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Ravens Not Divulging Third Cornerback

Posted Sep 3, 2014

Asa Jackson was emerging as the top option, but he missed three weeks with an ankle injury.

The Ravens entered training camp trying to find out who their No. 3 cornerback would be.

With the regular-season opener approaching Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s still not clear. At least, not to those outside the defensive meeting rooms.

Baltimore’s two starting cornerbacks are Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith, who are both expected to play after returning from back and chest injuries, respectively.

The third spot would be between Asa Jackson, Chykie Brown and newly-signed Derek Cox, but it’s not known which will get the nod. The Ravens will keep that information close to the vest so they don’t tip off their AFC North opponent.

“I don’t really have any comments on our roster or depth chart or injuries or anything like that,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “That probably wouldn’t be wise.”

Jackson was starting to emerge in the preseason, and notched an impressive leaping interception against the San Francisco 49ers in the first preseason game. But he went down with an ankle injury three days later on Aug. 10, and missed nearly three weeks of action.

For a player that has played in just seven career NFL games, entirely on special teams, that missed time was a disappointment to the third-year player. Jackson took extra balls off the JUGGS machine after Tuesday’s practice ended.

“Fortunately I was here for the first two-and-a-half, three weeks of camp, and I’ve been here for two years, so I know the system,” Jackson said. “There are a couple things that need to be ironed out, but that will come back quick.”

Brown had a tough time handling Steve Smith Sr. at the start of camp, and was giving up too many deep receptions. But he played better as the summer went on, including in games against Dallas and Washington.

The only other cornerback on the roster is Derek Cox, who the Ravens cut on Saturday but brought back Tuesday. Cox did get action in the Ravens’ final preseason game, making three tackles and one pass deflection. Considering the Ravens are his fourth team in two years, he’s accustomed to making adjustments.

“Happy to be here, and happy to be here right now, Week 1, diving in with my teammates for preparation for Cincinnati,” Cox said.

If the Ravens in a pinch at cornerback, they could use rookie third-round safety Terrence Brooks, who held his own as a slot cornerback in the preseason, or safety Anthony Levine, who played well at cornerback in the third preseason game.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said he expects Webb, Smith and Jackson to all play on Sunday.

“Not knowing who’s going to be out there, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter,” Dalton said. “I think it’s just getting the scheme down of what they’re trying to do. They haven’t had guys practicing and doing things throughout the preseason, but we fully expect those guys to be back.”

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