Rookie defensive tackle Carl Davis started three times in the first four games of the Ravens' season, but the subsequent decrease in snaps has left him outside of the defensive line rotation as the final month of the season begins.
Davis was a surprise inactive Monday when the Ravens faced the Cleveland Browns, ceding his spot on the gameday roster to defensive end Brent Urban, who made his NFL debut.
A disappointed but not deterred Davis said Wednesday he's ready for whenever his next game action will come, though he understands there are only so many spots in a deep defensive line group.
"It's a lot of good players, and I'm learning something from them every day," Davis said. "I'm just taking my time and waiting for my turn. It is a blessing and a curse. I want to play. I'm here to play, you know what I mean? But it's a numbers game, and everybody has to do it. At some point, somebody's dealing with it. It's just my rookie year and I'm learning a lot. I look forward to the next time I get back in there."
Davis has 10 total tackles and two pass deflections in 10 games, but much of his impact came in the early season, when the Ravens were dealing with injuries that allowed the third-round draft pick out of Iowa to debut in a bigger role.
He started in Week 1 for defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan while Jernigan dealt with a knee injury, and started ahead of him twice more upon his return before Jernigan earned the top defensive tackle spot back.
When defensive end Chris Canty returned from a four-week calf injury in Week 7, Davis' role was further reduced. He played as few as eight snaps in the ensuing four weeks, behind starting nose tackle Brandon Williams, Jernigan, Canty, and defensive end Lawrence Guy in the battle for snaps.
A desire to see Urban, who missed 2014 with a knee injury and the first 11 weeks this year with a torn biceps, finally get on the field made the Ravens coaching staff sit Davis Monday.
"I can't control it," Davis said. "I'm happy to be here, so whenever they call on me, I'll be ready."
His disappointment was tempered somewhat by the fact that Urban, who played in his place, blocked the Browns' field goal attempt at the end of the fourth quarter to help the Ravens improbably win 33-27.
"This is my first year in the NFL, getting my feet wet, understanding how long of a season it is," Davis said. "Like I said, I really don't know [why]. They made the decision, but also, I was pretty excited for Brent to come back, especially to come back and have a big game like he did. It's definitely great for him, and I'm definitely excited to cheer my team on and be a good teammate."