In a span of eight starts, Ravens rookie right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. has already clashed with top defensive ends such as the New Orleans Saints’ Cameron Jordan, the Carolina Panthers’ Julius Peppers and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ T.J. Watt.
In the Ravens’ prime-time showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night, Brown will likely face the duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Ingram, who was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl on Tuesday, has a team-high seven sacks. Bosa has added four sacks in five games after sitting out the first nine with a bruised bone in his left foot.
“They’re All-Pro talents,” Brown said Wednesday. “Obviously, Bosa hasn’t played that much this year, but he’s still had All-Pro production in the little bit that he’s played. Obviously, Melvin Ingram is in the Pro Bowl. … Bosa and Ingram are two of the best at what they do.”
Brown last week was rated the fourth-best rookie offensive lineman in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. The third-round draft pick said his eight straight starts, many of which came after former starting right tackle James Hurst suffered a back injury, have accelerated his development.
“It helps out a lot,” Brown said. “Fortunately, I’ve seen a lot of good talent, too. So this isn’t my first time playing against an All-Pro, Pro Bowl talent. That’s just fortunate for me. I approach it with my approach, and I just try to continue to better my game as the season goes on and hopefully go out there and do what I need to do to help us win.”
Boyle clears concussion protocol
Starting tight end Nick Boyle has cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol and is questionable to play Saturday, coach John Harbaugh said Thursday.
Boyle was ruled out of returning to Sunday’s win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth quarter because of a concussion. After missing Tuesday’s practice, he participated Wednesday and Thursday.
Harbaugh said the team could decide on his availability as early as Thursday or as late as Saturday. “We'll see how he gets through the practice and everything,” he said.
Also questionable to play are outside linebacker Matthew Judon (knee), linebacker-defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. (toe/ankle) and guard Alex Lewis (shoulder). All but Lewis, who was limited in practice, were full participants Thursday.
Chargers reserve tight end Sean Culkin (back) has been ruled out of Saturday's game. Running back Austin Ekeler (neck) is doubtful to play, while top wide receiver Keenan Allen (hip) is questionable. Both players were limited in practice Thursday.
For Humphrey, a familiar challenge
With Allen limited in practice Thursday by a right hip pointer, Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey said it would be foolish to overlook Allen’s teammate, Mike Williams.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Williams was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after catching seven passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns, carrying the ball once for a 19-yard score and catching the game-winning 2-point conversion against the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
Humphrey said he and rookie cornerback Anthony Averett are quite familiar with Williams, who had eight receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown in Clemson’s 35-31 win against Alabama in the College Football Playoff national championship on Jan. 9, 2017.
“He’s definitely a jump-ball guy,” Humphrey said. “Even when he’s covered, he’s not really covered because of how big he is. He boxes out guys really well. So you’ll have to get your work done early with him, and when the ball goes up, you’ve got to try to win the 50-50s.”
No complaints from T. Williams
Tim Williams’ stretch of consecutive absences extended to six games with a healthy scratch Sunday. In four of the Ravens’ previous five games, the outside linebacker had been bothered by an ankle injury; in another, he was dealing with an illness.
Harbaugh said Williams, a third-round pick in 2017, “has to be one of the best 46” Ravens to be an option on game day. Williams, who has 10 tackles and two sacks this season, said his top priority is the team’s success.
“There’s no ‘I’ in team here with the Ravens,” he said. “So by me not playing, that’s fine. I still have room to grow. So that means I’ve still got to work. I got hurt. So I’ve got to work myself back. Nothing is going to be given overnight. It takes time. So as I’m sitting back watching, I’m supporting my teammates, I’m supporting my coaches, because I really want my team to win. I really want to go to the playoffs. I’ve never been to the playoffs. I want to win the Super Bowl. So that’s the only thing going through my mind right now.”