The Ravens will have a skeleton crew when they take on the Falcons in the preseason finale Thursday.
The Ravens trimmed their roster to 75 players Tuesday, but only a fraction of that group will actually take the field in the Georgia Dome. Baltimore traditionally rests its starters in the preseason finale, and that's the plan again this year, Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
With the absence of the starters and additional players dealing with injuries, the Ravens plan to have just 43 players available. That's even less than the regular season when teams can suit up 46 active players on gameday.
"It's a tough game, but it's also an opportunity," Harbaugh said. "It's an opportunity for those guys to show what they can do, and they'll be excited to play."
**Depth Thin On Defensive Line
Baltimore trimmed its roster down to 53 prior to Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline.
The area where the Ravens will have to get creative is along the defensive line, where the group has recently been hit hard with injuries.
Starters Brandon Williams, Chris Canty and Timmy Jernigan (knee) won't play, and reserves DeAngelo Tyson (shoulder) and Lawrence Guy (knee) also went down last week against Washington.
If Tyson and Guy are out, that leaves the Ravens with Kapron Lewis-Moore, Christo Bilukidi, Carl Davis and Micajah Reynolds on the defensive front.
"It is going to be tight," Harbaugh said about the defensive line depth. "It's going to be a strain on those guys."
Campanaro Returns to Practice
Second-year receiver Michael Campanaro returned to practice this week after missing the last two games with a "soft-tissue issue." He said that he's fully healthy after having the time to recover.
"I'm feeling good and ready to get going," Campanaro said this week.
Campanaro had seemed to rise up the depth chart before getting hurt, so it's unclear if the Ravens will play or sit him in the finale.
He's only played 16 snaps all preseason, so the coaches may want him to get some game action before the regular season.
Williams Still Non-Contact
Rookie tight end Maxx Williams continues to practice with a non-contact jersey after missing last week's game against Washington. He has worn the non-contact jersey for the last two weeks of practice, and it seems unlikely that the second-round pick will play against Atlanta.
"He has an issue that we just can't get him banged around with," Harbaugh said. "He's practicing, so he should be there for Denver."
Other Injured Players Unlikely To Play
Fellow rookie Breshad Perriman is likely to sit Thursday, meaning he will miss the entire preseason. Perriman hasn't practiced since injuring his knee July 30, and the Ravens have recently said there is no timetable on his return.
Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (knee) won't play because of a sprained knee that he suffered against the Eagles in the second preseason game. Harbaugh said Taliaferro would miss "a few weeks" after the running back went down, and that injury could linger into the regular season.
Offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, who has played just about every position along the line this preseason, may be out because of a concussion. He left the Washington game with the concussion and did not practice this week.
Cornerback Rashaan Melvin (undisclosed) also didn't practice this week, so it seems unlikely for him to play. The coaches might also give Melvin the night off because he could end up as a Week 1 starter depending on whether cornerback Lardarius Webb is fully recovered from a hamstring injury.