A season-ending pectoral tear for veteran defensive end Chris Canty will leave a spot open for a pair of young defensive linemen to rejoin the game-day rotation as the Ravens start looking towards youth and the 2016 season.
Rookie defensive tackle Carl Davis has been inactive for the last three games after starting three times in the first five weeks of the season, with his Sunday roster spot going to defensive end Brent Urban.
Likewise, third-year defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore overcame two seasons lost to injury to get into the rotation for five of the first six games this year, but hasn’t been active in the last seven games.
Their lack of involvement in a deep defensive line has both eager to be the one to dress Sunday in Canty’s place.
“I want to just be able to get out there and play fast and physical, just prove that I belong out there and I can play with the rest of these guys, and really just try to help our team out to get another win, be somebody they can count on,” Davis said. “I want to show them they can count on me, and when I get in there, I won’t miss a beat.”
Davis had 10 tackles in his 10 games, knocking down two passes at the line of scrimmage, but when Urban got healthy he took over as the fifth defensive lineman behind Canty, Brandon Williams, Lawrence Guy and Timmy Jernigan. Urban’s expected to play more as the season goes on, coming off a season-high 23 snaps against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said that whichever of the pair is the fifth lineman Sunday, he wants to “see them play good technique and compete like heck.”
Lewis-Moore, who like Urban had to wait through injuries to make his mark, now just wants “to get a chance to go out there and show what I can do,” he said.
“I feel like with our defensive line, we’ve got some great young guys that can kind of fill the void,” Lewis-Moore said. “We obviously can’t fill that void with [Canty’s] leadership and his play-making ability, but we’ve got some guys that we learn from Chris and we’ve got some guys that can just get on the field and play well.”
Both have been frustrated by their time spent as one of the seven inactive players this year.
“It’s been kind of rough, but I take it for what it is right now,” Davis said. “It’s just life. You start learning that you’re going to have things that are kind of hard, and it’s just adversity. Everybody goes through it in some type of way. This is mine. It’s up to me how I deal with it, ad I’m just going to keep moving forward because there’s nothing else to do.”
“That’s an every-week thing, that you want to get out there and play,” Lewis-Moore said. “Obviously, that’s up to the coaches and stuff, but I can only control what I can control, and that’s me going out there and practicing every day and get better. That’s what I do every day.”