Is it important for everyone to be at OTA’s? My opinion is that it’s most important for the players that are 3 years and younger, the reason being they need the reps and the learning.
For Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, who are getting older and have shown over the years that they will work out on their own and will come into camp in shape, it is not an issue. I do think Haloti Ngata should be there because he had a lot of injuries last season and his production went down, and I would think he would be there at least rehabbing with Ravens staff.
Do I think John Harbaugh is upset? All coaches want everyone there, so I’m sure privately he is not happy about 18 players not being there. Of the 18, I’m sure there were some excused absences and some of the players were in the training room.
So is it a big deal? Only if they continues to have that many absences next week too. Come June 12, 13, and 14, everyone with the exemption of Ray Rice will be there and no one will remember that 18 players missed on Wednesday.