The preseason is officially over and not a moment too soon. The Baltimore Ravens are looking ahead to their week one battle against the Cincinnati Bengals, but they have some business to attend to first. The NFL decided that there will be only one cut down period instead of multiple dates, and that essentially means that teams have to make tough decisions in a hurry. Many dreams will be realized, and many will be deferred, but that is the nature of the business. For the Ravens, the tough roster decisions will come on defense and not so much on offense.
QB: Joe Flacco, Ryan Mallett
Practice Squad: Josh Woodrum
Cut: Thaddeus Lewis
The Ravens Quarterback situation in murky considering Flacco’s back issues and that he hasn’t practiced all of training camp. It will not be hard to believe the Ravens are keeping three quarterbacks on the roster. However, the Ravens have a lot of young talent on defense they would like to keep around. I would expect to see Woodrum on the practice squad in case something goes awry with Flacco.
Backfield: Terrance West, Buck Allen, Danny Woodhead, Taquan Mizzell
Suspended: Kenneth Dixon
Cut: Bobby Rainey, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Ricky Ortiz
The Ravens lost Kenneth Dixon for the season due to PED usem and many pundits wonder if the Ravens have a legitimate starting running back. Ozzie is known as the wizard for a reason, so expect for him to make some moves on Saturday after teams are cut down to 53. West has gotten the majority of the carries with the first-team offense, and Allen has impressed when he’s been on the field. Woodhead will take over Kyle Juszczyk’s pass-catching role out the backfield, and Mizzell will probably make special teams, and will likely be utilized as a situational runner.
Wide Receiver: Jeremy Maclin, Breshad Perriman, Mike Wallace, Michael Campanaro, Chris Moore, Kennan Reynolds
Practice Squad: Quincy Adeboyejo,
Injured Reserve: Tim White
Cut: Griff Whalen, Kenny Bell, Vince Mayle, Cam Worthy, C.J. Board, Aaron Bailey, Chris Matthews
The Ravens could have a very talented receiving corps if they stay healthy, but they are only as good as the quarterback throwing to them. Breshad Perriman is questionable for week one, and Campanaro’s injury history has to keep ones optimism low. Chris Moore will only make this unit because of the injury to Tim White, who seemed to play better when he was out there. Kennan Reynolds will finally graduate from the practice squad to the 53-man roster as a returner and gimmick play specialist. The Ravens will have to use these players as their talents allow, and try not to force them into schemes they cannot thrive in.
Tight Ends: Benjamin Watson, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle
Suspended: Darren Waller
Injured Reserve: Crockett Gillmore
Cut: Larry Donnell, Vince Mayle
The loss of Dennis Pitta was inevitable; with a devastating hip injury, he was on borrowed time anyway. Benjamin Watson should be solid possession target for Flacco, but Maxx Williams will be expected to be the big gainer in the group. No one knows if this unit can stay healthy, but the Ravens have no other choice. Hopefully Watson can help the young guys get up to speed.
Offensive Line: Ronnie Stanley, Matt Skura, Ryan Jensen, Marshal Yanda, Austin Howard, James Hurst, Jeremy Zuttah, Jermaine Eluemunor
Cut: Derrick Nelson, Maurquice Shakir, Jarell Broxton, Jarrod Pughsley, De’Ondre Wesley, Stephane Nembot, Roubbens Joseph,
Injured Reserve: Nico Siragusa, Alex Lewis, Brandon Kublanow
As with all teams, the offensive line is the foundation that keeps the offensive unit steady. For the Ravens, there are some cracks in their unit that they may not be able to immediately fix. The loss of Alex Lewis and the inability to find a suitable center could hinder this offense from being great. Ronnie Stanley and Marshal Yanda will be solid, but they most likely have to help the LG, C and RT. Ryan Jensen will likely be the starting center, but has played guard in 19 games in his three years in the league; so there will be a learning curve.
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