Notes on Hardy, Pollard and the labor situation

Here are a few tidbits I wanted to pass along before popping out to today's practice:

* Wide receivers James Hardy and Torrey Smith are both battling minor hamstring injuries, and while they participated in some drills yesterday, the Ravens are taking things slow with both guys. Each will be eased back into action slowly, rather than getting thrown into the fire and risk the injury becoming a lingering issue.

* The Bernard Pollard deal is official; the Ravens have announced that Pollard has passed his physical and has signed a multi-year contract. The deal is believed to be for two years. We'll have to see how Pollard fits into the competition for the starting strong safety spot once he, Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura are able to get on the field.

* On that topic, the new collective bargaining agreement is expected to be approved today. Once it's done, the league year will begin, and the free agents that have signed with teams in the last week and a half will be able to begin practicing. If those players had wanted to practice prior to this point, they would have needed to sign a waiver saying they were responsible for their own health, and any injury suffered would not have been covered by the team.

* What does this mean for the Ravens? It means that recently-signed guys like guard Marshal Yanda, fullback Vonta Leach and Pollard can finally get out and practice. It also means that a host of restricted and exclusive rights free agents (Zbikowski, Nakamura, Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe, Marcus Smith, Oniel Cousins, etc.) will finally be able to participate, as well.

That news obviously excites Harbaugh, who has been working with a handful of veterans and a large group of rookies over the last week.

"We'll have three offensive lines," Harbaugh said. "That will be huge for us. The tempo of practice will be a little faster. We've really had to manage a lot of guys' reps which, of course, you have to do. I think we have been very creative in how we have handled it, and we have still been able to get a lot of work done at practice.

"As a coach, you are really proud of that. The fact that we are short guys, yet we have managed it really well and we have managed to keep guys fresh enough to complete the whole practice... Also, the effort our guys have put in to make that happen has been very impressive."

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