The next seven weeks figure to be an immensely important stretch for the Ravens as they attempt to assess certain position battles and the strength of their overall roster. Several veterans might find themselves on the bubble, while a few rookies — drafted and undrafted — might spark conversation.
Training camp opens July 19 at 11:50 a.m. when the team will be on the field for its first full-squad practice. The first preseason game is Aug. 2 against the Chicago Bears in the Hall of Fame Game, and the final cuts for the 53-man active roster will take place Sept. 1.
Injuries, individual performances and possible additions could play a role in determining the roster before the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium.
Here is a position-by-position look at the veterans and newcomers jockeying for roster spots. Thursday’s visit was with the tight ends. Friday’s visit is with the offensive linemen.
Returning veterans: No. 70 Andrew Donnal, No. 71 Jermaine Eluemunor, No. 74 James Hurst, No. 72 Alex Lewis, No. 76 Maurquice Shakir, No. 65 Nico Siragusa, No. 68 Matt Skura, No. 79 Ronnie Stanley, No. 73 Marshal Yanda
Rookies: No. 77 Bradley Bozeman, No. 78 Orlando Brown Jr., No. 60 Randin Crecelius, No. 63 Justin Evans, No. 64 Greg Senat, No. 61 Alex Thompson
What to look for in training camp: Aside from Stanley manning the left tackle position, there are a plethora of questions facing this unit. How will the 33-year-old Yanda fare at right guard after sitting out the past 14 games because of a fractured left ankle? Can Skura anchor the center spot or could Lewis be the answer there? Will Hurst fare well enough to cement himself as the starting right tackle or could Brown, the third-round selection, start there in his first year? The preseason will be a significant test for many of these players.
Outlook: The offensive line lost a pair of starters in center Ryan Jensen (who left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and right tackle Austin Howard (who joined the Indianapolis Colts) in the offseason. The departure of Jensen created a hole in the middle of the unit, and the hope is that Skura — who replaced Yanda at right guard — can fill that gap. If Lewis can rebound from a torn left labrum to start at left guard, that could give the team the leeway to shift Hurst to right tackle. If Brown rises to the top of the depth chart at right tackle, Hurst could then be a valuable backup who can play four of five positions.
One stat from 2017: 27 sacks surrendered, tied for the seventh fewest in the NFL.