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Practice Report: James Proche II Returns, Greg Roman Not Worried About His Preseason

WR James Proche II
WR James Proche II

With a host of wide receivers battling injuries, it's a welcome sight when any return to practice.

James Proche II was back on the field Wednesday after missing Tuesday's practice. The second-year wideout has clearly made strides this season, including several practices when Proche had the best day among the wide receivers.

The next step for Proche is taking his production into games. He has three catches for 14 yards during Baltimore's first two preseason contests, but Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman has seen plenty of evidence to believe Proche is ready for a larger role.

"We look at everything," Roman said. "Practice, the games, how many opportunities has he had [and] what is he doing with those opportunities. As a receiver, you can't make the quarterback throw it to you, but are you open? Did you do the right things? Those are the things that we're looking at. And then, when you have your opportunities, what are you doing with them?

"He's done a really good job this offseason. In the practices against Carolina, you probably saw them, he made a bunch of plays."

With Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, Sammy Watkins, Miles Boykin and Rashod Bateman not practicing on Wednesday, Proche, Devin Duvernay and Jaylon Moore were Lamar Jackson's go-to receivers. Duvernay made a particularly nice catch in the end zone while sandwiched between defenders.

Here are some other practice observations:

  • It was a humid way for rookie Ben Cleveland, who turned 23 years old Wednesday, to start his birthday.
  • Ben Powers and Cleveland both got plenty of reps as the battle to start at left guard continued. Roman was pleased with Powers' play during Saturday night's victory against the Carolina Panthers. "I thought he had a good game the other night," Roman said. "Ben is a tough guy. Really, really dialed in. He's more experienced now, so I think he's improving and doing well. I think he's taking advantage of the opportunity bestowed upon him."
  • This may have been the hottest day of training camp, but players worked through it. The intensity picked up after Head Coach John Harbaugh called the entire team together and huddled up about 35 minutes into the session to challenge them.
  • Patrick Queen yelled at himself after allowing Ty'Son Williams to catch a flair pass out of the backfield. Queen has improved in pass coverage, but he's hard on himself whenever he feels he made a mistake. That drive is part of the reason he's having a strong camp.
  • Safety DeShon Elliott had a nice interception, showing good range to make an over-the-shoulder catch on a pass thrown by Tyler Huntley. Elliott did not practice Tuesday but his legs looked fresh Wednesday. Cornerback Chris Westry had the day's other interception, continuing his bid to make the 53-man roster.
  • Tavon Young appeared to jam his finger while cutting in front of a receiver to break up a pass. The nickel corner held onto his hand in pain for a minute, but shook it off. Despite three season-ending injuries in his career, Young isn't backing off at all during his reps.
  • Rookie outside linebacker Odafe Oweh flashed into the backfield on several pass rushes, forcing either Huntley or Jackson to get rid of the football a tad early. Calais Campbell was also a frequent presence in the backfield after getting a day off Tuesday. Campbell will turn 35 years old Sept. 1, but there's no sign of him slowing down watching him work.

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