Last night for the Baltimore Ravens sure felt good for the team. Finally getting out on the field and going toe-to-toe with another team. The defense looked dominant and the offense actually did show a balanced set of play-calling and a commitment to the running game. Many, including myself, even thought the team actually left the game unscathed and with no major injuries. That sadly, isn't the case.
The team announced that while quarterback Joe Flacco will return to the practice field, they have lost starting left guard Alex Lewis, and undrafted wide receiver Tim White, for the season. White injured his thumb during Thursday night's preseason opener against the Washington Redskins, and will require surgery to repair it. White has been one of the big surprises coming out of training camp and he shined Thursday by catching a 33-yard touchdown pass.
White would've been a solid candidate to make the team, but now his injury now gives two players in particular more room for a spot; Quincy Adeboyejo and Michael Campanaro. Adeboyejo, like White, has also been a pleasant surprise in camp as an undrafted free agent. In the game, he nabbed two receptions for 24 yards, but was also not on the same page at times with quarterback Ryan Mallet.
When it comes to Campanaro, White's injury not only affects him as a receiver, but as the return specialist. White and Keenan Reynolds were both on return duties Thursday night, and Reynolds is also another one who could make the roster now that White is done. Campanaro can now step in due to his experience as a returner, and as a receiver, he played very well against Washington. Despite only snatching 1 reception for 10 yards, he gained separation on numerous occasions, but the passes were badly underthrown by Mallet.
With White now done for the season, it gives even more of a chance for Campanaro, Reynolds, and Adeboyejo to contribute over the next three preseason games and to play Week 1 in Cincinnati. With his experience, Campanaro probably leads the pack, with Reynolds and Adeboyejo behind. Reynolds only shot of making the team is as a returner, he might have to be the one to step up the most in the absence of Tim White.
Who knows if Tim White would've made the team, but he certainly was making a case as a receiver and returner. His injury now opens up an opportunity for three players to step up on offense and special teams as the injury parasite continues to plague the Ravens.