The Baltimore Ravens are one of the teams this year that have taken the opportunity to get their rookies on the field in training camp early. Not a whole lot of them actually succeeded, however. They played four players on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury List yesterday, and another on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List.
Among the five players were three of their eight draft picks, including first-round wide receiver Marquise Brown, who is of course the cousin of former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. ‘Hollywood’ suffered an injury during his final collegiate season, so this is not a surprise, though there was some hope that he would begin the training camp schedule on the field.
According to Ian Rapoport, the wide receiver “is progressing well and should be back on the field in a few weeks”. He had surgery in February to repair a Lisfranc injury and had been limited to doing work on the side fields throughout the spring.
Brown isn’t the only rookie currently on the sidelines. Their second selection, third-round pick Jaylon Ferguson, as well as fifth-round defensive tackle Daylon Mack and undrafted wide receiver Jaylen Smith, were all placed on the Reserve/NFI List.
To clarify, however, this designation does not necessarily mean that all of these players are injured. If a player fails to pass the team’s conditioning test, they can be placed on this list, and the Ravens are known to have one of the most difficult conditioning tests to pass. They also have among the most stringent physicals, and probably waive more players with a failed physical designation than any other team in the league.
Undrafted tackle Patrick Mekari was also placed on the Active/PUP List. Mekari finished his college career playing only 10 games in his final season following an injury, but he was healthy enough to participate in his Pro Day. He could potentially play all five positions along the offensive line.
Aside from Brown, whose situation is known and is being monitored, any of the other players named in this article could be activated from their injury lists at any time, and likely only consists of their ability to pass the team’s conditioning test.
Currently, fourth-year Willie Snead and rookie third-round pick Miles Boykin have been serving as the Ravens’ top two pass-catchers in addition to free agent signings Michael Floyd and Seth Roberts. Ferguson is also being thrown into the mix of a group of pass rushers in transition after Baltimore lost two of its top edge defenders in free agency.