We are just days away from the Baltimore Ravens and NFL’s opening night as the Ravens will take on the Denver Broncos in the Mile High city Thursday Night. Over this past weekend, the Ravens, just like every other NFL team, trimmed their roster down to the active 53-man and there were a couple of surprises along the way.
Some of the bigger surprises came from the offensive side of the ball and who was cut. The biggest surprise of the weekend was likely that of WR Tandon Doss. Entering the preseason, Doss was one of the front runners for the number three wide receiver position, but after signing veteran WR Brandon Stokley and the emergence of rookies Marlon Brown and Aaron Mellette, Doss suddenly found himself with a pink slip in his hand.
Another surprise came from the running back group, and what was considered to be a three way battle for the number three running back battle became to be a figment of our imagination. Between running backs Delone Carter, Anthony Allen and Bobby Rainey, many felt the Ravens answer at their third running back spot was on the roster, but this weekend gave us all a bit of a surprise. Baltimore cut all three running backs and decided to have just two (Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce) backs on the active roster. A surprising move because we are used to seeing three, if not four running backs on the active roster, including last season when they had four active running backs at one point.
The last surprise so to speak came via the defense and Baltimore’s willingness to stick with just four cornerbacks on the roster. The Ravens cut seventh round draft pick Marc Anthony earlier in the weekend, and kept Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graham and Chykie Brown. Although they may only have four on the roster, Baltimore will likely add another cornerback at some point over the next few weeks for added depth at the position.
What other notes are there from the 53-man roster for the Ravens? How about the fact that the Ravens have two fullbacks on the roster, and most NFL teams do not even have one. Baltimore has Vonta Leach and Kyle Juszczyk listed at fullback, but as we have seen over the course of the preseason, Juszczyk is as versatile a player as we have seen in quite some time and Baltimore has lined him up in the slot at points this preseason. Juszczyk is seen as a hybrid of sorts, and the Ravens are hoping his versatility will not only be an added weapon to the offense, but hope that Kyle can help offset some of the production that Baltimore’s offense will be missing with Dennis Pitta off of the field.
Now that the 53-man roster is set, there is only one thing left to do…..FOOTBALL TIME! Baltimore and Denver will line up for real on Thursday Night in a rematch of last season’s AFC Divisional Round matchup with early bragging rights on the line.
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