Preview: Ravens Battle Commanders in Final Preseason Game
The Baltimore Ravens are set to take on the Washington Commanders in their final preseason game of 2022. Once again for the Ravens very few starters are likely to see the field as the Ravens are just three weeks away from their week one matchup against the New York Jets. The Ravens are currently 2-0 this preseason and looking to extend their seemingly improbable preseason win streak to 23 games.
The offensive line for the Ravens remains a question mark as the health of left tackle Ronnie Stanley leaves the possibility open that he will not be ready for week one. While Stanley came of the PUP list yesterday, meaning he is likely to begin practicing this week in some capacity. The question remains if their will be enough time for Stanley to get ready in time for September 11th.
With Stanley sidelined tonight and possibly into the start of the regular season, Ja’Wuan James appears to be the starter at left tackle for the Ravens. James has struggled at times throughout the preseason and their is some concern with James own health and his ability to remain healthy for the duration of the season. Third year player Tyre Phillips who has played across the entire offensive line during the preseason could also play left tackle but Phillips has struggled to show he can be a consistent player for the Ravens offensive line.
Rookie center Tyler Linderbaum who recently returned to practice after missing the last few weeks with an ankle/foot injury will be questionable to play tonight. With Linderbaum failing to see his first NFL game action throughout the preseason its hard to judge his ability against NFL caliber defensive lineman. Patrick Mekari and Trystan Colon are the other two centers on the roster, but both have had issues snapping the ball this preseason.
Recently signed receiver Demarcus Robinson is expected to see the field tonight for the first time as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Robinson is an electric player who has has success in the NFL most recently for the Kansas City Chiefs. While he won’t be catching passes from Lamar Jackson, Robinson will look to stand out as he seeks to prove that he can be an important piece to this Ravens receiving core.
With fellow receivers Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche all out against the Commanders. Robinson will have plenty of opportunities to make plays in the passing game solidifying his spot on this roster, as the Ravens are likely to carry no more then six receiver on the 53-man roster.
Much of the Ravens roster has been set and many of the starting spots have been decided. However, their are still several position battles to look for tonight as guys not only fight to make the final roster, but also show they can be key contributors come the regular season.
One of these position battles is across the previously mentioned offensive line. The starting left guard position is still up for grabs as Ben Powers appears to be the current front runner. Tyre Phillips is listed as the second left guard on the roster, while second year player Ben Cleveland who can play both right and left has shown little this preseason for his hopes of remaining on this years team.
The linebacker position is another position battle to keep an eye on, as rookie linebacker Josh Ross has been a nice surprise thus far. His strong play and his connection to Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald gives the undrafted Michigan product a real shot to make this team.
Finally, one of the most talked about positions on this Ravens team is the wide receivers. While the Ravens have been known to regularly carry five receivers into the season, they have also carried more. Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche, and Demarcus Robinson are all locks to make the team leaving only one or two spots up for grabs at the position. Tylan Wallace, although he has not played yet this preseason because of injury. Is likely to make the team because of his special team ability, as he was one of the Ravens best special teams players last season.
Rookie receivers Raleigh Webb and Shemar Bridges, have both flashed this preseason, with each scoring touchdowns. Both players will need a strong performances on Sunday night to get what could possibly be the final receivers spot, or at the very least make the Ravens practice squad.