Aug 13, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; New Orleans Saints strong safety Jamarca Sanford (33) tackles Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Darren Waller (12) during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The joint practices have come at a nice time for the Baltimore Ravens as they can hit other players other than their teammates. The intensity was ramped up during the second day of joint practices with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The third and final practice Friday, August 21 is not expected to be as intense. The Ravens second preseason game is Saturday, August 22 at 7pm against the Eagles. With the teams seeing each everyday leading up to it, the game should be competitive even as a preseason game.
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The players were a bit more restless during Thursday’s practice compared to Wednesday. Both practices between the teams included full pads.
Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. agitated the Eagles’ defense by beating them in coverage and spinning the ball at the end of a play. However, the players did not allow anything to get out of hand.
Rookie tight end Nick Boyle had a very good practice, but he did allow an Eagles’ defender to strip the ball from after he caught a pass. According to Baltimore Sun beat writer Jeff Zrebiec, he was stripped for the second time in two practices. Head coach John Harbaugh called him over immediately.
The rookie out of Delaware has had an issue with fumbles and dropped passes in training camp. He is competing with fellow rookie Maxx Williams and second-year tight end Crockett Gillmore.
Rookie receiver Waller had a great practice Thursday, while converted wide receiver Tom Nelson has been given more reps over the past week.
Rookie wide receiver Darren Waller had one of his best practices yet. He is listed behind most of the receivers on the depth chart. But if there is anything to say about the wide receiver competition, it is long from over. His big frame makes him a valuable target in the redzone, if he is able to discipline himself and use his size to be a receiver the Ravens cannot help but keep on the roster.
However, for one receiver, he hasn’t been able to show much of what he is able to do. Rookie Breshad Perriman missed another practice, and most likely, he will not be playing Saturday night. Harbaugh still has not given a time table on his return, but we do know he has a mild sprain that was still swelling when last reported on.
Until he actually begins to practice again, he is not going to play in a preseason game. I would think he if he does play the next two games after Saturday that he would receive additional playing time to make up for lost time.
One last note on the wide receiver competition is that former safety turned wide receiver Tom Nelson has been getting extra reps this past week. It is not certain whether this is a sign of him making the team, or the coaches want more time to evaluate what he can bring to the team. Either way, an unlikely player is gaining some of the coaches’ attention.
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In regards to injuries, there is good news. Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, who missed the Ravens’ first preseason game, has been practicing and should have his preseason debut Saturday. He has consistently been in Philadelphia’s backfield during practice.
However, with good news comes bad news as cornerback Lardarius Webb missed another practice due to his hamstring. He did not practice Wednesday either, so he could possibly be a scratch from Saturday’s game.
Hopefully, more of the defensive starters can play Saturday compared to the game against the New Orleans Saints. The team was very thin on the defensive line last Thursday.