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Predicting the 53-man roster: Week 6

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This is the second to last roster prediction, with one final one appearing Friday -- a day before the final cuts are made.

Could linebacker Nigel Carr wind up on the 53-man roster?
Could linebacker Nigel Carr wind up on the 53-man roster?

Thursday's game against St. Louis will be a final chance for Baltimore to fill out its 53-man roster.

Baltimore has likely made most of its decisions, with just a handful of guys needing further evaluation.

There are only three days remaining until final cuts are made, meaning the picture is much clearer at this point in time in regards to what the Ravens will do with their roster.

Here's the latest projection:

Quarterback (2): Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor; Out: Caleb Hanie, Dayne Crist.

Analysis: Hanie's shot at making the team could come down to Taylor's health. If he has a setback in the concussion protocol, then the Ravens may be forced to bring him on in the short-term. That doesn't appear to be the case, though.

Running back (3): Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, Delone Carter; Bubble: Anthony Allen, Bobby Rainey.

Analysis: With the Ravens possibly taking just eight offensive linemen to begin the year, a third running back now becomes a possibility. For now, and perhaps unfairly, Carter gets the edge due to Caldwell's familiarity. If anything happens to Rice or Pierce, Caldwell has one of his guys (he drafted Carter in 2011 when he was the head coach of Indianapolis) to turn to.

Fullback (2): Vonta Leach, Kyle Juszczyk

Analysis: It still looks like both fullbacks will be on the 53-man roster.

Wide receiver (7): Torrey Smith, Brandon Stokley, Jacoby Jones, Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams, Aaron Mellette, Marlon Brown; Bubble: Tandon Doss.

Analysis: Doss could wind up back on the roster with a good showing against St. Louis Thursday night. The problem? Flacco won't be tossing the pigskin around. Any final chance to prove there's chemistry between the two in game action is gone. But if Doss can break out and have a big game, then perhaps he replaces either Aaron Mellette or Marlon Brown on the 53-man roster.

Tight end (3): Ed Dickson, Dallas Clark, Matt Furstenburg; Bubble: Billy Bajema; IR candidate: Dennis Pitta; Out: Alex Silvestro

Analysis: It's just a hunch that Furstenburg makes this year's squad. It's probably 50/50 at this point with both getting a chance to prove why they belong against St. Louis. One of Baltimore's themes this year has been scaling young. Furstenburg is a rookie who's showcased some good speed at the position. If Baltimore brings back Bajema, then its simply crowding the position with too many veterans.

Offensive line (8): Bryant McKinnie, Kelechi Osemele, Gino Gradkowski, Marshal Yanda, Michael Oher, A.Q. Shipley, Rick Wagner, Jah Reid; IR candidate: Ryan Jensen; Out: Jordan Devey, Antoine McClain, J.J. 'Unga, Reggie Stephens, Rogers Gaines.

Analysis: With Ramon Harewood cut this past Sunday, the Ravens could wind up taking just eight linemen. Jensen is still considered an IR candidate because of his broken foot. If the Ravens go with nine linemen, McClain could be the one that breaks in.

Defensive line (6): Chris Canty, Arthur Jones, Brandon Williams, Haloti Ngata, Marcus Spears, Terrence Cody. NFI: Kapron Lewis-Moore; Bubble: DeAngelo Tyson; Out: Cody Larsen

Analysis: Tyson, Baltimore's seventh-round draft pick in 2012, will have another shot to force the Ravens to keep him on another season. But with the additional defensive linemen Baltimore brought in this offseason, that could be a tough task.

Outside linebacker (5): Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Pernell McPhee, Courtney Upshaw, John Simon; IR: Adrian Hamilton; Bubble: D.J. Bryant

Analysis: Bryant was a practice squad member brought on late last season and could wind up a surprise addition to the 53-man roster with a strong game against St. Louis. Hamilton's wrist injury opened up a door for someone else on the roster. 

Inside linebacker (5): Arthur Brown, Daryl Smith, Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan, Nigel Carr; PUP: Jameel McClain; Nigel Carr; Out: Brandon Copeland

Analysis: Here's where I have Hamilton's roster absence being made up for. The Ravens were high on Carr a year ago, though he seemed to just miss out on a roster spot. It makes sense to bring on another inside linebacker since McClellan can play shift to outside linebacker if needed.

Cornerback (5): Lardarius Webb, Corey Graham, Jimmy Smith, Chykie Brown, Marc Anthony; Suspended: Asa Jackson.

Analysis: With Moe Lee's release on Sunday, the cornerback position appears set. Anthony would appear to be the fifth corner with special teams ability, with a decision being determined on Jackson after his eight-game suspension comes to a close.

Safety (4): Michael Huff, Matt Elam, James Ihedigbo, Omar Brown; Suspended: Christian Thompson; Bubble: Anthony Levine; Out: Brynden Trawick

Analysis: More than likely, Brown is on the roster. But don't count Levine out yet. He came in before Brown a week ago against Carolina, indicating there could be more competition at the position than initially thought. There's also the chance that the Ravens only keep three safeties since Elam has been training at both free and strong safety.

Special teams (3): Sam Koch, Justin Tucker, Morgan Cox

Analysis: They're in.

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