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Reports of Danny Woodhead to the Ravens just what the backfield needs

Reports of Danny Woodhead to the Ravens just what the backfield needs

The Ravens freed up some significant salary cap space on Wednesday afternoon with the releasal of Elvis Dumervil.

The team wasted little time using some of that money.

On Wednesday night, after the team reportedly signed Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson, the team reportedly signed San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead, according to Ian Rapoport.

Woodhead is one of the most unique and dynamic backs in the entire NFL.

At just 5-8, Woodhead is one of the smallest, yet most elusive runners in the league, and is one of the top pass-catching backs as well. Given the Ravens' propensity for short passes, Woodhead is the perfect addition.

The one downside to this addition is that Woodhead has a lengthy injury history. He missed all but two games in 2016 due to a torn ACL and missed all but three games in 2014 due to a fractured fibula and ankle injury. However, his 2013 and 2015 seasons, both with the Chargers, were injury-free and outstanding.

In 2013 he finished with 429 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to go along with his 605 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. In 2015 he ran for 336 yards and three touchdowns and racked up 755 receiving yards and hauled in six touchdown catches. 

The Ravens had a capable backfield in 2016 with Terrence West and Kenneth Dixon, but neither was spectacular. Woodhead brings a dynamic element that the team just did not have, and should allow deep passes to open up for Joe Flacco.

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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