Kickoff: 7:30 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium
TV: Channel 11 (Baltimore), Ravens crew (Gerry Sandusky, Brian Billick, Evan Washburn)
Radio: WBAL (1090 AM) & 98Rock (97.9 FM)
The coaching staff has plenty of tough decisions to make regarding the 90-man roster, which must be trimmed to 53 players by Aug. 31. Players on the roster bubble can either earn a job or lose a job during the four games in August.
Baltimore and Jacksonville have played just once during the preseason. In August of 2012, the Ravens handled the Jaguars, 48-17, at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens and Jaguars won’t face each other during the 2019 regular season.
Will Lamar Jackson play, and if so, how much?
The Ravens have four tune-up games to give their 22-year-old quarterback some game reps. This is Jackson’s first preseason as the starter and he’s running a new offense installed by Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman. The coaches want to be careful with Jackson’s health. But to get him ready for Week 1, the coaches must also consider the possibility of playing Jackson a little more than former quarterback Joe Flacco played during recent preseasons.
“I have my ideas on it,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said, when asked Tuesday how much Jackson would play. “I think I know, but we’ll talk about it as a staff and figure it out and get a plan together.”
How will Trace McSorley look?
Backup quarterbacks McSorley and Joe Callahan will likely see most of the action, with Robert Griffin III sidelined with a hand injury. This is a key preseason for McSorley, a versatile athlete who could also see action on special teams. A sixth-round pick from Penn State, McSorley has thrown the ball very well during training camp. Taking his accuracy from the practice field to the game could help him secure a roster spot.
Which wide receivers will step up?
Miles Boykin, Willie Snead IV, first-round pick Marquise Brown and Chris Moore are considered locks to make the roster, and Seth Roberts also looks secure due to his experience and a strong camp so far. Jaleel Scott and Antoine Wesley have also been excellent in camp. Should the Ravens keep six wide receivers, that leaves Scott and Wesley perhaps battling for one roster spot. If any other wide receiver is going to make some noise, like Sean Modster or Michael Floyd, this game would be a good place to start.
The competition at left guard
Jermaine Eluemunor, James Hurst and Ben Powers are competing for the starting job after the Ravens traded Alex Lewis to the New York Jets on Tuesday. The Ravens know Hurst can start, but they value him as a versatile backup who can play either guard or tackle if one of the starters goes down. Eluemunor and Powers are both trying to convince the coaches that they are ready to start. It will be interesting to see who starts at left guard, who plays the most, and who plays the best.
What will the Ravens’ pass rush look like, and who will lead it?
Questions about the Ravens’ pass rush remain, after the loss of Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith during free agency. Matthew Judon is being counted on to lead the pass rush, but he’s going to need help. The Ravens drafted Jaylon Ferguson, signed Shane Ray and Pernell McPhee, and hope that third-year players Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams are ready to raise their games. McPhee has been solid in camp and his role looks secure. But this is a time for Bowser, Ferguson, undrafted rookie Michael Onuoha, Rey, or Williams to show they can get to the quarterback.
Cyrus Jones, PR/CB – He’s trying to lock down a roster spot as the punt returner, and he’s also a capable corner.
Kenneth Dixon, RB – He’s in excellent shape and has looked explosive during camp. But the Ravens are deep at running back, so Dixon needs to look good during the games, while avoiding fumbles.
De’Lance Turner, RB – If the Ravens keep four backs and don’t keep Dixon, Turner could be the guy. He was good during the preseason last year, and may need to duplicate that to stay.
Gerald Willis, DT – The priority undrafted free agent was a playmaker at the University of Miami. The Ravens like to rotate defensive linemen, and he has a legit chance to make the roster.
Maurice Canady, CB – The Ravens are so deep at corner, Canady may need to make a few plays this preseason to prove he should stay.