NFL Notes: Ravens Still Pondering Whether to Sign Colin Kaepernick

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Joe Flacco's health. The salary cap. And of course, potential negative fan reaction.

The Baltimore Raves are weighing all these factors -- and then some -- as they continue to wrestle with the decision whether to sign free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

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It's been a week since Ravens coach John Harbaugh floated the idea of adding Kaepernick, a veteran with Super Bowl experience and the baggage that comes from his decision last year to literally sit out the national anthem on game day.

The topic of Kaepernick came up on the first day of training camp because Flacco, the team's starter for the past nine seasons, arrived with a bad back. Flacco still hasn't taken a snap, though he insists he's on the mend.

Kaepernick remains an option, particularly since backup Ryan Mallett has not performed well in practice. One problem is the Ravens face in signing Kaepernick is they don't have much space under the salary cap and still have plenty of holes to fill, including on a porous offense line.

But biggest challenge for the Ravens is gauging the potential backlash that might be created by signing a player who gained widespread attention last year for his decision to sit -- then eventually kneel -- during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice (see full story).

Rams: Easley expected to miss season knee injury
IRVINE, Calif. -- A person with knowledge of the situation says Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Dominique Easley is expected to miss the season with a torn knee ligament.

The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because the Rams hadn't announced the severity of the injury for Easley, a likely starter this season.

Easley hurt his right knee during training camp on Tuesday and was taken off the field on a cart. Easley also tore ligaments in both knees during college at Florida.

Easley was the Patriots' first-round pick in 2014, but his two seasons in New England both ended early due to injuries, including a knee problem in his rookie year. After the Patriots let him go, Easley signed with the Rams last year and had a solid season with 35 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks (see full story).

Chargers: Rookie OL Lamp tears knee ligament
COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Chargers rookie offensive lineman Forrest Lamp tore a ligament in his right knee Wednesday during the fourth practice of training camp.

Lamp was taken off the field on a cart, and the second-round pick's injury was diagnosed a few hours later with an MRI exam. The results were another bad break for a franchise that struggled with inordinate injury problems over the past two seasons in San Diego.

Los Angeles already is without first-round pick Mike Williams. The receiver from Clemson won't practice in training camp after hurting his back during the Chargers' offseason workout program.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn didn't know much immediately after practice about the condition of Lamp, the 38th overall pick out of Western Kentucky. Lamp got off the cart and walked into the Chargers' medical tent, but was favoring one leg (see full story).

Browns: Top pick Garrett getting help from HOFer Smith 
BEREA, Ohio -- Myles Garrett is getting Hall of Fame help.

On the same day he took snaps with Cleveland's starting defense, Garrett got a visit at training camp from Bruce Smith, the NFL's career sacks leader who believes the No. 1 overall pick could be destined for greatness.

"A very intelligent young man, so it's not going to take him long to figure this game out," Smith said. "Obviously, there's always a learning curve, but he can be an impact player in his first year."

The Browns are counting on Garrett making an impact for the next decade, and the 21-year-old has already made quite a first impression with his ability and attitude. Since camp opened, Garrett has voluntarily stayed on the field long after practice ends to run 100-yard sprints and build up his stamina.

Garrett has been working with the defensive backups, but he joined the starters on Wednesday and went against Pro Bowl offensive tackle Joe Thomas for the first time.

Giants: Wide receiver Shepard rolls left ankle
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants may be without starting wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a little while.

The team's second-leading receiver last season rolled his left ankle running a short route in Wednesday's training camp practice.

After the workout, coach Ben McAdoo said the injury appeared to be a sprain, but he added that further evaluations were planned.

The second-year receiver got up after being hurt and hopped to the sideline, where he immediately fell to the grass in pain. He was taken off the field on a golf cart and did not return.

A second-round draft pick from Oklahoma, Shepard had 65 catches for 683 yards and eight touchdowns last season playing mostly in the slot (see full story).

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