Michael Campanaro Debuts, Shines With Touchdown

Michael Campanaro didn't waste any time making an impact in his first NFL game.

The rookie wide receiver was activated Sunday for the first time this season, and he capitalized on his opportunity with a difficult first quarter touchdown grab during the lopsided victory over the Buccaneers.

Campanaro's 19-yard touchdown was the first catch of his professional career.

"You know you have that for the rest of your career," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "That never goes away. He's one for one."

Campanaro caught the touchdown during a Ravens' offensive explosion.

His catch was quarterback Joe Flacco's fourth touchdown pass of the first quarter, and the snag may have been the toughest catch of the day. The 5-foot-10 wideout leapt over the defender and plucked away the ball that was up for grabs.

"We had single high coverage and Joe put it right where it needed to be and I made a play," Campanaro said. "It felt good to get the first catch and it be a touchdown."

The rookie seventh-round pick finished the day with two catches for 28 yards. The Ravens also gave him a chance to return a punt, which he fair caught.

Campanaro was called into action Sunday because wide receiver Marlon Brown was sidelined with a pelvis injury, and he made a case for himself to get more reps in the future.

"Coming out and being able to contribute to the team and we had things rolling at the time so it was good," Campanaro said.

"He's a tough guy to cover," Harbaugh added.

Any player's first career touchdown is a celebrated moment, but it may even have a little more significance for Campanaro because he's a Maryland native who grew up rooting for the Ravens.

"Every time I looked at [Campanaro], I told him, 'You scored for your local team, the team you grew up with.' It's special to be a part of,'" wide receiver Torrey Smith said.

The Ravens have a talented, crowded group of targets at wide receiver.

Campanaro impressed in his debut and Kamar Aiken also had his first career touchdown catch Sunday. Steve Smith Sr. and Torrey Smith are clearly the team's top targets, Brown had seven touchdowns a year ago, and Jacoby Jones has made numerous big plays throughout his career.

All six of the receivers have shown the ability to come up with big plays, and Harbaugh will have tough decisions to make in future weeks in determining who is activated and gets to take the field.

"He was proud of us," Campanaro said about Harbaugh. "He was excited for next week but told us to enjoy this one tonight."

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