The Ravens got an extended look at their starters in Saturday's 31-13 loss to the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium. It was also the final game for some players on the bubble to show they deserve a spot, as the first round of cuts will happen Tuesday when the roster gets trimmed from 90 to 75 players.
The third preseason game is the last outing for most of the starters before the regular season, which makes it the last real opportunity to finalize the competition for starting jobs before Week 1.
Here's a breakdown of how the game affected the stock of players competing for roster spots and starting jobs:
RB Buck AllenThe rookie had a rough outing in his opportunity to take plenty of snaps with the first-team offense. Allen is in line for the No. 2 running back job after a knee injury to Lorenzo Taliaferro, but he struggled to solidify himself as Justin Forsett's backup. Allen picked up just 17 rushing yards on seven carries while the first-team offensive line was in the game (even though left tackle Eugene Monroe and left guard Kelechi Osemele didn't play), and the low point of his game came when he fumbled on the goal line just before halftime. Allen would have scored a touchdown if he had held onto the football, but the fumble ended up forcing a turnover on downs to end the half. Allen finished the night with 24 rushing yards on 12 carries.
KR/PR Asa JacksonThe reserve cornerback made his bid for the starting kick returner job with a 103-yard return late in the second quarter. Jackson found a crease in the coverage, shrugged off a tackler and then nearly outran everyone to the end zone. He eventually got brought down at the 2-yard line, but the return was by far the Ravens' best of the preseason. Later in the game, Jackson had a much different result at punt returner. He tried to return a punt despite two defenders right in front of him, and they forced a fumble as soon as Jackson fielded the ball. He acknowledged that he should have called for a fair catch, but tried to make another big play and ended up with a turnover. Defensively, Jackson gave up a touchdown in coverage to Redskins wide receiver Rashad Ross in the third quarter.
CB Tray WalkerThe rookie fourth-round pick struggled in coverage when he came into the game. Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy threw several passes his direction, including a 9-yard touchdown to Ross. Walker also struggled with his tackling and drew an unnecessary roughness penalty for a late hit on special teams. Walker has to make a significant leap as a rookie coming from a small school, and Saturday's outing was part of those growing pains.
WR Jeremy ButlerButler has been quiet recently after a strong start to training camp. But he made a case to at least get another opportunity to earn a roster spot in the preseason finale against Atlanta Thursday night. Butler hauled in four catches for 32 yards, including a first-down snag from quarterback Joe Flacco. Most of Butler's work came in the second half, but the chain-moving catch from Flacco was a good sign for him.
S Terrence BrooksThe second-year safety made his preseason debut after recovering from a serious knee injury that landed him on injured reserve last year. Brooks didn't look to be hesitant at all, and he found himself in the middle of piles on a few occasions. Brooks will have to knock off the rust of not playing the last eight months, but his aggressiveness was a good sign. He's competing for a reserve safety spot behind Will Hill and Kendrick Lewis, and his performance Saturday night was a good step.
OL Jah ReidWith the Ravens short-handed on the offensive line – Osemele (foot) and left tackles Monroe (wrist) and James Hurst (concussion) didn't play – they had to* *get creative with their lineups. Reid, who returned after missing last week's game because of a back injury, took on the tough assignment of playing left tackle after Ryan Jensen (concussion) left the game. Reid struggled at times, giving up a sack and getting flagged for holding, but he was in a position he hasn't played in a few years. The best part of the night for Reid was that he returned and played much of the game, which is significant after injuries have hindered him throughout his career. The Ravens have been impressed with Reid this offseason, and the versatility he showed to play left tackle could help him carve out a spot on the roster.