PHILADELPHIA — As the heat climbed and climbed Monday, with the heat index hovering over 100 at Philadelphia International Airport by mid-afternoon, the Ravens’ injury list continued to grow, too.
After entering the first of two joint practices against the Philadelphia Eagles with 12 players sidelined, the Ravens left with a few more possible injuries. And that was with a shortened practice.
Jermaine Eluemunor was removed from practice early in the session, after he’d taken several repetitions at left guard with the first-team offensive line. Eluemunor appeared uncomfortable as he stood behind the offense while an athletic trainer tended to him, and he later left the field in a cart.
Defensive tackle Gerald Willis and inside linebacker Otaro Alaka, both undrafted free agents who need strong performances to help their case for the 53-man roster, also were sidelined with apparent injuries within the first hour. Starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley and top running back Mark Ingram did not appear hurt, but like the two rookies, they did not participate in much of the late-practice work.
The dozen Ravens who did not participate Monday — wide receivers Seth Roberts and Miles Boykin; running backs Kenneth Dixon and Gus Edwards; offensive linemen Marshal Yanda, Randin Crecelius and Greg Senat; linebackers Chris Board (concussion), Nicholas Grigsby and Shane Ray; and cornerbacks Tavon Young (neck) and Iman Marshall — also missed practice Sunday.
Coach John Harbaugh declined to comment on specific injuries afterward.
‘All new’ for WR Brown
Rookie wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown had a milestone practice Monday: It was his first time playing against NFL defenders not employed by the Ravens.
The first-round pick missed Thursday’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers but has now appeared in four straight practices, an encouraging development given his long offseason recovery from Lisfranc (foot) surgery.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Sunday that Brown still needs to develop chemistry with quarterback Lamar Jackson, and the two did not connect in Brown’s relatively limited action. His highlight was a slant route he turned into an early completion from backup Trace McSorley early in practice.
“He basically practiced for the first time in a more aggressive setting, so I saw a guy that was practicing for the first time," Harbaugh said. "He just needs to get accustomed to it. It’s all new for him — the speed of it, the thinking, the lining up, running the right route. He has a ways to go with all of that. I’m confident he’ll get there, and we’ll know what to do to use him, how to use him early in the season. But it’s just great work for him.”
After the Ravens’ 26-13 win over the Packers on Thursday, Jackson was upset with how penalties had knocked the offense’s red-zone attack off course. After settling for a touchdown and a field goal in three drives in the preseason opener, Jackson led two field-goal drives against Green Bay.
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“I was mad," he said afterward. “We didn’t score. Penalties killed us in the red zone. We just have to minimize our penalties, have none. I feel like we didn’t punch it in. I was ticked off with not scoring, because I told you guys that was my goal this year, when we get in the red zone, just to score.”
Monday’s showing won’t make him feel much better. Other than a pretty connection with tight end Mark Andrews in the corner of the end zone, Jackson and the Ravens struggled against the Eagles in several seven-on-seven red-zone drills.
“The red zone is tough," Harbaugh said Monday. “The red zone is faster. Coverage is tighter. Things have to be executed more quickly, more decisively. The windows are going to be closing quicker, and they’re smaller. Timing is really important. Execution is everything. So for a young quarterback, it’s a fast game as it is, but that much faster in the red zone. And that’s where you score points. We can’t be down there kicking too many field goals."
>> Safety Earl Thomas seems to have knocked off his offseason rust, but Monday’s heat was a reminder of how just football taxing can be. “I was feeling great until I started cramping up,” he joked. “It was hot. It was a dog day. I felt really good.”
>> After seeing a pair of backup quarterbacks in their first two preseason games, Thomas and the Ravens defense are eager to face Eagles starter Carson Wentz in Thursday’s game at Lincoln Financial Field. “It will be great,” he said. "It will be great to face live bullets when we can unleash the dogs up front and see how he reacts to that. And then, if we make mistakes, it’s going to only make us better.”
>> Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, a Pro Bowl selection the past two years, had high praise for a Ravens defense that was missing several of its top inside linebackers and was relying on Brandon Carr at slot cornerback for many reps: “I think they were the No. 1 defense in the league last year, so they got talent all over their defense. Their scheme is really tough to go against. They’re really, really big and physical in the front seven, like they’ve always been, so it’s a really good test for us as an offense.”