Ravens, Bears get early starts in NFL pre-season camps

The Baltimore Ravens start their pre-season training camp on July 11, 2018. (AFP pic)

BALTIMORE: Lamar Jackson was the final first-round selection in this year’s NFL Draft, but he will be among the first players reporting to pre-season workouts under training camp schedules released on Thursday.The 21-year-old star quarterback at the University of Louisville will report to the Baltimore Ravens camp on July 11, the earliest arrival date for any players among the league’s 32 clubs.

The Ravens and Chicago Bears will start ahead of rival clubs because they meet in the first pre-season game to launch the 2018 campaign, the annual Football Hall of Fame contest on August 2 at Canton, Ohio.

Jackson, who won the 2016 Heisman Trophy as the top collegiate American football player, will compete for a starting job against Ravens veteran Joe Flacco, who, like other Ravens veterans, reports on July 18.

That’s a day before Chicago veterans arrive and only two days after Bears newcomers join Chicago’s camp.

Other NFL teams, including the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, have veterans arrive from July 25-27, or about three weeks before their pre-season openers.

Most teams conduct pre-season workouts near their home city, but two notable exceptions are the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys, each trying to escape the Texas summer heat.

The Cowboys gather in Southern California and the Texans work out at the Greenbrier resort in the West Virginia mountains.