ATLANTA -- The Ravens play their preseason finale Thursday night in Atlanta. The game will air live with kickoff at 7:00 p.m. on CSN Plus.
Like all NFL teams, the Ravens have decisions to make before they trim the roster from 75 to 53 players by Saturday afternoon. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that starters would not play against the Falcons, and that 43 players would be available for this game. Here are five position battles to watch, as players on the bubble vie to make the team:
1. Wide receiver
The drama here is whether the Ravens keep six or seven receivers. Jeremy Butler looks like the wide receiver on the fence, with Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman, Michael Campanaro, Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, and Darren Waller secure. Perriman’s knee injury helps Butler’s chances. But Butler could use some catches against the Falcons to help make his case.
2. Running back
The battle is between Terrence Magee and Fitz Toussaint. Lorenzo Taliaferro (knee) may not be healthy enough to backup Justin Forsett in the season opener at Denver. Buck Allen can fill that role, but the Ravens may keep an extra back until Taliaferro returns. Would that be Magee or Toussaint? This game could decide that.
Asa Jackson, Quinton Pointer, and Cassius Vaughn are all on the bubble. Jackson’s ability as a punt and kickoff returner doesn’t guarantee him a spot. Campanaro can do that too, and both Smith and cornerback Lardarius Webb will also return some punts this year. Fourth-round pick Tray Walker really struggled against the Redskins, but the Ravens aren’t going to cut Walker, even if he doesn’t play much. This is a game where Jackson, Pointer, and Vaughn need to make plays and avoid mistakes.
4. Offensive line
I think backup Jah Reid is still on the bubble, despite playing a lot during preseason. The Ravens aren’t likely to cut fifth-round pick Robert Myers, which puts backup lineman Ryan Jensen on the bubble as well. Jensen (concussion) is not expected to play, so this is a big game for Reid.
5. Defensive line
Christo Bilukidi, Kapron Lewis-Moore, and DeAngelo Tyson are all fighting to secure roster spots. I think it comes down to Bilukidi and Lewis-Moore. Both of them should see plenty of action.