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Expanded role might be coming for Jeremy Butler or WR not on team

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Right before the Arizona Cardinals game in week 7, Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Butler was bumped up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, only to not be activated for the game itself. It was guessed that Butler would be active Sunday against the Chargers, to be found yet again on the inactives list.

With Steve Smith Sr. going down with an Achilles tear, head coach John Harbaugh was asked if now would be the time that fans would see Jeremy Butler be active for a game and maybe even see a few snaps.

We brought Jeremy Butler up. Jeremy is going to get … Obviously, his role is going to expand, and it’s time for him to be ready. I wouldn’t rule out that we would bring another receiver in from somewhere. Obviously, we’re looking real hard right now to figure out what we’re going to do.

There are a couple of reasons that Butler's role could expand and it isn't just at wide receiver due to Steve Smith's injury. As of late fellow wide receiver and return specialist Jeremy Ross has had issues holding onto the ball. A fumble in the Arizona game and a bobbled catch against the Chargers saw Raheem Mostert return a kickoff, going 33-yards. During training camp, Butler was in a rotation of players returning both punts and kicks and could find his role expand on that front.

With Senior out for the season, the Ravens could also try out their young receivers and see if they have anything worthy of a more in-depth look. Providing all of their young players with snaps could find that a player shows up better on game days than they do in practice, giving way to a larger share of snaps and possibly a full-time role in the offense by year's end. Even though it is unlikely to have any of the receivers on the Ravens roster see that happen, at 2-6, it is not shocker to say that the Ravens could use this as a way to evaluate their talent better or possibly even provide a spark to a team in much need of one.

What is also interesting is that Harbaugh mentions that the Ravens could bring in another receiver. With the trade deadline coming to a close Tuesday at 4pm, and the Ravens already working out some free agents, we could very well see a new wide receiver come to the team as early as today.