Offense Will Be Short-Handed
The Ravens offense has taken its share of blows on the injury front this summer.
They have dealt with injuries at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end, and they're going to be without several key players for Saturday's preseason meeting with the Buffalo Bills.
Running back Danny Woodhead (reported hamstring), wide receiver Breshad Perriman (hamstring) and left tackle Ronnie Stanley (undisclosed) all haven't practiced this week and are unlikely to play Saturday.
Woodhead suffered his injury in his preseason debut last week, and the Ravens don't want to rush the veteran back to the field. Perriman went down in the first week of training camp and hasn't practiced for three weeks. It's unclear exactly when Stanley got hurt, but he missed the second preseason game and hasn't practiced in more than a week.
All three players are in line for critical roles this season.
Starting quarterback Joe Flacco also won't play as he continues to recover from a back injury.
The Ravens had already announced that Flacco would miss the entire preseason, but the bigger question is whether he returns to practice next week. Nobody has announced a specific date for Flacco's return, but the Ravens have said he'll practice at some point in the preseason.
Rookie Humphrey Likely Out
On the defensive side, top draft pick Marlon Humphrey is unlikely to suit up after missing the entire week of practice with a "soft-tissue" injury. The cornerback dealt with the injury earlier in camp, but he made his preseason debut last week in Miami.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said that the injury limited Humphrey's snaps against the Dolphins, and the fact that he hasn't practiced at all this week is an indication that the Ravens want to make sure he's fully healthy before putting him back on the field.
Humphrey's injury creates opportunities for other young players to get more snaps. Cornerbacks Jaylen Hill and Sheldon Price have seen increased reps because of the injuries at the position, and they are both competing for roster spots.
Campanaro, McClellan Both Miss Practice
Some late-week practice absences were wide receiver Michael Campanaro and linebacker Albert McClellan. Harbaugh wasn't asked about either of them, so it's unclear why they missed practice.
The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reported that Campanaro's absence was not injury-related and he is expected to play Saturday. Campanaro looks like the favorite for the punt returner job, but Keenan Reynolds has come on strong lately and is challenging for that spot.
McClellan is a seven-year veteran, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the Ravens were cautious with him and held him out of action against Buffalo.
Will Yanda Make His Debut?
Right guard Marshal Yanda underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, and the veteran All-Pro has yet to suit up in the preseason.
Yanda has been full-go in practice for the last two weeks, so the Ravens may decide to give him some game reps before the regular season. The Ravens will likely defer to Yanda on whether he feels like he needs the preseason snaps.
If Yanda does play, it would be a chance to get some familiarity with new starting right tackle Austin Howard.
Will Game Follow 'Dress Rehearsal' Format?
The third preseason game is typically where the starters see the most action, with some even playing into the third quarter.
But the Ravens may not go with that approach, as Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Tuesday the Ravens may do it "a little different" this year. He didn't give any specifics behind what he meant, and Harbaugh was mum on the topic Thursday when he talked with the media.
The truth is that the game won't truly be a "dress rehearsal" for the offense because so many key pieces will be sidelined. The Ravens want to get good reps for the players who are healthy, but they won't be able to get a true game test for much of the offense.