In only a few days, the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will take on the Carolina Panthers in what’s to be considered the dress rehearsal third preseason game. Two starters who haven’t seen any preseason action yet, Marshall Yanda (shoulder) and Lardarius Webb (ACL), could possibly make their debuts in this very game. But should they?
Yanda is a Pro Bowl RG and the Ravens’ best offensive lineman. The Ravens run game goes as Yanda goes. Think I’m lying? Remember the 2009 Wild Card Game against the New England Patriots? The first play of that game was a 83-yard Ray Rice touchdown run — guess who had the block that set it up?
This past postseason, Yanda gave Rice an extra push that got the Ravens a crucial first down that set up the game-winning field goal in the double-overtime thriller against the Denver Broncos. Yanda is beast, to say the least (can we make that into a t-shirt?).
In 2011, Webb emerged as the top corner for the Ravens. Some people even went as far as saying the “S” word about Webb, and by that I mean “shutdown corner”. I won’t go as far to use that term, but Webb definitely established himself as the no. 1 corner for the Ravens.
In my humble opinion, there is nothing to be gained from playing either of these guys. Both guys are veterans, and both are the best players on the team at their respective position. If they do play (and I think they will), then all we can do is hope they make it out unscathed.