimal time, while guys on the offensive side of the ball might see more action.
“We’ve got different kind of levels of starter,” Harbaugh said. “The guys like Ray, Ed, Haloti and Terrell, those guys realistically are not going to play much. One series, maybe. We’ll just have to see. We’ll be very judicious with those guys. Younger guys, the guys that need more time in the passing game, I think we’ll put more time in with those guys.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco appears likely to play around one quarter against the Eagles, while backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor said that he’s been told he’ll play about two and a half quarters.
If you can do the math, you can figure out what might be left for third-stringer Hunter Cantwell.
New Ravens running back Ricky Williams will likely not play Thursday, as Harbaugh said Williams’ one practice with the team was not enough for the coaching staff to feel comfortable putting him in during game situations.
Tight end Ed Dickson is not expected to play because of a hamstring injury, which will leave the tight end duties to Dennis Pitta, Davon Drew, and newly-signed veterans Kris Wilson and Jonathan Stupar, who Harbaugh cleared to participate on Thursday.
Rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith will also not play Thursday as he works back from a groin injury. I feel like a broken record saying this, but the Ravens are taking it slow with their 2011 first-round pick, and won’t prematurely push him back into action.