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Who's Playing, Who's Not vs. Saints

Posted Aug 28, 2014

Starters will rest. Decision, but no announcement, on Ray Rice. Jah Reid is likely out.

The closest that veterans like quarterback Joe Flacco and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs will get to the field Thursday night in New Orleans is by standing on the sidelines cheering on their younger teammates.

The Ravens wrap up the preseason against the Saints, and just like previous years, the plan is to rest the first-team units.

“We’re not playing the starters,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said this week.

The Ravens want to make sure  that the starters are as healthy as possible when they open the regular season against the Cincinnati Bengals in 10 days. The Ravens have some key players dealing with injuries – cornerbacks Lardarius Webb (back), Jimmy Smith (chest) and Asa Jackson (ankle), and running back Bernard Pierce (concussion).

With the first-team out, younger players will get a chance to prove themselves in game action that has been limited during the preseason. It is will be critical for players on the bubble, as they will have an opportunity to play their way onto the roster.

“It’s going to be my first chance to play a lot in a game, to be able to get into a rhythm and get a lot of opportunities,” rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro said. “I should be getting a lot of opportunities, a lot of playing time, with some of our starters down and not getting as many reps. I’m looking to go out there and play a great game.”

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is expected to play most of the game, but he wasn’t sure of the exact percentage of snaps he’ll get. The Ravens could also try to work in rookie quarterback Keith Wenning.

“I’m expecting to play a lot,” Taylor said.

Decision, But No Announcement, On Rice

While the starters are out, there is some ambiguity in terms of running back Ray Rice. He’s the team’s top running back, but he’s suspended for the first two regular-seasongames.

Rice didn’t play last week against the Redskins as the Ravens simulated a game without him. Harbaugh said he’s made a decision on how much Rice will play, but didn’t want divulge whether the seventh-year running back will suit up against the Saints.

If Rice and Pierce are both out, that would leave rookies Lorenzo Taliaferro and Fitzgerald Touisainnt and veteran Justin Forsett as the options in the backfield.

Jah Reid Likely Out

The fourth-year offensive lineman has earned the backup tackle spot during training camp and the preseason, but he went down with a concussion last week.

Reid is operating under the NFL’s protocol for concussions and  has to be cleared before returning to the field. Reid didn’t practice Monday or Tuesday, and the expectation is that he’ll be out again this week before trying to return for the regular season. 

 

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