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With Joe Flacco throwing again, Ravens extend John Harbaugh’s contract

Not to say those two facts are related, but I guess in a way they really are. Coach Harbaugh’s contract was set to expire after the 2018 season, and there’s been speculation about his long-term future after the Ravens have missed the playoffs three of the past four years. If he really believed Joe Flacco’s ailing back was a long-term or career-threatening injury, I doubt Harbs would have wanted to sign on for an extra-year extension on his contract this week.

Since 2008 when Harbaugh arrived, Baltimore has posted the NFL’s fourth-most total victories (95) and is one of only seven teams with at least six playoff berths.

John Harbaugh said Flacco has started to throw and do football movements on the field during the last two days. “He’s moving toward practice,” Harbaugh said. “When the doctors clear him, which we don’t know that date or when that’s going to happen right now. We believe it’s going to be real soon, in time to prepare for [the season opener in] Cincinnati and he’ll be out there.”

The Ravens will entirely turn their focus to preparing for the Bengals after Thursday’s final preseason game in New Orleans and roster cuts, which must be done by 4 p.m. Saturday.

“We’ll go with the traditional way of handling it,” Harbaugh said. “We haven’t played our front-line guys in maybe nine years, so we’re not going to do it now. Our guys need to get ready for Cincinnati. Our guys need to get ready to play the Bengals.”

First-round pick cornerback Marlon Humphrey doesn’t have to worry about making the roster, but he could still see action Thursday night. The Ravens typically play their rookies in that game, even if they are high draft picks expected to play key roles in the regular season.

A spot on the defense that still looks like it’s up for grabs is the weak-side linebacker spot next to C.J. Mosley.

Kamalei Correa and Patrick Onwuasor split the first-team reps last week, and both played into the fourth quarter. While both will be important pieces of the defense this year, the Ravens will have to decide whether they want one more look at them in game action to make a decision on the starter before going into the regular season.

If Correa and Onwuasor both sit, then that could open an opportunity for Bam Bradley and Donald Payne, who are competing for a roster spot after the season-ending injury to Albert McClellan.

 

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