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Are absences an issue?

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Are absences an issue?

As the Ravens went through the paces of another training camp practice albeit in air-conditioned comfort of the indoor facility on Thursday defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (hamstring) once again did not participate. Neither did rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw (arm). Neither did center Matt Birk, or offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie.

Several others in the running for roster spots also missed practice, including rookie running back Bernard Pierce (hamstring), wide receiver Tandon Doss (hamstring) and tackle Jah Reid (calf). All three of those players are potentially seeing their stock drop, as competition takes place without them in already crowded position groups.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but does it make the Ravens a better team?

To be sure, one-on-one drills in August dont count in the standings. If theres an issue with a player, its certainly shrewd to take the cautionary route now, rather than risk an injury that sidelines a player for a month or two.

Coach John Harbaugh has said that Birk, who just turned 36 and hasnt missed a start in six seasons, will be given extra days off.

McKinnies conditioning issues have been well documented, and although he is reportedly at the Under Armour Performance Center after missing the first couple of days of camp, he has not yet been on the field.

Ngata also has yet to practice, but Harbaugh said after Wednesdays practice that Ngata is pretty close. Were probably working him a little slower than hed like us to. But, hes starting to run now, and hes going to be fine very soon. I dont really have a timetable.

Upshaw, meanwhile, is in the running for a starting spot at outside linebacker -- and is listed as a starter on the Ravens official Web site depth chart -- but it's hard to win that job from the sideline. Still, defensive coordinator Dean Pees didnt sound any alarm bells when asked about that on Thursday.

What we just need to do is get him out there, especially in some preseason games, and have him hit, get hit, and actually play, Pees said.

Im not too concerned, yet, he added, until if we get down the road and hes not playing any games. Then I will be concerned.

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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