1. What's at stake at receiver?
The roster bubble is about to pop for a group of young receivers, so this shapes up as a pivotal final audition for veterans Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams as well as rookies Marlon Brown and Aaron Mellette. There are scenarios where the Ravens could keep as many as seven receivers or as few as six, hinging on the potential return of injured Deonte Thompson (sprained left foot), Williams' special-teams skills, Brown and Mellette's upside and Doss upgrading his consistency after an up-and-down preseason. (Doug Kapustin, Baltimore Sun /August 11, 2013)
— The Ravens’ starting offense and defense in the preseason finale against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday looked nothing like the units that will be on the field next week in the regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos.
As head coach John Harbaugh hinted at in the days leading up to the game, the Ravens held out all their starters from the Thursday night’s game, many of them not even making the trip to St. Louis.
On offense, quarterback Joe Flacco, running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, fullback Vonta Leach, wide receivers Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Brandon Stokley, tight end Ed Dickson, left tackle Bryant McKinnie, left guard Kelechi Osemele, center Gino Gradkowski, right guard Michael Oher and right tackle Marshal Yanda did not play.
On defense, rush linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive end Chris Canty, defensive tackle Art Jones, nose tackle Haloti Ngata, strong-side linebacker Elvis Dumervil, middle linebacker Daryl Smith, weak-side linebacker Josh Bynes, cornerbacks Lardarius Webb, Corey Graham and Jimmy Smith, and safeties Michael Huff and James Ihedigbo were all held out. Strong-side linebacker Courtney Upshaw, rush linebacker Pernell McPhee and defensive end Marcus Spears also sat out Thursday.
Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who was tested for a concussion following the Ravens’ preseason loss to the Carolina Panthers last Thursday, warmed up before the game and was in uniform but veteran Caleb Hanie got the start.