Michael Pierce is back in Baltimore. While he still hasn’t been seen on the practice field, it sounds like the veteran defensive lineman will be back for the start of training camp. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes that the Ravens expect Pierce to be at the first day of training camp.
“He’s healthy, he’s good; it’s just a personal matter with his family, and that’s what it is,” Harbaugh said last month (via the team’s website).
As Zrebiec writes, there was “obviously some concern” about the player’s lack of offseason participation “given Pierce’s past injury and weight issues.” However, having played for Harbaugh, the 29-year-old should be familiar with the team’s conditioning test, so it’s really on Pierce to just come into training camp in shape.
The former undrafted free agent spent the first four seasons of his career with the Ravens, starting 30 of his 60 games. He signed a three-year, $27MM deal with the Vikings in 2020, but Minnesota only got eight starts out of him. Pierce opted out of the 2020 campaign, and an elbow injury forced him to miss the middle chunk of the 2021 season. Still, he was productive during his brief time on the field with the Vikings, collecting 20 tackles and three sacks, and that performance helped him earn a new three-year, $16.5MM pact from Baltimore.
After moving on from the likes of Brandon Williams, Justin Ellis, and Derek Wolfe, the Ravens will be relying on Pierce to provide some much-needed depth on the defensive line. Third-round rookie Travis Jones could see some increased reps at camp if Pierce isn’t ready to go.