The Baltimore Ravens play their third preseason game Saturday night against the Washington Redskins. Teams must reduce their roster to 75 players on Tuesday and get down to the 53-man limit by Sept. 5.
As the Ravens hit the middle of the preseason, here’s a 53-man roster projection:
Quarterbacks (2): Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub (practice squad: Bryn Renner). Comment: The Ravens will only keep two quarterbacks for a sixth straight season, and Renner has earned a spot on the practice squad as a developmental third quarterback.
Running backs (4): Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Buck Allen, Terrence Magee (practice squad: Fitzgerald Toussaint). Comment: Taliaferro's sprained knee could keep him sidelined for the first couple of weeks, which will force the Ravens to keep a fourth running back. Magee is a power runner who better compliments Forsett and Allen.
Wide receivers (6): Steve Smith Sr., Breshad Perriman, Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown, Michael Campanaro, Darren Waller (practice squad: Jeremy Butler, DeAndre Carter; cut: Tom Nelson, Aldrick Robinson, Daniel Brown, Trent Steelman). Comment: The Ravens could go with seven receivers because Perriman is hurt and Waller is a developmental player. That would open a spot for Butler, who has faded this summer. Right now, let's stick with six.
Tight ends (3): Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle (PUP: Dennis Pitta; IR: Allen Reisner; cut: Konrad Reuland). Comment: Pitta will remain on the physically unable to perform list to start the season, and the Ravens need to keep Boyle because Williams gets banged up too frequently.
Offensive tackles (4): Eugene Monroe, Rick Wagner, James Hurst, Jah Reid (practice squad: Marcel Jones; IR: De'Ondre Wesley, Darryl Baldwin; cut: Blaine Clausell). Comment: Hurst is the top backup tackle, and Reid has value because he can play both tackle and guard.
Guards (3): Marshal Yanda, Kelechi Osemele, John Urschel (potential IR: Robert Myers; cut: Leon Brown, Kaleb Johnson). Comment: The challenge here is finding a way to store Myers. The Ravens don't want to risk losing him by cutting the rookie fifth-round pick.
Centers (1): Jeremy Zuttah (practice squad: Ryan Jensen; cut: Nick Easton). Comment: Jensen would be inactive if the Ravens kept him on the final roster anyway. The Ravens can put him on the practice squad to free up a spot.
Outside linebackers (4): Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, Za'Darius Smith (practice squad: Brennen Beyer; IR: Steven Means; cut: Zach Thompson). Comment: There was plenty of buzz around Means until he was sidelined for an extended period with a groin injury.
Inside linebackers (5): C.J. Mosley, Daryl Smith, Albert McClellan, Zach Orr, Arthur Brown (cut: Andrew Bose). Comment: The Ravens continue to give chances to Brown in the preseason, which appears to be an indication that they are still hopeful he can turn things around. The disappointing second-round pick makes the cut this time.
Cornerbacks (5): Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Kyle Arrington, Tray Walker, Rashaan Melvin (practice squad: Quinton Pointer; cut: Chris Greenwood, Tramain Jacobs, Cassius Vaughn). Comment: It's risky to only keep five cornerbacks because of the injury histories of Smith and Webb. Vaughn or Pointer are trying to convince Baltimore to keep another corner.
Specialists (4): Justin Tucker (K), Sam Koch (P), Morgan Cox (LS), Asa Jackson (PR-KR). (cut: Justin Manton, Patrick Scales). Comment: Jackson is the first one to return kicks for the Ravens for the third straight week. While the options are limited -- Campanaro is hurt and Carter mishandles kicks -- it looks like the Ravens want to see Jackson take over this role. That's the only reason why Jackson is on the team.