Carl Davis' preseason trips to New Orleans have been quite memorable – for very different reasons.
The defensive lineman suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the game there last year, which was also the preseason finale. This year, he came up with his biggest play of the preseason by picking off a pass to make a strong case for a spot on 53-man roster.
"I was thinking how last year I was in the locker room just watching," Davis said after Thursday's victory. "It kind of got me fired up and I'm like, 'Hey I am going to go out here and make some plays, just play hard as I can tonight.' That's what I did."
Davis' effort was evident, and he showed his athleticism with his first-quarter interception of quarterback Chase Daniel. Davis dropped back into coverage on the play and snared the pass near the line of scrimmage, and he looked like a natural ball carrier once he got his hands on the football.
He returned the interception to the 7-yard line, and was still kicking himself after the game for not getting all the way into the end zone. Davis joked that the last time he had an interception was in high school, but he ran that in for a score.
"I kind of saw daylight, but then the quarterback came out of nowhere," Davis said. "I just wanted to make sure I didn't fumble. I was going to try to get there, but I got cut down."
Davis entered the preseason finale in the middle of a deep competition for the last few roster spots among defensive linemen. Davis and last year's fourth-round pick Willie Henry are both vying for jobs, and the emergence of undrafted rookie Patrick Ricard has made the group even deeper. Ricard also helped himself Thursday by blocking a field goal and playing well in his reps at fullback.
The Ravens have eight defensive linemen on the 90-man roster, and the Ravens must decide over the next 24 hours if they have space for all of them on the active squad.
"That's something I think about every day," Davis said about the defensive line depth. "I wake up in the morning thinking about [it]. I am trying to make the team, so is everybody else. At the end of the day, you guys have to go out there and play football and give it your all."