The 2017 NFL preseason for both the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens kicks off on Thursday night. What could we learn?

It’s the first preseason game this year for the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. So what do we expect to see from both Jay Gruden’s and John Harbaugh’s squads on Thursday night.

With Joe Flacco hurting, look for backup quarterback Ryan Mallett to get his share of reps against Greg Manusky’s defensive unit. Baltimore is looking to get its running attack untracked a year after finishing 28th in the NFL in that category.

And that’s all well and good if you’re the Redskins. Conversely, only four teams in the league allowed more total yards per game this past season. Washington also finished 24th in run defense, but the team added a lot of players to the front seven. At linebacker, there’s inside force Zach Brown as well as outside backer Ryan Anderson. And the team hopes to see Junior Galette finally hit the field for the team.

On the line, free-agent additions such as Terrell McClain, Stacy McGee and Phil Taylor are joined by former University of Alabama star Jonathan Allen – the 17th overall selection in April’s draft.

On offense, there could be a very brief Kirk Cousins sighting. Backup Colt McCoy and third-stringer Nate Sudfeld figure to get the vast majority of work. When it comes to the ground game, 2017 fourth-round pick Samaje Perine (Oklahoma) will make his case for the starting job. We may also see new wideouts such as veteran Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick, as well as rookie tight end Jeremy Sprinkle.

The first preseason game is more about cameos when it comes to the starters. But for both the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens, each has a lot of work ahead of them as to becoming playoff teams once again.

Russell S. Baxter is the Washington Redskins lead writer for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter at @baxfootballguru. Looking for more Redskins news and features? Like our Facebook page HERE and also follow @spot_redskins on Twitter.

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