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Ravens Cut Roster Down To 53 Players

September 2, 2017
The Baltimore Ravens made a number of roster moves ahead of the league-mandated Sept. 2 deadline to get down to 53 players. 

Many of the players cut Saturday were younger players who were "bubble" players for roster spots. Running back Taquan Mizzell, fullback Ricky Ortiz, wide receivers Quincy Adeboyejo and Chris Matthews, quarterback Josh Woodrum and offensive lineman Matt Skura all appeared to have a chance at making the roster during the preseason but were cut. Additionally, tight end Ryan Malleck, linebackers Donald Payne and Boseko Lokombo, cornerback Reggie Porter and offensive lineman Maurquice Shakir were all let go. 

Additionally, cornerback Robertson Daniel, linebacker Brennen Beyer and offensive tackle Stephane Nembot were waived-injured. Cornerback Brandon Boykin was also placed on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury. 

By releasing Ortiz after cutting Lorenzo Taliaferro a day earlier, the Ravens do not have a true fullback on the roster. That role could be handled by undrafted free agent defensive lineman Patrick Ricard, who worked out as a fullback in the preseason. 

Ricard is one of eight defensive linemen who made the roster-including defensive tackles Willie Henry and Carl Davis, who were also on the bubble.
It has been speculated that the Ravens could attempt to use their depth on the defensive line in order to acquire help at one of their other positions of need in a trade.

Ricard is also one of three undrafted free agents to make the team, joining linebacker Bam Bradley and cornerback Jaylen Hill, one of the more outstanding performers on the team during the preseason. 

Other bubble players to make the roster were tight end/wide receiver Vince Mayle (who has stood out on special teams) and cornerback Sheldon Price. Injured cornerback Maurice Canady (knee) remains on the roster for now but will likely be placed on injured reserve Sept. 3 so that he can be designated for a potential return this season. Such a move would open a roster spot if the Ravens choose to add a player cut by another team. 

The Ravens kept oft-injured veteran receiver Michael Campanaro, who will likely be the primary return man as well. Fellow receiver Chris Moore made the roster again despite struggling during the preseason. 

By cutting Woodrum, the Ravens signified a level of confidence in starting quarterback Joe Flacco's injured back. Flacco returned to practice Sept. 2 for the first time since the start of training camp. He and backup Ryan Mallett are the only quarterbacks on the roster. 

The roster also includes both Tony Bergstrom and Luke Bowanko, two interior offensive linemen acquired in trades with the Cardinals and Jaguars respectively. The Bergstrom deal was for a conditional seventh round pick while the compensation in the Bowanko trade was not announced. The team could potentially end up keeping Bowanko and releasing Bergstrom, a scenario by which they would retain the pick they had dealt to the Cardinals.

A number of the younger players released during the final round of cuts are likely to be candidates for the team's practice squad. The Ravens are also expected to continue considering not only players released by other teams but also trade possibilities throughout Labor Day weekend.

For example, Baltimore kept just three running backs on the roster (Buck Allen, Terrance West and Danny Woodhead). West struggled during the preseason, while Woodhead only returned to practice from a hamstring injury Sept. 2. The Eagles kept five running backs on their 53 man roster while the Redskins released third year back Matt Jones. 

Here is a breakdown of the Ravens' 53 man roster: 

QUARTERBACKS (2): Joe Flacco and Ryan Mallett

RUNNING BACKS (3): Buck Allen, Terrance West and Danny Woodhead

TIGHT ENDS (4): Nick Boyle, Vince Mayle, Benjamin Watson and Maxx Williams

WIDE RECEIVERS (5): Michael Campanaro, Jeremy Maclin, Chris Moore, Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8): Tony Bergstrom, Luke Bowanko, Jermaine Eluemunor, Austin Howard, James Hurst, Ryan Jensen, Ronnie Stanley and Marshal Yanda 

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (8): Carl Davis, Willie Henry, Bronson Kaufusi, Michael Pierce, Patrick Ricard, Brent Urban, Brandon Williams and Chris Wormley

LINEBACKERS (9): Tyus Bowser, Bam Bradley, Kamalei Correa, Matt Judon, CJ Mosley, Patrick Onwuasor, Za'Darius Smith, Terrell Suggs and Tim Williams

SAFETIES (4): Chuck Clark, Tony Jefferson, Anthony Levine and Eric Weddle

CORNERBACKS (7): Maurice Canady, Brandon Carr, Jaylen Hill, Marlon Humphrey, Sheldon Price, Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb

SPECIALISTS (3):  Morgan Cox, Sam Koch and Justin Tucker