With Friday’s final roster cuts looming, there will be plenty on the line for numerous players tonight, as the Baltimore Ravens take on the St. Louis Rams in each teams final preseason game Thursday night in St. Louis.
While the Rams are expected to play most of their starters through the first half, the Ravens are expected to rest most of their starters.
That means plenty of playing time for guys who may be on the chopping block. Teams must go from a 75-man roster to the final 53-man roster by 9 p.m. EST tomorrow.
Joe Flacco and Ray Rice will get the night off, with Tyrod Taylor and rookie Bernard Pierce starting at quarterback and running back respectively. Starting wide receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin will also take a seat, with Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams getting the start.
Safety Ed Reed and linebackers Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain will also get the night off, giving fringe players like linebacker Sergio Kindle, defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson and safety Omar Brown a chance at cracking the lineup.
There is also a logjam at running back, with Anthony Allen, Damien Berry and Bobby Rainey vying for the third spot in the backfield behind Rice and Pierce.
The benching of the majority of the starters is not a surprise, as the Ravens’ starters thrashed the Jacksonville Jaguars last week for three quarters en route to a 48-17 victory. With the starters looking in mid-season form last week, it was a no-brainer to rest them, espeically with so many roster spots still up in the air.
Those on the roster bubble will surely get their chance to prove they deserve a roster spot, especially those who get a chance to take on the Rams’ starters. Coach John Harbaugh is giving everyone a chance so that no one will be cheated of an opportunity to keep their NFL dreams alive, and that is all those players can ask for.