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Ravens training camp preview: Running backs

FootballBernard PierceShaun ChapasRay Rice

The Ravens' top decision makers are always preaching about the importance of roster competition. They want it at every position, not just for starting roles but for special teams units and back-end roster spots.

Heading into training camp which officially begins with the first full-squad practice on July 24, the Ravens’ front office has assembled a 90-man roster that will need to be whittled down to 53 in the coming weeks. The roster has a mixture of youth and experience and is particularly deep at wide receiver where 12 guys are competing for five or six spots.

This is the second in a series predicting how many players the Ravens will keep at each position, which players are locks to make the team, which ones are on the bubble and which ones are going to need to defy long odds to stick.

RUNNING BACKS

How many they’ll keep: 5

Locks if healthy: Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Kyle Juszczyk (fullback)

On the bubble: Justin Forsett

Long shots: Fitzgerald Toussaint, Cierre Wood, Shaun Chapas (fullback)

Skinny: There doesn’t figure to be a whole lot of drama here. Rice’s expected suspension probably will lead to the Ravens keeping an extra running back early in the season. That would benefit Forsett, who has looked elusive and quick in offseason practices and could have a role in the offense early. Taliaferro, a rookie fourth-round pick, also could work his way into the rotation. At 230 pounds, Taliaferro is a good candidate for short-yardage duties, a major issue with the Ravens last year. Juszczyk wasn’t used on offense last season, but that figures to change with new coordinator Gary Kubiak calling the plays. 

Tomorrow, we will highlight wide receivers.   

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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FootballBernard PierceShaun ChapasRay Rice
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