Advertisement

Five things to watch in Ravens' preseason opener against Redskins

POSITION: Running back. Terrance West is the team's clear back and Danny Woodhead will be used on third downs and in other situations. With Kenneth Dixon done for the year, there is an opportunity for Buck Allen, Bobby Rainey and impressive undrafted rookie Taquan "Smoke" Mizzell to carve out a role on offense and give the Ravens another reason to establish and stick to their Greg Roman-directed running game.

VETERAN: All eyes will be on backup-turned-starting-quarterback Ryan Mallett, who could ease some of the angst from Joe Flacco's absence with a solid performance. It has been an interesting couple of weeks for Mallett, who has listened to criticism for his uneven play in camp and talk about the Ravens potentially bringing in free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Mallett will play "pretty extensively" against the Redskins.

Advertisement

ROOKIE: Third-round rush linebacker Tim Williams has made some of the Ravens offensive tackles look foolish during pass-rush drills in camp. Now, Williams will get an opportunity to show what he can do in a game. Expect the Ravens to let the former Alabama standout play a lot in the preseason as he acclimates himself to the NFL.

ON THE BUBBLE: Keenan Reynolds had just one catch in the preseason last year as he made the transition from a record-setting college quarterback at Navy to an NFL wide receiver. However, he has shown significant improvement this summer. He'll likely need a prolific preseason to secure a spot on the team's 53-man roster.

INJURY REPORT: Flacco (back), wide receivers Breshad Perriman (hamstring) and Kenny Bell (hamstring), offensive linemen Alex Lewis (unspecified), Austin Howard (unspecified) and Marshal Yanda (shoulder), and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey (unspecified) and Sheldon Price (shoulder) are all not expected to play. Given the team's injury situation, Harbaugh figures to be extra cautious with veterans such as Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, Benjamin Watson, Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Brandon Williams, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Carr, Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson.

Advertisement
Advertisement