With fans watching from the sidelines, the Ravens put on a show at voluntary organized team activities Thursday despite the absence of some of their most well-known players like quarterback Lamar Jackson.

The coaches were in fine form, yelling out instructions and amusing criticisms, while young players and depth players tried to impress.

Outside of what was going on on the field, Jackson’s absence was a main topic of conversation since he has missed three of the four open OTAs. But he is not among the group of players (safety Marcus Williams, outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy, wide receiver Deonte Harty) who have missed every OTA, and there were 17 others who did not participate Thursday.

Coach John Harbaugh explained that Harty has a newborn, which has led to his absence, but he had no comment to make about any of the others, including Jackson.

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“It’s this time of year,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a voluntary time. It’s really not something we comment on. We can’t. That’s just the time of year it is. I can’t speak for anybody that’s not here. I pretty much know the different reasons guys aren’t here most of the time — but not always. Nobody’s required to tell you exactly what’s going on.”

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Safety Beau Brade, running back Keaton Mitchell, outside linebacker Adisa Isaac and defensive tackle Rayshad Nichols haven’t participated at all due to injures, and they have been on the sidelines for all the practices. Nose tackle Michael Pierce also hasn’t participated, but he’s been present.

The additional absences Thursday were cornerbacks Arthur Maulet, Marlon Humphrey and Trayvon Mullen; safety Kyle Hamilton; running backs Derrick Henry and Justice Hill; linebacker Yvandy Rigby; tight end Mark Andrews; and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike. There was one player who made his first appearance: wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who made some good catches.

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When asked if he felt players were missing anything by skipping OTAs, Harbaugh replied: “I’m a coach, so you know my answer to that: That’s what we do.”

“We want to be going forward as fast as we can,” Harbaugh added. “No drag. Making ground. Getting better every day. ... And it takes a lot of work to do that. And as a coach, that’s what you’re looking for.”

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But the guys who were there practiced hard, and Harbaugh was pleased with what they accomplished. At this point in the offseason, those present aren’t earning themselves a better roster spot, but there are evaluations being done, Harbaugh said. They’re just being done through a “different lens” than training camp — the players are competing with themselves instead of against each other at OTAs.

The silver lining of the absences is that, with so many players missing, young players have a chance to run alongside starters in drills and learn from them. A number of them showed out today.

First-round draft pick cornerback Nate Wiggins got to line up against both Rashod Bateman and Zay Flowers. He said Bateman has been the hardest receiver to cover so far. Wiggins showed off his speed, impressing cornerback Brandon Stephens, the only starting defensive back in attendance today.

Safety Ar’Darius Washington, who has been injured for much of his NFL career, laid down a hit on running back Owen Wright, showing he can play physical despite his small stature.

Fifth-round pick running back Rasheen Ali was a favorite target for Josh Johnson, who has been getting Jackson’s reps. Without contact, Ali’s runs were called dead quickly, but he had a number of nice catches that he extended into first downs.

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Quarterback Emory Jones, an undrafted free agent, had a nice day at his second open OTA. He whipped a ball past the fingers of the defense to hit tight end Scotty Washington on the sidelines. While he did narrowly avoid an interception, he worked the field well, finding third-round pick wide receiver Devontez Walker on the sideline and Tylan Wallace down the middle of the field for big plays.

Many of these players probably won’t be competing for a starting spot come August (with the exception of Wiggins), but they’re showing they’re players to watch for when camp arrives.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Rayshad Nichols’ first name.