Playing on Monday night, the Ravens won’t start practicing in earnest until Thursday. I will be watching to see how much Hollywood Brown does. I would be leery of using him until we have some idea that he’s anything close to healthy.
Brown can be a difference maker. He showed that over and over again at Oklahoma. And he torched the Dolphins in his first game as a pro, catching 4 passes for 147 yards and 2 TDs. When Brown is on, he looks like a young DeSean Jackson, with the speed to score from anywhere on the field.
But to be that kind of a weapon, Brown needs to be healthy, and that’s been a problem so far. He suffered a Lis Franc injury late last year. That sidelined him for the entire offseason and into training camp. And he’s been dealing with ankle, hip and foot injuries pretty much all year.
The Ravens have had 30 practices this year. Brown has missed 11 of them entirely. He’s been limited in seven others. So he’s been a full, regular participant in only 40 percent of their practices.
John Harbaugh at one point compared him to a sports car – calling him a player who can’t be asked to do the regular reps as the others.
This is all fine, but when Brown isn’t producing, you can’t help but wondering if he’s not quite right physically. He’s missed two games, and in each of his last four others, he’s been on the field only about half of the time. In the Texans game, they tried to go deep a couple of times early to Miles Boykin, who’s a larger, slower, possession-type guy. That kind of play makes you wonder if they would have gone to Brown had he been healthy.
Instead, Brown has been the intended target on only 4 passes in each of his last three games. That’s different from early in the season, when Brown saw 13 and 9 targets in games against Arizona and Kansas City. Since Week 3, he’s finished with fewer than 25 yards in three of five games (while missing two others).
This is a tiny guy – weighed only 166 at the combine. I like the speed, but I will be cautious about using him until I have some confidence that he’s reasonably healthy.
|MARQUISE BROWN, PARTICIPATION|
|at Mia.||Q foot||FP||FP||DNP||18%||5|
|at Pitt.||not listed||FP||FP||FP||46%||5|
|at Sea.||Q ankle||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|at Cin.||Q ank/thigh||FP||FP||LP||39%||4|