Twelve Ravens Thoughts following second day of joint practice with Washington

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With the Ravens concluding their second and final day of joint practice with the Washington Commanders in Owings Mills on Wednesday, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. I recently said this was the most unsettled the cornerback position has felt at this point in a season since the days of Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson. With Marlon Humphrey now sidelined after undergoing foot surgery, dare I ask what Rashaan Melvin is up to these days? 

2. For what it’s worth, Brandon Stephens and Kevon Seymour held up fairly well on the outside against Washington’s talented receivers, but it’s wild to think someone who had moved back to safety in the early summer and a veteran special-teams contributor are currently running as the starting corners. 

3. The cornerback picture will improve once Rock Ya-Sin returns to practice and begins stacking reps, but I can’t help but wonder if Humphrey’s absence increases the likelihood of Mike Macdonald using Kyle Hamilton at the nickel with Geno Stone then playing safety. Hamilton continues to have a good summer. 

4. Focusing on the Ravens defense, I thought Baltimore’s starters were clearly better than the Commanders’ first-team offense with the biggest advantage coming at the line of scrimmage. The pressure was so heavy against a poor offensive line that coaches instructed the trench players to go at half-speed later in practice.

5. After watching Commanders quarterback Sam Howell settle for underneath throws throughout practice, I would have preferred seeing how Washington backup Jacoby Brissett would have tested a banged-up secondary. He looked like the better quarterback, but his lack of mobility behind that porous line would have been a problem. 

6. Wednesday brought more fights with the first occurring during a trench drill in which Justin Madubuike and Odafe Oweh were involved. The second came during an 11-on-11 period when Patrick Queen got into a scuffle with guard Sam Cosmi. That one prompted Ron Rivera to lecture his Washington players. 

7. These scuffles are typically much ado about nothing, but Michael Pierce was favoring his ankle after the first dust-up. Fortunately, he was able to return to action after being taped up and looked to be fine. You never want to see someone get hurt during such shenanigans. 

8. During a 7-on-7 red-zone period, the starting defense kept Washington out of the end zone, which is impressive for a drill that favors the offense. The Ravens can endure Humphrey’s absence if their inside linebackers and safeties play up to expectations in coverage like they did in that drill. 

9. Madubuike and David Ojabo were problems for Washington’s offensive line. The defensive tackle pressured the pocket and blew up a screen pass for a loss while Ojabo was credited with a sack during a full-team drill. That’s what you want to see against one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines. 

10. A factor overlooked in Tyus Bowser’s absence is the need to find another Sam linebacker with ability to play in coverage. The versatile Malik Harrison is the most likely incumbent at the moment, but he surrendered a touchdown to Jonathan Williams from Brissett in a 7-on-7 drill.  

11. Rashod Bateman and Ronnie Stanley both sat out Wednesday, but John Harbaugh said the third-year receiver didn’t suffer a setback and remains “on schedule” ramping up. Stanley was signing post-practice autographs a day after Harbaugh said they’re managing his workload, but the left tackle didn’t speak with reporters as scheduled. 

12. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any carryover from fights over the last two days to Monday’s game, but the teams now have five days to cool off. Either way, most Baltimore starters won’t be involved as Harbaugh confirmed a plan for playing time similar to the preseason opener. 

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