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The Competition: Special Teams Returners


"The Competition" is a series that breaks down every position battle leading up to training camp.

Returning Players

Michael Campanaro (5-foot-9, 185 pounds, third season)

Kaelin Clay (5-10, 195, second season)

Lardarius Webb (5-10, 182, eighth season)


Keenan Reynolds (5-10, 190, sixth-round pick)

Projected Starters

This battle is wide open between Clay, Campanaro and Reynolds. Clay became the Ravens' returner late last year and opened with a bang with an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in Cleveland. He averaged 10.6 yards per punt return, the fourth-highest mark in the NFL (14 attempts). If healthy, Campanaro would have a strong shot at the job because he also brings the most to the table on offense. When healthy, the Ravens have turned to Campanaro on punts and kickoff returns, and he's been effective. The Ravens drafted Reynolds, in part, specifically to see what he can do as a returner, but he has the least amount of experience of the three after playing his college career at quarterback.

Key Role Players

Webb could always step in if needed as a punt returner. With his sure hands, the Ravens like to use him as a fair-catch specialist. Whoever wins the starting returner job will likely handle both kickoffs and punts.

Most Anticipated Battle

Campanaro and Reynolds are two similar players. They would both project to be slot receivers and returners. The Ravens have held onto high hopes for Campanaro despite injuries that derailed his first two seasons. But they also like Reynolds, the Navy quarterback and NCAA all-time leader in touchdowns. Reynolds made great strides in his conversion during Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

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