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Extra rest for Birk

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Extra rest for Birk

As the Ravens sweated through another 90-degree training camp practice on Tuesday, center Matt Birk stood in the sideline as a spectator for the second straight day.

There was no injury, coach John Harbaugh noted. He was just giving the veteran center an extra day off.

Matt is at the stage of his career where, probably, he is going to practice less than he is not going to practice, Harbaugh said. I think that would be the best thing for Matt, getting him ready to go.

Thinking long-term, this is probably a shrewd move. The Ravens surely would rather have Birk ready to go in October than in August.

Birk, who turned 36 last week, missed the Ravens minicamp after having surgery for varicose veins, a procedure designed to help his leg strength over the long season.
Birk is approaching his 15th NFL season, and his fourth with the Ravens. He hasnt missed a start in six seasons, and all indications are when the season begins, hell be in there again.

It will be important, though, for Birk to get in a rhythm with an offensive line that seemingly changes by the day. As of now, with Bryant McKinnie still not on the field, Michael Oher is lining up at left tackle and rookie Kelechi Osemele getting most of the snaps at right tackle. If McKinnie returns, Oher will likely move back to the right side, and Osemele could be a factor at guard. Rookie free agent Jack Cornell is also getting a lot of reps at tackle as well as guard.

With Birk on the sideline, the Ravens can plug in veteran Tony Wragge or rookie Gino Gradkowski at center. But when the games begin, you can bet Birk, a little more rested than usual, will be there and ready to go.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson has his best practice yet

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson has his best practice yet

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. The Ravens are hopeful Earl Thomas will be a leader for their new defense which Thomas called "very complex." "This defense is very complex compared to what we were doing in Seattle,” Thomas said to Ravens media. “We were just playing Cover-3 all the time. Now, we’re making calls on the fly. That’s the biggest adjustment for me.”

Additionally, Thomas told media members after practice that he's made "fast friends" with quarterback Lamar Jackson. "He's a very funny guy, I don't know if you all know that," Thomas said.

2. Speaking of Lamar Jackson, he reportedly had his best day of practice so far this offseason according to Ravens media. Jackson's throws looked much better and he was quick in the pocket.


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

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RG3 likens KD's desire to play hurt to his own injury in 2012

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RG3 likens KD's desire to play hurt to his own injury in 2012

Like most athletes, Robert Griffin III was empathetic towards Kevin Durant when he first went down, taking to Twitter on Monday night to voice his concern. 

Today, the Ravens' veteran quarterback told ESPN's The Undefeated that he's all too familiar with Durant's decision to play and subsequent injury. RG3 likened it to his own brief playoff stint in 2013. Just four weeks removed from an injury to a knee that required reconstructive surgery in college, RG3 started – only to get hit late in the fourth and watch both his season and career come to a screeching halt. 

But that's not how RG3 views it. 

"I was looking at it like I'm out for here for my brothers. I'm out here for my team. And that was the only place I wasnted to be." 

And Griffin doesn't believe he's alone in that thought process, suggesting it was KD's mindset ahead of Game 5 as well.

"Most of us are built to fight. So whenever we get a situation where we’re a little injured or a little banged-up, our first reaction isn’t to get out of there and rest. Our first reaction is to figure out how we can keep going. That’s what makes a guy like Kevin Durant great." 

It remains to be seen whether KD's recovery will be smoother than RG3's. The former Heisman Trophy winner never came close to matching his breakout rookie season, eventually losing his starting job in Washington in 2014.

Durant will miss all of next season, meaning the former Montrose Christian star's next NBA appearance would be as a 32 year-old.