Ravens

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PHILADELPHIA — It didn’t take long for Marquise Brown to get tested.

On his first NFL snap, he caught a comeback route for a seven-yard gain. Later in the drive, his number was called on an end-around. The play went for a loss, but the tone was set early: Brown was going to be involved. 

In his first action of the preseason, Brown was on the field through the first quarter and parts of the second and showed no signs of a foot injury that slowed him down through all of training camp. In the Ravens 26-15 win over the Eagles on Thursday at Lincoln Financial Field, Brown showed Ravens fans what they’d been clamoring for all preseason.

With Brown in the fold, the Ravens offense has an extra element of speed it simply lacks otherwise. 

Here are three things to takeaway from the Ravens 26-15 win over the Eagles. 

1. Marquise Brown

Brown touched the ball on five plays and registered 17 yards on three catches. 

He got the ball on those two plays in the first drive of the game, but stayed involved throughout the majority of the rest of the first half. He caught a bubble route that went for five yards, an out route for five yards and had his catch on a two-point conversion overturned due to a holding call. 

Battling a Lisfranc injury in his foot all summer, Brown has slowly made his return to the Ravens practice fields. He made his first appearance in team drills in practice less than two weeks ago and has slowly ramped up his recovery.

 

"It seemed like he did OK," coach John Harbaugh said. "He had a hitch and got a couple yards on that. I thought about trying to get him a deep ball in there, but it just didn't work out for us. He wasn't in long enough. It was good to see him out there. He didn't really flinch and now he's played a little bit so that's a positive."

It’s unknown whether he’ll play in the final preseason game of the season in Washington, but his performance on Thursday in Philadelphia is a welcome sign for the Ravens offense.

2. Youth Movement

On the Ravens first offensive snap of the game, five of the 11 players in the huddle were rookies: Right guard Ben Powers, quarterback Trace McSorley, running back Justice Hill and wide receivers Miles Boykin and Marquise Brown.

"We came in with the mindset we were going to come in and work hard, so being able to go out there and move the ball effectively and score points...it's fun," Hill said.

With Marshal Yanda, Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram all not in the lineup for Thursday’s game, the Ravens turned to some younger players to get the job done in Philadelphia.

Although it’s unlikely McSorley will see significant time on offense this season, Boykin and Brown will likely see starter’s reps early on. 

With Jackson in just his second full season as a quarterback, the Ravens offense that took the field Thursday has an abundance of speed, talent, and most importantly, youth.

3. Lamar-less

The Ravens starting quarterback didn’t dress against the Eagles and it’s presumed his preseason is over with only one preseason game left against the Redskins. 

"I don't really want to touch on any reasons," Harbaugh said. "It's not like he has a major injury or anything, if that's what you're thinking. There's a lot of reasons for doing stuff like that. We didn't play Ronnie (Stanley) — we didn't play a number of guys."

Jackson’s night off gave the reigns to the rookie McSorley, who will likely start next week against the Redskins in his battle for a roster spot. McSorley shined with Jackson out of the lineup, further boosting his chances at making the 53-man roster.

Harbaugh said that Jackson would play about the same as he did against the Packers and Jaguars in previous weeks, but injuries to the offensive line could have changed the coaching staff’s minds. 

Jackson's final preseason line appears to be 10-of-16, 117 yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs. He also carried the ball twice for 14 yards.

Baltimore’s first game is in Miami on Sept. 8, where Jackson — and presumably his offensive line — will be ready to go.

This post has been updated with quotes.

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