NFL: Ravens vs. Browns

Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce was pulled from the team’s first mandatory minicamp Tuesday due to poor conditioning.

OWINGS MILLS — Defensive tackle Michael Pierce missed his third consecutive minicamp practice Thursday.

Pierce was sent off the field by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh prior to the start of practice Tuesday due to poor conditioning. Harbaugh later said Pierce was removed “for his own health and safety” and called the situation “a problem.”

Ravens defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale addressed it Wednesday following Pierce’s second missed minicamp.

“Of course you’re disappointed. What I said to him, I said in front of the whole defense. ‘Life is about choices. Just don’t make that choice make your life,’” Martindale said. “He’s a dominant player and he’s got a challenge from here until training camp to get to a certain stage. That’s through the trainers, [general manager] Eric [DeCosta] and Harbs and where they want him to be at. I know he’ll be there.”

Pierce was listed at 340 pounds last season when he was one of the top players on the Ravens’ No. 1-ranked defense. He signed a restricted free agent tender this offseason worth $3 million.

Pierce is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

“I think we piled on him enough yesterday,” Martindale said. “Let’s not forget what a great football player he is. He’ll get back there. I can’t tell you when, but he’ll get back there.”

Safety Tony Jefferson said he spoke with Pierce Tuesday.

“I talked to him. Weight is weight, if that’s what the predicament is. We love Mike,” Jefferson said. “He knows what he has to do and he’s working his tail off. That’s all we can really talk about on that, but I’m excited to have my guys back.”

The other four players to miss a consecutive day of practice were rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown, offensive linemen Alex Lewis and Patrick Mekari and cornerback/return specialist Cyrus Jones.

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