By Jeff Zrebiec
7:09 PM EDT, August 9, 2012
Like coach John Harbaugh promised, several of the Ravens' veterans will not be playing in tonight's preseason opener at the Georgia Dome against the Atlanta Falcons.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed will sit this one out. Veteran Brendon Ayanbadejo will start at middle linebacker in place of Lewis and Emanuel Cook will start at safety in place of Reed.
The other Ravens scratches include rookie running back Bernard Pierce (hamstring), wide receivers Patrick Williams (leg), Tandon Doss (hamstring) and David Reed (knee), tight end Dennis Pitta (hand), center Matt Birk (back), tackle Jah Reid, linebackers Josh Bynes (back), Darryl Blackstock (groin), Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Courtney Upshaw (shoulder), defensive end Art Jones (hip) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (back).
Quarterback Joe Flacco will start the game but he's only expected to play one or two series. In front of him, two rookies will start on the offensive line: Gino Gradkowski at center and Kelechi Osemele at right tackle. Michael Oher will remain at left tackle with Bobbie Wlliams and Marshal Yanda starting at the guard spots.
Third-year linebacker Sergio Kindle will start in place of Upshaw at outside linebacker.
Wide receiver Jacoby Jones and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) are both expected to play as are Haloti Ngata, Pernell McPhee and Bryant McKinnie, who have all missed extensive time in training camp because of injuries.
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