LANDOVER — Rookie offensive lineman Ben Powers got the start at left guard for the Ravens’ final preseason game Thursday, one day after the team traded guard Jermaine Eluemunor and a 2020 sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots for a 2020 fourth-round pick.
Right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. was the sole projected starter on the offensive line who played against the Washington Redskins. Greg Senat started at left tackle, Patrick Mekari was at center and Bradley Bozeman started at right guard.
Powers played into the second half, this time at right guard, but was flagged twice for holding.
“I’m just playing ball, doing what I can to help the team,” Powers said after the game."You prepare as if you are playing. ... Even if you’re not going to play, you’re one of the sixth or seventh guys suiting up. You never know with O-linemen, injuries and whatnot."
Veteran receivers sit; ‘Hollywood’ gets crack at punt returns
Veteran wideouts Michael Floyd and Seth Roberts didn’t suit up for Thursday night’s game. Roberts missed two weeks of practice with an undisclosed injury but returned last Saturday. Floyd broke out last week against the Philadelphia Eagles with three receptions and a touchdown catch after failing to catch a pass in the first two preseason games.
Coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday that it was “a possibility” Roberts would play Thursday but also indicated there were other starters the team still wanted to see.
Rookie wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown played after making his preseason debut last week.
The first-round pick out of Oklahoma got in-game punt-return duties for the first time but struggled with ball security. Brown muffed two punts in the first quarter, his only attempts on the night, after calling for a fair catch each time, but he recovered both.
“It was a good punt, both of them,” Brown said. “I just got to get in front of the ball. ... I’ve been practicing. I’ve been catching in practice. I just have to execute.”
Running back Tyler Ervin took over for Brown in the second quarter and also handled kick returns.
Ervin and cornerback Cyrus Jones were previously battling to see who would handle punt returns but it appeared that the Ravens wanted to see how Brown fared before the regular season began.
McSorley starts at QB
Trace McSorley started at quarterback for the second straight game, as Lamar Jackson, as well as a handful of starters on both sides of the ball, didn’t suit up.
It was the final chance for the sixth-round draft pick to stake his claim for the Ravens to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Harbaugh said earlier in the week that McSorley’s play warranted a legitimate discussion.
“Trace [McSorley] has definitely, definitely, earned the right to be in our plans, one way or another,” Harbaugh said on Tuesday. “We’ll see how it shakes out. We don’t know. It’s a decision that still has to be made, but I think he’s done everything he can do, for sure.”
In a little more than one half, McSorley completed 15 of 27 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown, an 87.1 passer rating.
“I feel really good,” McSorley said. “I love being in Baltimore. My time here so far has been amazing. I feel like I fit in well in the offense and the scheme of what we do.”
Scott makes push for sixth receiver spot
With only one more wide receiver spot likely up for grabs on the 53-man roster, second-year wideout Jaleel Scott made the most of his opportunity. For the second straight game, Scott caught a touchdown pass, grabbing a 24-yarder from McSorley in the second quarter.
Scott led the team with six receptions for 87 yards. He said practicing against the Ravens defense in training camp allowed him to become more comfortable and translate his play into the preseason.
“Just going up against our defense, they’re very competitive,” Scott said. “When you play against other teams, it slows down the game. It slows down so much. So now I’m out there, I’m like, ‘Wow.’ It’s starting to feel like college out there. It’s starting to feel like high school."
It’s unclear whether Roberts and Floyd didn’t play because the team had seen enough, but Scott’s performance this summer, combined with his reps on special teams, makes him a viable candidate for the final receiver position.