John Harbaugh: QB Ryan Mallett could play this season

— -- OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Newly signed quarterback Ryan Mallett could play for the Baltimore Ravens in the final three weeks of the regular season, coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday.

"He's here. He's on the team," Harbaugh said. "Yeah, he absolutely has a chance."

Mallett, 27, who was cut by the Houston Texans two months ago, will begin by working on the Ravens' scout team this week. Jimmy Clausen, who started last Sunday for the Ravens, will take most of the reps in Wednesday's practice, and Matt Schaub will take some snaps for the struggling Ravens (4-9).

Harbaugh wouldn't define this as a trial period for Mallett, whose contract reportedly could be worth as much as $2.5 million in 2016.

"I think everybody is on that kind of trial in life," Harbaugh said. "When you get a couple of strikes against you, it certainly brings it into sharp focus. He has an opportunity to make the best of it, and he's determined to do that. What he makes of it really in the end is up to him."

Mallett had history of arriving late for team activities during his two seasons in Houston. The Texans released him in October days after missing a team flight to Miami.

Earlier this month, Mallett impressed team officials in his workout. But the Ravens waited to sign him because he had "personal things that he had to work through," Harbaugh said Monday.

A league source told ESPN's Ed Werder that Baltimore signed Mallett after he assured them he received professional help for issues that contributed to his downfall in Houston.

A third-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2011, Mallett played in four games in three seasons in New England before being traded for a conditional draft pick to the Texans. He was 2-4 as a starter in two years with the Texans. Mallett has completed 53.1 percent of his passes in his career with five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

"Obviously, he's a guy who's had a certain amount of success [in] the NFL and has a lot of talent," Harbaugh said. "He's had his ups and downs, we've talked about those things with him. Guys go through things in life and in careers. We'll see if he can get it going in the right direction. He's certainly capable of doing it. I love his demeanor. I love his attitude, what I've seen of it so far."

Mallett will speak to Baltimore reporters after Wednesday's practice.