In 2011 and '12, Ricard posted at least six tweets that used the N-word. These tweets surfaced on social media Sunday morning before the Ravens played the Chiefs.
"He's been a brother," said defensive lineman Michael Pierce, who is African-American. "We have never known him to do anything or say anything like that. So yes, as far as we know, he's good. We're going to stand behind him, and it's a brotherhood here."
After Sunday's game, Ricard apologized for tweets he made when he was "a 16-year-old kid in high school who clearly made bad choices." Earlier that day, the Ravens condemned the tweets, calling them "totally unacceptable."
"I was shocked, honestly, but Pat is family," Pierce said. "We actually went to dinner [on Dec. 3], so I never would have expected it. That's not the guy I know, and it's unfortunate that he said it, but he's still a brother to me and a brother to us on this team. So yes, we're going to stand behind him, and that's something we just never expected, honestly."
Ricard, an undrafted rookie out of Maine in 2017, has played 10 games this season. Nicknamed "Project Pat" because he is one of the few players who line up on offense and defense, Ricard has made four tackles this season and has played 90 snaps on offense.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the decision to make Ricard inactive for Sunday's game was unrelated to the tweets. Ricard has been inactive for three games this season.
Asked if the team has made any decision regarding Ricard, Harbaugh said, "The best way I can describe that is it's been handled internally, and it's been handled by the leaders on our team."