SECOND CUTDOWN DEADLINE COMING AUG. 30
OWINGS MILLS -- The Ravens' first round of roster cuts went a long way toward easing the crunch at several positions.
With 11 wide receivers in camp, and the team likely to keep only five or six, Mike Willie and LaQuan Williams were among 10 players placed on outright waivers.
Williams, who attended Baltimore Polytechnic High and the University of Maryland, played in 23 career games with the Ravens in 2011 and 2012. Willie is a first-year player from Arizona State.
Even with well-documented injuries at cornerback, two of the nine cover men in camp were waived: former Arena League standout Marrio Norman and undrafted rookie Deji Olatoye.
Also in the secondary, safety Omar Brown was released after spending three seasons in Baltimore, but getting into only four career games.
Linebackers Austin Spitler and Nick DiMarco were also let go, freeing up the logjam at both inside and outside positions.
DiMarco, who had also seen time with the New York Jets, had one of the Ravens' three sacks through the first two preseason games. Like Spitler, he was signed after being a tryout body at the June full-team minicamp.
Also on the list of those waived outright were punter Richie Leone, tackle David Mims and running back Cierre Wood.
Keeping two fullbacks on the roster was never a realistic option due to the diminishing role of the pure lead blocker in the NFL, so when Georgia product Shaun Chapas sustained a shoulder injury during practice, the team placed him on the Waived/Injured list.
Also on that list is backup tackle Brent Van Sloten, an Iowa product who incurred a knee injury during a recent workout.
The final three players on the first cut-down list were placed on injured reserve as a mere formality, as such players would now count against the 75-man roster limit if they were retained.
Defensive linemen Kapron Lewis-Moore (Achilles) and Brent Urban (knee), along with free-agent guard Will Rackley (concussion) were moved to injured reserved, ending their seasons.
Even though none of them have yet played a game for the team, they still count toward the franchise's all-time roster, bringing its total to 488 players.
Lewis-Moore was a sixth-round draft pick in 2013, while Urban was a fourth-round selection this year.
Rackley, who incurred his concussion early during training camp, was an unrestricted free-agent signee from the Jacksonville Jaguars who played alongside current Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe in Jacksonville and started 25 of 26 career games.
The roster moves came approximately 27 hours before the 4 p.m. Aug. 26 deadline.
The second cutdown deadline is set for 4 p.m. Aug. 30. Teams must get down to the Week One 53-man limit by that time.
The 10-man practice squad can be constructed beginning at noon Aug. 31.
Joe Platania is in his 21st season covering professional football.