August 30, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Nigel Carr (42) celebrates after a tackle against the St. Louis Rams during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
Yesterday, I posted a story titled, "Taking A Shot At Ravens 53-Man Roster." In that story, I predicted the guys I thought we in, on the bubble and probably not going to make the team's final roster. There were a few guys who I had either in or out, or on the precipice of realizing their dreams and playing in the NFL.
After last night's 31-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams in the team's final preseason contest, not much has probably changed in deciding where these guys sit in the minds of the Ravens brain-trust. Only a few did much of anything to sway the guys who have the careers of these rookies in the palms of their hands and can either give them the chance of a lifetime or a pink slip and point in the direction of unemployment.
Looking at the guys I listed on the bubble, let's take a look at what last night did or didn't do to their chances.
QB Curtis Painter certainly had a better night than Tyrod Taylor. Or did he? Almost 200 passing yards and two TDs, but then again, three interceptions including one returned for a 76-yard touchdown. Ouch. Please continue to stay healthy and make this decision irrelevant, Joe Flacco.
RB Bobby Rainey didn't help or hurt the undrafted rookie's chances, but his performance in the first three preseason games should have been enough to get him a spot on the roster. The question is, will Anthony Allen and/or Damien Berry join him, or will the Ravens be looking for veteran help in the trash heap known as the other 31 NFL team's roster cuts?
WR Tandon Doss more than likely is not on the bubble and will make the team, but will it be at another receiver's expense? Deonte Thompson will make it either way, but its doubtful that a guy like Logan Payne will stick despite being as solid as any receiver in camp.
Which offensive linemen will make it as reserves, as it would seem that the ravens will not give up on the oft-injured Jah Reid just yet. Justin Boren was carted off the field last night, so his health could have an impact on the team's decision in this position.
Rookie defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson had one of the better games of any player last night and should be in the mix there. LB Sergio Kindle not only did nothing to impress, his 3rd and long roughing the passer penalty put the Rams in position to score their first TD. Although it appears that the team also isn't going to give up on him right now, no one would be shocked if he was not among the final 53.
Rookie LB Nigel Carr has made both solid and terrible plays, but seems to be a kid who can grow and contribute, even if it is only on Special Teams, while Kindle hasn't been noticeable on coverage units at all. There is a glut of linebackers and Kindle, Carr and even Chavis Williams could be fighting for one spot.
Cornerbacks and safeties could end up being the toughest decisions, as no one stood out last night at all. Even Jimmy Smith looked like he was having a tough night, slipping and falling and not covering like he has in the past. Rookie Asa Jackson couldn't seem to tackle but to his defense, none of his teammates did any better back there.
Rookie safety Omar Brown may have solidified his spot, leading the team with six tackles Thursday evening, but while Christian Thompson will more than likely be kept, he certainly did nothing to justify his selection as a fourth-round draft pick.
What is obvious is that the team's coaching staff will have a tough time paring the roster in those last 2-3 spots and may still plan on picking up a couple of players that are sure to be released by the other teams in the league. A few may re-appear on the eight-man Practice Squad, but expect a few surprises along the way. It will only be a few hours from the time you read this until the answers are revealed.