The Ravens will begin the 2016 campaign against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday with an all-rookie left side of the offensive line.
The team's decision to deactivate offensive lineman John Urschel, who had been dealing with a shoulder ailment all week, means Alex Lewis will start at left guard next to left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Lewis, a fourth-round pick, and Stanley, the sixth overall selection, will be the first rookies for any team to start at left guard and left tackle in a season opener since 1995, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Both Stanley and Lewis said they expect Bills coach Rex Ryan to target their pass-blocking abilities frequently.
"It's something I'm aware of and have just been preparing for," Stanley said this week. "I'm sure I'm going to get that a lot during the season. So I've just got to be ready for it."
Added Lewis: "They're going to test us. That would be my assumption. I never know. This is my first NFL game. So I've got no clue. I'm just going in there knowing what I've got to do and do that."
The Ravens will also try to defeat Buffalo without cornerbacks Jerraud Powers (ankle) and Will Davis, running backs Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon (strained medial collateral ligament in left knee), outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot), and defensive tackle Willie Henry.
Tight ends Dennis Pitta (broken finger) and Maxx Williams (knee) and cornerback Shareece Wright (foot) – all of whom practiced fully last week – are active.
The Bills deactivated linebacker Bryson Albright, safety Colt Anderson (foot), quarterback Cardale Jones (right shoulder), center Patrick Lewis, wide receiver Walter Powell, cornerback Kevon Seymour (hamstring), and running back Jonathan Williams (ribs).