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Who's Playing, Who's Not vs. Rams


One thing is known for Thursday night's preseason finale in St. Louis.

The backups will get a lot of action.

With the Ravens' regular-season opener in Denver just over a week away, Baltimore is first-and-foremost looking out for the health of its starters.

Thursday night's game is about the backups, and it's a final opportunity for players to prove they deserve a spot on the 53-man roster or practice squad.

Starters Will Rest

Quarterback Joe Flacco will spend the entire game on the bench, as he has done every year since his rookie season.

Other starters who likely won't play at all include any veterans that have little or nothing to gain by another game, such as outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, safety Michael Huff, running back Ray Rice and more.

"We're going to do our best to go out there and try to win that game, within the parameters of what helps our football team going forward into the regular season," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

Who Will Start At QB?

Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor went through the NFL's concussion protocol this week after suffering a shot to the head against the Carolina Panthers last week.

Taylor has been on the practice field, and has cleared part of the concussion test. But the Ravens were still awaiting the full results on Tuesday afternoon. Harbaugh said whether Taylor plays could be a game-time decision or sooner.

"As soon as he passes the test, he's cleared to play," Harbaugh said. "We do not anticipate that being a problem; we really haven't. If it is, that would be a little surprising."

Even if Taylor is ready to play, the Ravens could opt to keep him on the sideline.

They would always like to get Taylor more snaps because he doesn't get many in the regular season. But they need him healthy for Denver just in case. Third-stringer Caleb Hanie could get the start, and the Ravens signed insurance with rookie Dayne Crist.

DT Arthur Jones Sidelined

The Ravens will likely be without defensive tackle Arthur Jones, who has not participated in practice this week due to a non football-related issue.

"I'm going to leave it to Art to explain what it was, but it was more of a personal health thing that's not serious," Harbaugh said. "We just held him back this week."

Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee (undisclosed) has also been missing from practice, along with the usual players that have not been placed on the physically unable to play list: tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) and center Ryan Jensen (undisclosed).

Could Ed Dickson Play?

Tight end Ed Dickson has been practicing and has been "looking explosive," according to Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell.

Dickson said he feels like he could play right now, and getting him some work in the preseason could be beneficial. But the Ravens also don't want to risk a setback with their starting tight end.

Dickson said he's not sure if he'll play in St. Louis.

"I'm going with what the coaches and trainers say," he said. "I feel like I'll be able to go, but you never know. You don't want to go backwards from here. I feel like I'm pretty much ready to go today, but I'm listening to them."

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