Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, right, is greeted by offensive coordinator Greg Roman at the start practice Saturday in Owings Mills, Maryland. Jackson practice for the first time after a bout with COVID-19. Kevin Richardson/Associated Press via The Baltimore Sun

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson is back at practice, and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh expects the star quarterback to catch up pretty easily to where the rest of the team is in its preparation.

“He’s going to merge right in,” Harbaugh said, using cars on a highway as a metaphor.

Jackson was on the field Saturday, a day after the Ravens activated him from the COVID-19 list. He hadn’t practiced yet during training camp, but with the first preseason game still a week away, the team has plenty of time before the start of the season becomes imminent.

Jackson wasn’t available to reporters Saturday, but Harbaugh gave a positive evaluation of his practice.

“I thought he looked really good. I would say he looked even better than I expected him to,” Harbaugh said. “You’re coming off 10 days away, he hadn’t started yet. COVID is tough. He had symptoms. He had a lot of symptoms.”

The Ravens will hope this bout with COVID-19 was his last. Jackson also tested positive last season and missed a game. Harbaugh said he tried to use his time productively during this most recent absence.


“He was in meetings when he could be, when he was able to be. Conditioning to the degree that he was able to — not a lot, especially early. Toward the end a little bit,” Harbaugh said. “He got hit pretty hard with the symptoms.”

PATRIOTS: New England reportedly sustained its first notable season-ending injury of the 2021 season.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, veteran linebacker Raekwon McMillan tore his ACL in practice this week and will be out for the season. McMillan appeared to sustain the injury on Tuesday, during the Patriots’ first day of padded practices, per NFL Network’s Michael Girardi.

McMillan signed with the Patriots as a free agent this past offseason, becoming part of a wave of talent that was designed to refresh a linebacker corps that struggled in 2020.

The 25-year-old linebacker was a second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2017 NFL Draft and was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders ahead of the 2020 NFL season. McMillan was one of the Patriots’ later free agent additions this offseason, coming in after the likes of Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy and was expected to play a role as a coverage linebacker this year.

The loss of McMillan puts greater stress on the Patriots’ depth at off-ball linebacker. Returning linebacker Harvey Langi is among those who could stand to gain playing time following McMillan’s injury.


BRONCOS: There was finally some excitement at the Denver Broncos’ training camp — and it had nothing to do with the drudging quarterback clash between Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock.

Pass rusher Bradley Chubb and left tackle Garett Bolles got into a fight during a team drill midway through practice Saturday and kept chirping at each other afterward.

Keeping them apart to keep the confrontation from reigniting were teammates, assistants and even head coach Vic Fangio and general manager George Paton.

With tempers remaining high and both men threatening to beat the snot out of the other, Bolles retreated to the locker room to cool off before returning to the field and eventually shaking Chubb’s hand during a water break.

Chubb is coming off a Pro Bowl season and Bolles is coming off a breakout year that led to a $68 million extension. They are two of the foundational players for a franchise aiming to end a five-year playoff drought.

DOLPHINS: Tight end Adam Shaheen says contact tracing landed him on the COVID-19 reserve list, and he has no intention to get vaccinated.


“For me, it’s a personal choice, and it’s bigger than just COVID,” Shaheen said. “The NFL is trying to push it. … I’m going to continue to go through the protocols of the unvaccinated that they make me do. I’m not going to get fined.

“But they’re not going to strong-arm me into doing something for more freedom when this is such a changing atmosphere, and they’re already taking away freedoms of the unvaccinated guys.”

Shaheen said he has never tested positive for COVID-19.

He went on the COVID-19 reserve list last Sunday, along with receiver Preston Williams and tight ends Mike Gesicki and Cethan Carter. Shaheen, Carter and Williams were activated from the list Thursday, and Gesicki remains on it.

CARDINALS: Arizona signed running back Ito Smith.

The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Smith played his first three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. The 25-year-old has run for 689 yards and six touchdowns in his career while catching 55 passes for 314 yards.

Smith could be an option for the Cardinals behind the team’s top two running backs Chase Edmonds and James Conner, who signed with Arizona after four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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