The Baltimore Ravens decided to make a surprising decision for Day 7 of their training camp: pads off on Wednesday's practice following the use of the full gear for the first two days of the week.
When things went down at the Under Armour Practice Center in Owings Mills on Wednesday, though, it turned out there were even bigger surprises in store. Namely, the absences of a couple of "veterans."
To the list of players Physically Unable to Perform and the Non-Football Injury one, featuring the usual suspects of prior days (J.K. Dobbins and Rashod Bateman being the two most important and prominent names in them), there were a few worrying and unexpected additions.
As Kyle Phoenix Barber of Baltimore Beatdown reported from camp, Odell Beckham Jr. and Michael Pierce missed Wednesday's practice for no apparent reason... unless we "assume veteran days" came into play and they just got a plain simple day off.
To those two, two more players were added to the missing list: Geno Stone after he injured his ankle on Monday and is expected to remain out for a week or so, per coach John Harbaugh, and more worryingly David Ojabo, who according to JH "was OK" following Tuesday's practice but actually couldn't make it to the training field 24 hours later...
Call me crazy, but something is smelly. Stone is going to miss a full week with the first pre-season game scheduled to take place in a little over seven days on August 12. Consider him ruled out for that one.
Ojabo, whatever time he misses, is a much more impactful absentee. The second-year EDGE is coming off a year spent nearly fully recovering and after appearing in just a couple of games and a handful of snaps in 2022 just to test the NFL waters.
The Ravens count on Ojabo to be their weekly starter on the outside of the linebacker line, so any missed practice, rep, and actual playing (pre-, regular-, and post-season) time he fails to accrue is going to hurt them badly.
Baltimore has three more practices scheduled this weekend following Wednesday, so there will be time for the coaches and staffers of the Ravens to do their own explaining, and most importantly for the aforementioned players to return to the field.
We can only patiently wait, but the signs weren't definitely great on Wednesday.