When the Baltimore Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13, three rookie wide receivers will be heavily involved in a blockbuster clash.
The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers square off in Week 13 in the game of the NFL season so far, and it is one in which three rookie receivers are likely to play a key role.
A matchup between the 9-2 Ravens and the 10-1 Niners is a mouth-watering one and, though they have relied on different strengths on their respective roads to becoming legitimate Super Bowl contenders, they share something in common in that the play of a rookie receiver has been vital to each in recent weeks.
In the Ravens 45-6 demolition of the Los Angeles Rams, first-round pick Marquise Brown caught two touchdown passes, while Miles Boykin displayed his big-play threat with two receptions for 54 yards.
Meanwhile, the Niners have seen second-round pick Deebo Samuel become an integral part of San Francisco’s passing attack. After recording successive 100-yard games in Week 10 and Week 11, Samuel made a massive play in the 37-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers, his 42-yard catch-and-run putting the Niners 20-0 ahead late in the second quarter.
Boykin, selected in the third round this year, was added to the injury report on Friday. He is questionable with an ankle injury and, if the former Notre Dame standout is unavailable, then there will be more emphasis on Brown to perform against the stingiest pass defense in the NFL.
Samuel emerged in a period in which tight end George Kittle was out, and Emmanuel Sanders was also struggling with injury. He has earned the trust of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and can expect to be targeted often, particularly if the Ravens focus on shutting down Kittle and Sanders.
Sunday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium has been talked up as a possible Super Bowl preview, and a trio of rookie pass-catchers could have a big say in who emerges victorious.