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Ravens defensive back Rashaan Melvin jogs onto the field before a game against the Cleveland Browns.
Ravens defensive back Rashaan Melvin jogs onto the field before a game against the Cleveland Browns. (Nick Wass / Associated Press)

It appears that the Ravens will be without one starter and three key reserves for Sunday's regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos.

The final injury report declared both running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (knee) and rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) as out for the game. Starting defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee) and cornerback Rashaan Melvin (thigh) were listed as doubtful.

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A doubtful designation gives players a 25 percent chance of playing.

"I don't think we know much more than what you'll see," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Those percentages, I think, will be very accurate in terms of what the chances are of guys to play."

Perriman hasn't practiced since hurting his knee on July 30, so his absence was a mere formality. Taliaferro, who has a sprain of his right medial collateral ligament, returned to the practice field Friday for the first time since sustaining the injury on Aug. 22 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He moved around well while working out on his own, an indication perhaps that he'll be ready to return soon.

Melvin returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since he was hurt on Aug. 29 against the Washington Redskins. However, it appears that he'll likely need at least another week.

If there was a mild surprise, it's that Jernigan is doubtful. He was a limited participant in practice the past two days and he said Thursday that he feels confident that he'll be ready to play. Instead, it appears that rookie Carl Davis will get the start at defensive tackle.

With Taliaferro sidelined, rookie Buck Allen will likely be the primary backup for Justin Forsett. Allen struggled in the preseason, gaining 88 yards on 35 rushes, an average of just 2.5 yards per carry. The fourth-round pick out of USC also lost a fumble, but he said that he's ready to play a key role.

"I just have to trust in schemes and trust that my preparation in practice will carry over to the game. I don't want to change anything," Allen said. "I'm excited. Definitely looking forward to get rolling and for everything to count. Sunday can't get here any faster. We've prepared all this week and I just feel like I did a great job and I'm ready to get out there and play."

If Melvin doesn't play, the Ravens would have only four healthy corners: Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Kyle Arrington and rookie Tray Walker. That opens the possibility of the Ravens adding a corner from the practice squad Saturday. Asa Jackson and Charles James are both options.

"We're content with the roster, but there could be some shuffling always," Harbaugh said. "That's part of how it works, and we have guys on the practice squad who are ready to play."

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