Tight end Larry Donnell has rare touchdown catch, but roster spot is even more precious

Larry Donnell has just one catch for the Ravens in two preseason games, but the tight end is one of only two players on the roster to make a grab in the end zone. (Rookie wide receiver Tim White, who has since been ruled out for the season with torn thumb ligaments, has the other.)

Donnell’s time to make a favorable impression appears to be running out, though. He already trails starter Nick Boyle, primary backup Benjamin Watson, and third-stringers Maxx Williams and Vince Mayle on the depth chart at tight end, and Ryan Malleck has the same number of receptions but more yards (10) than Donnell.

Whether his 1-yard touchdown catch in Thursday night’s 31-7 demolition of the Miami Dolphins helped his cause, Donnell couldn’t say.

“We’re just competing,” he said Saturday. “That’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to compete, and you don’t worry about that type of stuff. You just put your game on film and let the rest handle itself.”

Donnell’s catch was his first trip to the end zone since Sept. 11, when he helped the New York Giants edge the Dallas Cowboys, 20-19. So a little elation was understandable.

“It feels good,” the 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end said. “It always feels good to get your hands on the ball again. I’ve still got some things to learn and some things to improve on, but it’s just step by step. Being able to make those plays when your number is called just feels great.”

In addition to the touchdown, Donnell caught a pass from quarterback Josh Woodrum for a two-point conversion in the third quarter. With eight points, he personally outscored the Dolphins — a note that drew a laugh from Donnell.

“Anytime you can catch a touchdown, you’re always smiling,” he said. “So that’s pretty awesome, and hopefully, there are more to come.”



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