Baltimore County

Ravens' young wide receivers eager to contribute after surviving roster cutdown

The Baltimore Sun

Kamar Aiken tried his best to maintain control of his emotions having been cut so many times before in the past.

Once Aiken learned Saturday that he had survived the Ravens' final major roster cutdown,  the wide receiver still wasn't quite ready to relax. As part of the Ravens' wide receiver corps of seven players, Aiken is determined to stick now that he's made the team.

"I've been on an emotional roller coaster so much that I was kind of numb to it," said Aiken, who has previous practice squad stints with the Ravens, Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears. "I was happy inside. At the same time, I just looked at it like, 'It's time to work now.' It's good that they kept all of us, but it's still going to be a grind."

Aiken wasn't alone in that sentiment after making the team following a preseason where he caught eight passes for 103 yards.

Wide receiver Deonte Thompson made the Ravens' roster for the third consecutive year after scoring a touchdown in each of the final three preseason games, including a 108-yard kickoff return for a score against the Dallas Cowboys.

"It's awesome, it's the best," Thompson said. "It's definitely tougher to get rid of you when you're getting in the end zone. I'm very happy. You've been through so much, so I'm just thankful. Once you're here, you want to contribute a lot."

Aiken and Thompson were considered to be facing tougher odds to make the team than seventh-round rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro.

The River Hill graduate caught five passes for  79 yards, averaged 30.4 yards per kickoff return and 6.4 yards per punt return. And the Ravens had traded a 2015 sixth-round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns to acquire him.

"It's a really good group," Campanaro said. "We were talking about it all camp about everybody stepping up and playing well so they would decide to keep us all.

"It's a long season, so you never know what's going to happen as far as playing time. We have a lot of good receivers here."

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