OWINGS MILLS – The Ravens’ offensive line group is banged up. However, head coach John Harbaugh said he did not plan to reduce quarterback Joe Flacco’s playing time during Saturday night’s preseason game against the Redskins.
At least, not until Harbaugh sees how the game transpires.
“If something happens in the game, it possibly could (reduce Flacco’s reps),” Harbaugh said. “But the way we’re going into the game – to start the game – we’re comfortable with the guys that are going to play and start on the offensive line. (We think) that they’ll do a great job.”
It may be difficult for the line to do a great job in its current state. It remains to be seen who plays and doesn’t against the Redskins. Starting left tackle Eugene Monroe (hand) and starting left guard Kelechi Osemele (Achilles) missed practice Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Seven other offensive linemen have missed recent practice time, including starting right tackle Rick Wagner (foot). Backups Darryl Baldwin, James Hurst, Ryan Jensen, Jah Reid, John Urschel, and De’Ondre Baldwin are dealing with various injuries.
While the Ravens want Flacco to get reps Saturday, they also don’t want him getting knocked around during an August preseason game. Offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said the state of the offensive line would not impact his play calling.
“We’re going to have enough (offensive linemen) to play,” Trestman said. Then he added with a smile, “Lord willing, we’ll have enough to play.”
The third preseason game is normally a dress rehearsal for starters, which means Flacco could play into the second half. But plans may change if the Redskins start pounding Flacco. The Ravens want Flacco to be sharp heading into Week 1. But it’s more important for Flacco to be healthy.