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How Many Wide Receivers Will Ravens Keep?


Gary Kubiak said early in training camp that the Ravens' competition at wide receiver was as good as he’d ever seen in his 20-year coaching career.

Now it's crunch time for the wideouts to make their final case for roster spots.

So how many receivers will be left when the 53-man roster is finalized by Saturday?

"I saw a [projection] that we're going to keep 'around six.' That's right," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday with a laugh. "We'll keep around six."

The Ravens currently have nine receivers on the team after trimming the roster to 75 players Monday. They released LaQuan Williams and Mike Willie as part of the cutdown from 90 players, and players left on the roster bubble have one more chance to earn their spots during Thursday's preseason finale against New Orleans.

The Ravens have historically kept six receivers at the end of training camp. In Harbaugh's six previous seasons with the Ravens, the team has taken fewer than six receivers twice. Last year, the Ravens started the year with seven wideouts.  

At this point, Harbaugh said the final number is still up in the air.

"We'll just have to decide," Harbaugh said. "We don't know yet. If we did we probably wouldn't tell you, but we don't know yet. We just have to see how it goes and what we think is best for the team. There's a lot that goes into it."

The anticipated lineup going into the season is that wide receivers Torrey Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown are all locks to make the roster. That leaves likely one or two spots open for competition between Deonte Thompson, Michael Campanaro, Jeremy Butler, Kamar Aiken and Jace Davis.

Thompson has made a case for himself with touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. He caught a 21-yard touchdown pass against Washington and also returned a kickoff 108 yards against Dallas.

"He's making plays, and it's not just in the game, he's making those plays in practice," Harbaugh said. "Deonte has fought through a lot of things over his career. To see him do that, it just makes you happy to see a guy play like that."

Campanaro has also made a push, as he caught his first two passes of the preseason Saturday. He's also expected to see plenty of time against the Saints.

"I was just happy to get my hand on the ball and [get] a few catches," Campanaro said. "This last week and this last game coming up is going to be huge. I'm just trying to go out there and make plays, show the coaching staff what I can do."

The preseason finale Thursday could be a deciding factor in the final number of receivers the Ravens carry into Week 1, and Harbaugh routinely says that the Ravens will take the best 53 players on the team. 

"It's going to come down to what it always does: It's just going to come down to what we think is best for the team," Harbaugh said.

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