Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Lamar Jackson, Ravens Gear Up for HOF Game

8pm against the Chicago Bears

August 01, 2018 - 9:57 pm

By Austin Medina  

Finally, NFL Football is back! (Sort of).

The Baltimore Ravens kick off the preseason Thursday night in the annual Hall of Fame Game. The Ravens will face off with the Chicago Bears in Canton, Ohio.

Although a majority of the starters will sit for both teams, there are some stories and players to watch.

First and foremost, the NFL debut of Lamar Jackson. Joe Flacco will sit out, so both Robert Griffin III and Jackson will get most of the team snaps.

Jackson, the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, will look to display his entire arsenal against the Bears. Ravens fans, and NFL fans alike, have been awaiting to see if Jackson’s collegiate success could translate in the pros.

In an interview with ESPN, Jackson spoke on his upcoming debut.

"I'm a quarterback. That's the first thing I want to show off. Just show the growth, from college to my new chapter of life," Jackson said.

Sure, the first preseason game won’t prove Jackson is starting-caliber. It will, however, show if he has worked on his “flaws”. It will be interesting to see Jackson’s accuracy, presence in the pocket, and ability to read defenses.

Most of the veteran players will sit out, as this is an extra preseason game for both Baltimore and Chicago.

As for Griffin III, he’s playing to stay on the team as Coach John Harbaugh typically employs just two quarterbacks on his main roster. The starter Flacco and first-round pick Jackson are guaranteed spots on this upcoming season, so RGIII has a tough task ahead of him. Perhaps a strong preseason could change Harbaugh’s usual philosophy or increase his trade stock. Regardless, Griffin III has helped bring Jackson along in his rookie campaign.

Of course seeing all the draft picks compete is great, yet the status of Breshard Perriman will be under a large microscope. Perriman, a former first-round pick, has underachieved in his young career. As the Ravens upgraded their wide receiving core, Perriman will need a tremendous showing in every game to keep a roster spot.

Another storyline to watch is the development along the offensive line. Rookie Orlando Brown will play in his first game as well, as he competes with James Hurst and looks to secure a starting tackle spot.

Lastly, what are the Ravens going to do with all those tight ends? First-round pick Hayden Hurst was listed 5th on the latest depth chart and it's hard to figure that five tight ends will make the 53-man roster. 

All the storlyines will start with the game, at 8pm Thursday night.