With Lardarius Webb still sidelined and Jimmy Smith and Asa Jackson nursing injuries, it's been next men up in the beleaguered Ravens secondary.
On Wednesday, defensive coordinator Dean Pees essentially said that there's only one way to find out whether the backup cornerbacks have what it takes to play in the NFL: test them.
Against the Cowboys this past week, "I put some of the DBs in those positions to see if they can do it," Pees explained. He expects to do the same again this week. "I’m going to call the game to see where we are in certain situations. That’s what (preseason) is all about."
Dominique Franks was beaten by Dez Bryant one-on-one for a touchdown, and Deji Olatoye was also beaten on a touchdown pass by the Cowboys. Chykie Brown was badly beaten on one route but closed ground and tipped away the underthrown pass. Brown, the most experienced of the backup cornerbacks and the projected starter at nickel back a month ago, has struggled in camp, which Harbaugh attributed at times to Brown overreacting to moves.
"That’s something he has to learn, just calm down," Harbaugh said earlier this week. "He’s long. He doesn’t need to overreact."
Harbaugh said earlier this week that Smith, who suffered a chest injury in the game at Dallas, could see action this week against Washington. Webb (back) remains sidelined, and Jackson (ankle) is "touch and go" and considered questionable for this week.
That means all these young corners will be on the spot again this weekend, and their time to show they can do it is running short.