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A Smarter, Gentler John Harbaugh?

Baltimore looking to stay healthy in preseason.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, Ravens coach John Harbaugh gave his team a 10-minute break where they went inside to cool down and drink water. 

It was the prudent course of action.

While the players were inside cooling down, Harbaugh conducted an impromptu Q&A session with the fans. 

"The players weren’t so thrilled about it, the ones I talked to, because they want to keep going and get it done," Harbaugh said. "But I think it was a smart thing to do, and we respect that. Respect the heat, guys were working hard, so that’s what we did.”

Those strategies have been indicative of the Ravens training camp as the team is determined to keep the players on the field and off the IR.

Harbaugh knows that he can spend days planning and strategizing for an opponent, but it's still going to be tough to win without his top personnel available to play.

Just look at last season ...

The Ravens managed to win eight of their first 11 games despite losing both of their starting running backs and a Pro-Bowl cornerback in training camp.

After beating Cleveland 16-10 in Week 12, the Ravens had the No. 1 spot in the AFC playoffs.

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But the injuries kept occurring and losing quarterback Lamar Jackson to an ankle injury was the death blow.

The Ravens lost their final five games without Jackson in the lineup and fell to 8-9 on the season.

Baltimore had 25 players on IR in 2021. 

Harbaugh is determined to remedy that challenge.

The team completely overhauled its practice schedule with later start times so the players can get the proper nutrition and get their bodies ready to play football.

The jury is out on whether this strategy will work. The team won't know until it starts playing the games.

However, after two weeks of practice, the Ravens have only suffered one major injury. Linebacker Vince Biegel, who had a shot at making the final roster, tore his Achilles and is out for the season.

If the Ravens keep their 53-man roster intact, they will are a Super-Bowl caliber team.

The key is to keep those players healthy.

Right now, that's the No. 1 goal.