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Ravens switching to natural grass next season at M&T

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Ravens switching to natural grass next season at M&T

OWINGS MILLS -– The playing surface at M&T Bank Stadium will be switched from artificial to natural grass next season, and the move is being endorsed by both Ravens players and coaches. 

While the organization is not linking this season’s rash of injuries to the current playing surface, players generally believe that playing on grass is easier on their legs and less hazardous. Quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett, and wide receiver Steve Smith all suffered season-ending injuries during home games this season.

“With my surgeries that I’ve had, I can tell after the game if I’ve played on that hard turf or have played on grass,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said following Friday’s practice. “It’s a black-and-white difference.”

Webb said players were consulted about the change before the decision was made.

“I’m a veteran around here, I’ve been here a couple of years,” said Webb, now in his seventh season with the team. “I was kind of involved in the process. They kind of brought some of the leaders together and asked them. I’ve got my opinion in it and threw it in. They kind of made an organizational decision and I thought it was a great decision.”

The Ravens already have natural grass on their outside fields at their practice facility. Most Ravens players prefer practicing outside, regardless of the temperature, rather than on the indoor field that has an artificial surface. 

The Ravens practiced indoors all this week with the heat turned up, trying to simulate Sunday’s game temperature in Florida when facing the Dolphins. Webb said his legs could tell the difference, and he added that he believed playing on grass was safer.

“I just walked off practice and I can tell the difference,” Webb said. “We’re looking at the numbers. They say injuries happen more on turf than on grass. Simple as that.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he looked forward to playing on grass for home games next season.

“My thoughts are, I think it’s great,” Harbaugh said. “To me, it’s Baltimore. It epitomizes what Baltimore is all about, the history of football in Baltimore.

“In terms of the way our stadium is configured, it doesn’t get a lot of sun, so that was something that was a big consideration, as far as the turf originally. But our grounds people have done a great job of researching it, and they feel like they have the type of grass now that can thrive there.”

Asked if he lobbied for a grass field at home, Harbaugh smiled and said, “I may have.”

MORE RAVENS: 5 stats to know for Ravens vs. Dolphins

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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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