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Ravens' Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews Won't Play in Preseason Opener vs. Titans

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 6, 2022

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens fans will have to wait another week to see Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews.

Head coach John Harbaugh told reporters Saturday that the star pair won't play in the team's preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Baltimore Ravens @Ravens

"We won't be playing Lamar... Mark's not going to play." <br><br>Coach Harbaugh with updates on Thursday's preseason game status <a href="https://t.co/YPNGfgXLKP">pic.twitter.com/YPNGfgXLKP</a>

Harbaugh added that "experienced starters" like defensive end Justin Houston and defensive backs Marcus Williams and Marlon Humphrey wouldn't be playing, to name a few.

That isn't out of the ordinary. Veterans often wouldn't play a team's first and final preseason game in an effort to head into the start of the regular season as healthy as possible when teams had four preseason games on the slate.

With the change to three preseason games—and the addition of a regular-season game starting last year—that math has changed somewhat, though the Ravens aren't going to risk key starters in their first outing.

Andrews in particular had a potential injury scare Saturday, though he looked to ultimately escape any major situation:

Jamison Hensley @jamisonhensley

Ravens TE Mark Andrews got his foot stuck awkwardly in the turf in going for a low pass. He bounced right up but he didn’t participate in another rep the rest of the day.<br><br>It looked like this was a precautionary move because Andrews stayed on the field and watched practice.

Jamison Hensley @jamisonhensley

John Harbaugh relayed this conversation with Mark Andrews after the tight end fell awkwardly ...<br><br>Andrews: "I was practicing my slide."<br><br>Harbaugh: "Well, it wasn't one of your better slides."<br><br>Harbaugh didn't let Andrews take another rep the rest of practice.

It's a big season for the Ravens after last year's disappointing 8-9 campaign left them out of the playoffs for the first time since 2017. It was also the first time Jackson missed the postseason as the team's quarterback, though the 2019 MVP did miss five games last season, largely because of an ankle injury.

The talk of the offseason in Baltimore was Jackson and the Ravens not agreeing to a long-term extension, but getting back to the playoffs and winning a Super Bowl remains the organization's top priority.

Especially for Jackson, who hasn't taken the holdout approach in contract negotiations.

"Lamar is not concerned about the contract; nobody should be concerned about the contract,” Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman told ESPN's Jamison Hensley this week. "That's not up to us; we're going to let whoever handles that handle it. We're just going to play football. That's what we're called here to do, and that's what we're going to focus on."

For Jackson, the playing will have to wait until at least the second preseason game.

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