OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are in the middle of the third week of organized team activities. These practices are voluntary. So far Lamar Jackson has voluntarily missed all of them.
This is the final week of this phase of the offseason. Next week starts a three-day mandatory minicamp. The expectation from the head coach is that his star quarterback will be back.
"I expect him to be here at mandatory minicamp," said John Harbaugh. "I know he is working hard. Lamar Jackson is a hard worker. So, I’m not worried about how hard he is working."
He’s not worried about Jackson’s conditioning either.
"[I] fully expect him to come back in great shape. That’s what he talks about. I’m sure he is throwing. I’m sure he’s doing a good job. When he gets back here we’ll be rolling with Lamar. Right now we roll with the guys we got and when he gets here he will merge right in with everybody and we’ll go to work with Lamar."
Among the men tasked with protecting Lamar is Ja’Wuan James. He attended the OTA practice on Wednesday. The offensive tackle is on the way back from tearing his Achilles 13 months ago while he was a member of the Broncos. He has not played since suffering a knee injury in 2019. He opted out of the 2020 season.
"He has been doing good. I haven’t really noticed the Achilles. We haven’t done any power blocking. He hasn’t had to move anyone off the ball yet. Obviously that comes in training camp when the pads come on. But, he’s moving really well," said Harbaugh.
Also back is tight end Nick Boyle. A year-and-a-half ago he suffered a devastating knee injury. Last year he was limited to five games. He was not fully healthy for any of them. This year:
"He does look like a new guy," said Harbaugh. "He’s way leaner. He has really worked hard to become lean."
Boyle said before his injury his playing weight was anywhere from 272 lbs. to 278 lbs. Now he is tipping the scales at 262 lbs.
"Going through this whole injury has been a lot," said Boyle. "Just keep working every single day and I feel really, really good right now, dropped some pounds, it’s like I like to say you take some load out of the car, the horse power and stuff is still the same but you get to move a little faster and stuff."