OWINGS MILLS, Md. The Baltimore Ravens are already making changes after an injury-strewn season.
There was more stretching during warm-ups and fewer reps in training for players at the start of the team’s off-season conditioning program this week. The Ravens are coming off a season in which a total of 25 players were placed on the injured reserve.
“I think it means you can have more faith in the process because you know the coaches and the organization are doing everything they can to take care of us,” Pro Bowl defender Patrick Rijkaard Wed said. “They are aware of the injuries we’ve had. In my opinion, you can’t do the same things over and over and get a different result. You’d just be crazy.”
Injuries were a major factor as the Ravens finished 8-9 – the first time they last played at AFC North in coach John Harbaugh’s 14 seasons. By the end of the season, Baltimore had eight starting players in the IR, including the All-Pro . left tackle Ronnie StanleyCornbucks Pro Bowl Marlon Humphrey And Marcus Peterstheir running backs JK Dobbins And Joss Edwards.
After the season, Harbaugh met up with the performance crew for four hours. His message was not to overreact to injuries but not to underestimate them either.
The biggest change to the off-season volunteer program is the reduced workload. Workouts that used to be 10 to 12 reps are now eight to 10.
“Philosophically speaking, the program is still based on its own merits, but you just make small adjustments,” said Steve Saunders, Ravens head strength and conditioning coach. “We’ll say, ‘Well, we don’t know what these guys were doing. Let’s go back a little bit and maybe spend a little more time on the evaluation process, and add a few more things to the program. “”
This is the first off-season personal conditioning program after moving virtually the past two springs due to the pandemic. Last summer, the Ravens suffered a prolonged spell in which five players, including three linebackers, sustained end-of-season injuries over the course of 19 days.
Didn’t the presence of last year’s program contribute to the team’s injuries before the start of the season?
“You never know what contributed to that happening,” Saunders said. “It certainly wasn’t a plus.”
Last month, Harbaugh said the Ravens would also adjust their practices during vacation and training camp in an effort to reduce injuries.