It might have been a routine training camp session for the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday if not for the two big names who were not on the practice field:
Lamar Jackson and Earl Thomas.
Relax, Ravens fans. Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, was granted an “R&R Day,” so to speak.
Thomas, however, was given a pass under completely different circumstances.
A day after the veteran engaged in an altercation during practice with fellow safety Chuck Clark, Thomas was apparently not welcomed back — at least not immediately — as speculation mounts that the team could be on the verge of releasing him or perhaps suspending him for conduct detrimental to the team. It’s also possible that the Ravens could shop Thomas on the trade market. Clark, by the way, was a full practice participant on Saturday while Thomas is seemingly in limbo. As of late Saturday afternoon, there was no official change to Thomas’ status. His absence was described by assistant head coach David Culley as “an organizational decision.”
Culley didn’t elaborate, saying it was a matter for coach John Harbaugh to address. Harbaugh did not address the media on Saturday, when five assistants had conferences. Thomas expressed his frustration in a since-deleted message on Instagram.
“Being sent home sucks,” Thomas wrote on social media, with the post including video from Friday’s practice of the play that led to the skirmish with Clark. “I can’t take the reps I need to keep momentum going. But I can reflect on things and keep working my plan to help the team win. This has been one of my best camps.”
If Thomas’ tone on social media is an accurate reflection, he sounds like a man who wants to patch up differences and return — with a guaranteed $10 million in the mix.
Whether the Ravens want him back might reflect a different opinion.