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Baltimore Ravens

Ravens mailbag: Who will return from injury soon? Who's on the roster bubble? And why don't they try Keenan Reynolds at QB?

Fans often tweet and email questions to Ravens reporter Jeff Zrebiec. Here are some of the topics coming up most frequently with training camp in full swing –and Jeff's takes on the subjects.

What are the options for the Ravens on the physically unable to perform list?

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The players currently on the list – running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman and outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil – can be activated at any point during training camp, and start practicing. However, once they are activated, they cannot revert back to PUP if they have a setback. If the players are still on the PUP list at the end of training camp, they can be transferred to the "reserve" PUP list. That means they wouldn't count against the 53-man roster but they wouldn't be eligible to play in the first six regular-season games.

Are any of the five players likely to spend the entire training camp on the PUP list?

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That's hard to say, though Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday that he expects Smith, Perriman, Suggs and Dumervil to all be back before the start of the season. Perriman is the wildcard. The hope is that he'd be ready to return in mid-August. However, if he has a setback, the reserve PUP list might come into play. As for Taliaferro, staying on PUP might make the most sense as he continues to recover from a foot injury that ended his 2015 season. Taliaferro is currently fifth on the running back depth chart, and unlikely to make the team. The Ravens are probably better off letting Taliaferro get completely healthy and seeing if they have more roster flexibility when the running back is eligible to come off the PUP.

At what point do all these injuries become a concern?

I think we're closing in on that point, although team officials are downplaying the situation. It's been a while since the Ravens had fewer than 10 players sidelined from a training camp practice. The good news is that the only long-term injury suffered so far this summer was to defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, who broke his ankle and is expected to miss the season. However, all these guys, specifically on the offensive side, missing a week at a time or two weeks are complicating roster decisions and impacting the coaching staff's ability to make evaluations. Plus, the Ravens needed immediate contributions from their rookie class and guys like Chris Moore, Maurice Canady and Kenneth Dixon have missed out on valuable reps.

Is Justin Forsett in jeopardy of not making the team?

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There's more and more speculation that Forsett isn't safe, given how impressive Terrance West and – to a lesser extent – Kenneth Dixon have been. Forsett must also compete with second-year pro Buck Allen. Ravens coach John Harbaugh's regular-season opening roster has had only three backs for all but one year of his tenure, and keeping four would affect the team's options elsewhere. However, I'm still not buying the notion that Forsett could be on the outside looking in. Or I should say, I'm not buying it yet. Both Harbaugh and running back coach Thomas Hammock praised Forsett's form in training camp. Forsett is one of the team leaders. He's the only veteran the Ravens have in that running back room. Plus, Forsett might still the team's most reliable back, given his knowledge of the offense, his ball security and his blitz pickup.

What veterans are on the roster bubble at this point?

On offense, Michael Campanaro, Chris Matthews, Jeremy Butler, James Hurst and Vladimir Ducasse are a few that come to mind. On defense, Arthur Brown, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Kyle Arrington, Matt Elam and Terrence Brooks are bubble guys. There are others, too. Some interesting decisions await Harbaugh and his staff.

What are Victor Ochi's chances to make the team?

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The undrafted rookie pass rusher out of Stony Brook is generating a lot of interest these days. He's flashed in practice and he possesses so many qualities the Ravens look for in their defensive players. Rarely do the Ravens allow a young pass rusher to get away. It helps Ochi that he's been working with both the defensive ends and outside linebackers. However, the Ravens are deep at both spots and somebody is going to be the odd man out. Is that Ochi? Is that fifth-round outside linebacker Matthew Judon? The Ravens are already two deep at each outside linebacker spot with Suggs, Dumervil, Za'Darius Smith and Albert McClellan. They have Lawrence Guy, Brent Urban and Lewis-Moore at defensive end. For Ochi, it becomes a number's game. The preseason games will be crucial for Ochi.

Since he's struggling at wide receiver and Ryan Mallett is also struggling, why not try Keenan Reynolds at quarterback?

Reynolds didn't project as an NFL quarterback coming out of Navy, and he doesn't now. He's also been working for months on being a receiver and kick returner. He hasn't been in quarterback meetings. He hasn't been throwing to receivers after practice. Playing quarterback in the NFL isn't easy. You can't just flip a switch.


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