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Ravens FB Patrick Ricard practicing with offensive line after coming off PUP list

Patrick Ricard has already made a career out of doing whatever is asked of him.

Baltimore is doubling back to the veteran with a new request in 2023: learn how to fit in on the offensive line. The four-time Pro Bowl fullback passed his physical and was removed from the physically unable to perform list, clearing the way for his return to practice Monday, where he worked with the offensive line.

"We're looking at that. It's just a multiple role kind of thing," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, via the team's official site. "Pat's quite an athlete. He can do a lot of different things. Maybe we expand his role just a little bit for a little bit of time and see how he does."

Ricard made the switch from a collegiate defensive lineman to fullback upon entering the NFL, but he moonlighted at his old position when necessary early in his career. His main task since then has been to serve as a bruising blocker who is surprisingly capable of making a difference as a pass catcher when called upon.

Injuries have hampered Ricard, who successfully underwent a second hip procedure in the offseason, forcing him to start camp on the PUP list. Baltimore already had a solution on its roster: athletic fullback/tight end Ben Mason, who replaced Ricard during the veteran's absence, getting reps as both a blocker and pass catcher.

With Mason in the fold, Baltimore doesn't necessarily need Ricard to return to his role as a full-time fullback. But the Ravens also know he's uniquely capable of still serving a purpose within Baltimore's system, and giving him a look at offensive line isn't a bad idea, especially since the Ravens could use an extra effective blocker up front.

"I think Patrick's an established player," tight ends coach George Godsey said Saturday. "He's able to block people, move people (and) he's a good protector. His role is physicality, so with every offense, there has to be that component. He's demonstrated that for the past few years. I think most of our opponents will say that, too."

Could there be a future in which Ricard and Mason are both on the field, with Ricard joining the offensive line and Mason filling the H-back role? As Monday's practice showed, it's not out of the question.

Baltimore is looking for quality players, regardless of past positional fit. If Ricard can pick up offensive line play quickly, he might make it easier for the Ravens to keep him and Mason when it comes time to trim the roster down to 53.

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