LANDOVER — At this point it’s a numbers game.
With cutdown day less than 48 hours away, rookie quarterback Trace McSorley again played a majority of the snaps on Thursday and provided the Baltimore Ravens front office with another game tape worth of preseason highlights.
McSorley tossed his fourth touchdown pass of August and finished without a turnover for a second straight contest as he further increased the likelihood the Ravens will carry three quarterbacks into the regular season.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of whether Trace has earned a place on the team. He would have a role for us. It’s just a matter of strategy right now,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. “I think that’s something that [general manager] Eric [DeCosta] and [executive vice president and former general manager] Ozzie [Newsome] will talk a lot about.”
Given an expanded role in the offense following an early-preseason injury to Robert Griffin III,
McSorley completed 51-of-90 passes for 533 yards, added eight rushes for 39 yards and combined to score five touchdowns over four preseason games.
On Thursday, he went 15-for-27 for 171 yards and added a 24-yard scoring strike to Jaleel Scott as the Ravens swept the preseason for a fourth straight year.
Baltimore has until 4 p.m. Saturday to reduce the roster to 53 players. Ten additional players can be added to the practice squad but can be claimed by other teams.
“There will definitely be nerves along with it. There’s that waiting period where you don’t necessarily know what’s going to happen,” McSorley said of waiting for the Ravens to reveal the 53-man roster. “I feel really good. I love being in Baltimore and my time here has been amazing. I feel like I fit in, not only with the offense and the scheme that we do, but with a lot of the guys.
“It was a long preseason,” he added. “It was a good body of work that we put in as an offense. Overall, I feel pretty good how this preseason went. I just felt more comfortable being in there, seeing things a little bit better. You start to develop that chemistry and trust with the guys that you’re out there with.”
‘Hollywood’ muffs pair of punts in final preseason game
The special teams experiment involving first-round pick Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown may have been over almost as soon as it began.
Fielding punts in a game for the first time this preseason, the speedy wide receiver misplayed a pair of kicks in the first quarter. Both times the ball slipped through his arms and hit the turf, fortunately remaining in Ravens possession.
“He’s never done it before [in an NFL game], so that’s why we put him out there,” Harbaugh said. “We just felt like we want to get him out there and see what it’s like in a real game. Now I think the practices take on a little more meaning because he’s been out there in a game and knows what it’s like.”
Brown made just his second appearance of the preseason after he missed a bulk of training camp recovering from a Lisfranc injury in his foot. Last week, he debuted with three catches for 17 yards.
“First time doing it, live atmosphere, just have to keep practicing on it. It was just to get in there and catch it. That was pretty much it,” said Brown, a former standout at Oklahoma, where he did not field a punt or kick during a regular season in college. “It was a good punt, both of them, I just have to get in front of the ball and field it. I’ve been practicing and catching in practice, I just have to execute it in a game.”