Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for his eighth different team in Sunday’s season opener, and the Ravens are fully aware of his big-play ability.
Known for his gun-slinging tendencies and boom-or-bust potential, the 36-year-old was the darling of the NFL the first month of last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, putting together three consecutive 400-yard passing games to start the season.
Ravens running back Mark Ingram II got a first-hand look at Fitzpatrick, as he threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in a Week 1 win over the New Orleans Saints.
“He can look like a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Ingram said of Fitzpatrick. “He can light you up when he’s on. [You] got to be able to respect him. [He’s] played a lot of snaps in the league. He’s had success, sometimes he hasn’t. But you just got to prepare for him because he can hurt you.”
Safety Earl Thomas III called Fitzpatrick “streaky” but acknowledged the pitfalls that come with his risk-taking.
“He can get hot and also it can go the other way for him,” Thomas said. “We definitely want to make it hard on him. We know he likes to step up in the pocket and we just want to make it as hard as possible on him.”
No decision on Young
Despite being placed on season-ending injured reserve, no decision has been made on surgery for slot cornerback Tavon Young, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh said he hasn’t had specific conversations with Young regarding what route to take but said it’s ultimately a medical decision between the Ravens’ medical staff and Young’s camp.
Young is dealing with a disk issue in his neck and was trying to hold off on surgery to attempt a late-season return, but team doctors suggested surgery, which would sideline him until next season. The 25-year-old isn’t eligible to return from IR after Week 8 since the team didn’t keep him on the initial 53-man roster for 24 hours.
Brown ready for opener
Right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. played nearly a quarter of the team’s offensive snaps in the preseason finale — typically reserved for bubble player and roster long shots — but said he is ready for the team’s season opener.
“It was more of a tuneup, making sure I was ready to go this week,” Brown said. “Obviously I got off to a little bit of a slow start in camp.
“Obviously it’s a little different now, with having a season under my belt. My focus is on different things. Obviously it’s always been on getting better but really just perfecting the things that I was good at and getting way better at the things I wasn’t too good at. I know the system a lot better and I’m ready to go.”
Brown failed the team’s conditioning test on the first day of training camp and while he passed it the following day, he spent time with the second-team offensive line before taking over his usual post with the first-team unit.
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The 2018 third-round pick took over as the team’s starting right tackle for the final 10 games of the regular season and the team’s wild card-round loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Harbaugh mentioned Brown after the team’s preseason finale when answering a question about the uncertainty at left guard, saying the team has “starters” and “established starters."
“[There’s] a difference between starting and being an established starter,” Harbaugh said. “You establish yourself as a starter over time in regular-season games, you know. So just because we don’t have a returning starter [at left guard] means we don’t have an established starter there. So, you can say the same thing with our right tackle Orlando [Brown Jr.], you know this young guy, he’s our starter, and I want him to be an established starter and become a Pro Bowler.”
Ravens healthy heading into opener
Only one Raven, cornerback Brandon Carr, was listed on the team’s first injury report of the season.
The veteran corner (hip) was limited in Wednesday’s practice.
Six Dolphins — cornerback Johnson Bademosi, guard Danny Isidora, defensive tackle John Jenkins, safety Bobby McCain, linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel and wide receiver Albert Wilson — were limited in practice Wednesday.
Reserve linebacker Trent Harris (foot) did not participate and defensive end Charles Harris (wrist) was a full participant.