Coming off a dreadful overall performance last Monday night against Kansas City, the Ravens think they’ll recapture their mojo against the 1-2 Washingtonians.
And that’s what a “trap game” looks like, too!
Ravens team health is improving, but Washington star rookie pass rusher Chase Young may not be in action.
Young (groin) did not practice Wednesday, which was not a surprise. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Young, who already has 2 ½ sacks, is not expected to play against Baltimore.
Even without Young, Washington has the personnel to put pressure on Lamar Jackson. The team has 13 sacks and Ryan Kerrigan (two sacks) and Montez Sweat (two sacks) are proven pass rushers. The Redskins have five first-round picks on their defensive line: Young, Kerrigan, Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.
“If Chase plays, that’s a guy we have to be alert for,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “But Ryan Kerrigan has done a great job over the course of his career, too. Montez Sweat is a first-round pick. (They have) two first-round tackles. Those guys are just tremendous players. They play hard, they’re very physical. That’s one of the challenges when you go against Washington. They have a tremendous front and (Defensive Coordinator) Jack Del Rio does a great job with their defense. Of course, (Head Coach) Ron Rivera is a defensive coach, so they know what they’re doing.”
The Ravens have a short practice week after playing Monday night, but all 53 players on the roster practiced Wednesday. Five players were limited participants – left tackle Ronnie Stanley (shoulder), inside linebacker L.J. Fort (thigh), defensive end Derek Wolfe (elbow), cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) and defensive back/linebacker Anthony Levine Sr. (abdomen).
For Washington, defensive end Ryan Anderson (ankle), inside linebacker Cole Holcomb (knee), wide receivers Dontrelle Inman (wrist) and Steve Sims Jr. (toe) and offensive tackle Morgan Moses (hip) did not practice, while Kerrigan did not practice for non-injury reasons. Backup offensive tackle Saahdiq Charles (thigh) was limited.
Washington is rebuilding after finishing last in the NFC last season. Baltimore was the top seed in the AFC before losing its playoff opener.
But when these regional rivals meet Sunday, each will be looking for a bounce-back performance after a loss that included a disappointing quarterback performance.
Lamar Jackson was outplayed by the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes in a Monday night showdown, resulting in Baltimore’s first regular-season defeat in a calendar year. Jackson managed 97 passing yards on 28 attempts, a career low of 3.5 yards per attempt.
Dwayne Haskins, meanwhile, threw three interceptions and lost a fumble as Washington lost at Cleveland, falling to 1-2.
”We just can’t get in those situations – falling behind,” Jackson said. ”We’ve just got to try to score each and every drive like we should be. And if we’re down, just try to execute the plays and try to move forward and put some points on the board and make the comeback.”
Running back Mark Ingram defended Jackson, saying that it’s ”not on one person” but the entire offense to forge a comeback.
”We have to execute our assignments better,” Ingram said. ”We have to get open. We have to catch passes. We have to protect the quarterback. We have to protect the football. We have to possess the football.”
Haskins, Washington’s up-and-down second-year starter, has done what his MVP counterpart has not. He helped rally Washington from a 17-0 deficit in Week 1 to beat the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then, the offense been inconsistent in losses to Arizona and Cleveland.
Offensive coordinator Scott Turner is looking for Haskins to avoid forcing the ball into coverage. Haskins said he must play better across the board.
”Definitely there wasn’t anything that I said, `Man, I need to do this.’ I just want to be better at everything,” Haskins said. ”I’m still young. I can’t just sit here and act like I arrived, or I made it. I mean, I made it, but there’s a long way to go.”