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Expect Bigger Role For WR Chris Givens


As the Ravens seek playmakers in future weeks to make up for Steve Smith Sr.'s absence, they made it clear they will take a hard look at* *wide receiver Chris Givens.

Givens has shown flashes of breaking out the last two weeks, and the Ravens want to get the speedster more involved in the offense.

"He's starting to feel it a little bit," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He and Joe [Flacco] are starting to develop something, an understanding for one another."

Givens is coming off his best game as a Raven when he had three catches for 57 yards, including a 39-yard snag against the San Diego Chargers. He also could have hauled in a deep touchdown the previous week,but Flacco underthrew the pass and it was broken up in the end zone.

Flacco seems to be getting in sync with Givens, and trusting him in key situations. A back-shoulder throw to Givens jump-started Baltimore's last drive of the game Sunday, which ended up in Justin Tucker's game-winning field goal.

"That was a very good sign for us that Joe felt comfortable choosing him to throw a go-route to the right side of the field and then the back-shoulder throw on the go-route," Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman said. "That's a good sign, and we're optimistic that we can use that as a platform in the second half of the season."

The Ravens traded for Givens in Week 5 after placing wide receiver Michael Campanaro on injured reserve. They brought in Givens from St. Louis to add another speed threat to the offense, and Givens now feels like he's getting in rhythm with Flacco.

"I'm definitely getting more acclimated and more and more comfortable," Givens said. "You can't just come out when you get traded and the timing will be perfect. I know we're pros, Joe has an incredible arm and I have good speed, but it still takes time to get used to those things. But we're getting better and better working on them each week. Our timing is just going to get better and better."

Givens played more snaps last week than he has since 2013, and that number is only expected to rise. He could even play his way into the starting lineup alongside Kamar Aiken because he has already matched Marlon Brown's receiving yards this year despite playing in half as many games.

The speed Givens brings to the table changes the way other teams defend the Ravens, and it also allows the offense to take advantage of Flacco's big arm.

"I think he has done a great job when he has been thrown in there [of] not being afraid and going out there and playing full speed," Flacco said. "And he's just, in the moment, been really good. When you're a good player, that's usually what happens; you raise your game on Sunday that little bit, and it makes it easy for myself."

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