The Ravens were shorthanded at wide receiver during Sunday’s 26-23 win over the Miami Dolphins. They released Brandon Stokley on Saturday and Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown were scratched before the game, which meant the Ravens had to get through the game with just three active wide receivers.
One of the results was Tandon Doss getting his first career NFL start and playing a career-high 50 snaps.
A few weeks ago, the third-year receiver’s career in Baltimore appeared to be over. The Ravens released him after the preseason, but brought him back after Jones hurt his knee in Week 1. His role has steadily increased since. Doss played 17 snaps in Week 3 and 34 in Week 4. On Sunday, he played 65 percent of the team’s 77 offensive snaps and had three catches for 58 yards. What a difference a few weeks makes.
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All three wide-outs made it through the game, with Torrey Smith playing 75 snaps and Deonte Thompson playing 46, the second-highest snap count of his young career.
Here are other observations from the official snap counts:
--- Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele played just six snaps before leaving with back spasms. A.Q. Shipley replaced him and played 71 snaps. They were his first offensive snaps of the season. The rest of the starting offensive linemen played all 77 snaps, including Bryant McKinnie, who likely made his last start at left tackle before Eugene Monroe takes over. With the Ravens recommitting themselves to the running game, rookie offensive tackle Rick Wagner played nine snaps as a sixth offensive lineman.
--- Now that running back Ray Rice appears to be healthy or close to it, the Ravens are back to featuring him with a large workload. Rice played 59 snaps while Bernard Pierce played just 18. Fullback Vonta Leach played 27 snaps and backup Kyle Juszczyk played two, though I’m pretty sure the rookie was a receiver on both of those plays.
--- Rookie Arthur Brown returned after missing two games with a pectoral injury and he played 23 snaps at weak-side linebacker. With Brown back, starter Josh Bynes played only 34 snaps. This is a situation worth watching in the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, starting middle linebacker Daryl Smith played all 58 defensive snaps.
--- Cornerback Lardarius Webb, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, got the start against the Dolphins, but Jimmy Smith and Corey Graham were the cornerbacks who played every defensive snap. Webb played 49 snaps -- 84 percent -- as the third cornerback this week. Safeties Matt Elam and James Ihedigbo played every snap.
--- Ed Dickson played 51 snaps at tight end while Dallas Clark got 35. Billy Bajema, who was released and re-signed in the days leading up to the game, played 13 snaps.
--- It appeared the Ravens were trying to keep their defensive linemen fresh in the Miami heat. Starting nose tackle Haloti Ngata played 35 snaps. Starting defensive end Chris Canty played 33. Starting defensive tackle Arthur Jones got just 18. Backup linemen Brandon Williams and DeAngelo Tyson got 11 and six snaps, respectively.
--- Rush linebacker Terrell Suggs, who had three sacks, played 48 snaps. Elvis Dumervil played 37 and Courtney Upshaw played 30. Pernell McPhee played 24.
--- Jeromy Miles, who joined the team two weeks ago, played 26 special-teams snaps Sunday. John Simon played a team-high 32 special-teams snaps, followed by Anthony Levine (31), Juszczyk (26), Chykie Brown (26) and Miles.