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Which young Ravens receiver will step it up?

At the start of training camp, the Ravens unveiled their newfound depth at the wide receiver position.

Veterans Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth — the biggest wrecking balls in GM Ozzie Newsome's offseason overhaul — swung into Westminster in late July and left Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams scrambling to secure roster spots. Meanwhile, a crew of wide-eyed wide receivers rolled in to hammer out their own niches.

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Four weeks later, that depth has been ransacked by injuries. Clayton suffered a concussion against the Giants on Saturday and is questionable for the season opener. Stallworth broke his foot in the 24-10 win and will be out for a couple of months. And Williams, as always, has been battling his injury du jour (this time it's an ankle).

If that's not bad enough, not one of the Ravens' young receivers has been consistent enough to lock down a spot heading into the team's final preseason game.

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Time is running out for guys like Marcus Smith, Justin Harper, David Reed and Eron Riley to impress the Ravens' coaching staff (you can lump Williams in here, too). But they will get one last opportunity — and it's a golden one — Thursday night against the Rams.

It is no longer a bonus if one of them breaks out. It is a necessity. The Ravens are one injury away from having to use an unproven player as their all-important third receiver when they play the Jets in Week 1. Someone must step it up now that able wideouts are again at a premium in Baltimore.

So who's it going to be, gentlemen?

Will it be Williams, who again finds himself on the inside looking out despite streaky play and epic softness? He is the most talented of Baltimore's younger receivers, but his struggles with injuries and concentration have kept him on the sidelines under Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

How about Smith, a valuable contributor on special teams who has limitations offensively? He finally came through with a touchdown grab against the Giants.

Will Harper drop the ball again, something the lanky wideout has done often in the past three preseasons?

Which David Reed will show up in St. Louis, the impressive fifth-round pick who wowed in offseason workouts and made four catches against the Redskins or the unremarkable rookie who had an up-and-down camp?

What's up with Riley? The coaches are enticed by his intriguing mix of size and speed, but the 23-year-old hasn't done anything in a game to justify giving him a roster spot.

And what if none of the youngsters claims a spot before the final roster cuts are made this weekend? Will Newsome be forced to make repairs to his praised offseason renovation project by plucking a veteran — perhaps someone like Sam Hurd or Sinorice Moss — off the waiver wire?

Suddenly, there are a few questions when it comes to the Ravens' shiny new receiving corps. I wish I had the answers. I don't, but I'll be right there with you Thursday night, scanning my television screen for a little clarity.

One of these kids will seize the moment, right? Right?

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