Ravens coach John Harbaugh says they won’t rush Dez Bryant

Andrew Gillis
·2 min read

Ravens coach John Harbaugh says they won’t rush Dez Bryant originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Ravens have perhaps the most popular practice squad player in NFL history. Meaning before an important AFC matchup, it’s still pertinent to ask coach John Harbaugh about where wide receiver Dez Bryant stands on the roster.

But as of Friday, there hasn’t been a change to Bryant’s status on the Ravens.

“I think we’ll just stay with what we said,” Harbaugh said. “When we feel like he’s ready to come up, in shape, knows the offense well enough, has enough compatibility with Lamar on enough plays then we’ll bring him up. When it happens, I think it’ll happen. I don’t think it’s something you want to force-feed in there. It’s something we’ll have to see as we go.”

The Ravens brought in the 32-year-old wideout at the end of October, but have since stashed him on the practice squad while he gets himself into game shape. He last played in the NFL in 2017 as a member of the Cowboys. 

Bryant signed with the Saints in 2018 but tore his Achilles tendon just two days into his career in New Orleans. Since then, the three-time Pro Bowl talent has trained and recovered to hit the field again.

The Ravens’ passing attack hasn’t been what the team hoped it would be this season through the first seven games. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has thrown for 191.9 yards per game as he hasn’t recaptured the magic of his MVP season. 

After the team’s loss to the Steelers, wide receiver Marquise Brown expressed frustration on Twitter about his lack of targets (two). With Bryant in the mix, however, the Ravens are hopeful that he’ll be able to boost the team’s pass-catching group.

“Oh man, he’s a great route runner,” Jackson said. “He has strong hands. He’s dialed in into the playbook; he’s always asking me questions about the playbook – stuff like that. He wants to compete. I just can’t wait until he gets out there with us on Sundays and fully practices with us.”

As for when that will be still remains to be seen.