With the 2016 preseason now history, the Ravens can turn their full attention toward the season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 11.But first, it’s time to go on the record with the final projection of the Ravens’ 53-man roster to begin the regular season as head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome will make their final decisions by 4 p.m. on Saturday. Of course, this will only be the first regular-season roster as the Ravens can explore the possibility of adding other players who will be made available over the next few days.Though the coaching staff and the front office are aware of the number of players at each position, trying to boldly pinpoint a specific number of receivers or linebackers isn’t the most accurate way of projecting the roster. In filling out the back end of their roster, the Ravens look carefully at players’ special-teams abilities in addition to what they bring to their offensive or defensive positions.The numbers in parentheses indicate the total number of players they are projected to keep at that given position.QUARTERBACKS (2)IN: Joe Flacco, Ryan MallettOUT: Josh Johnson Skinny: Johnson has played well enough this preseason to earn a job somewhere, but the Ravens appear content with Mallett backing up Flacco this season.RUNNING BACKS & FULLBACKS (5)IN: Justin Forsett, Kyle Juszczyk, Terrance West, Buck Allen, Kenneth DixonPHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM LIST: Lorenzo TaliaferroOUT: Stephen Houston Skinny: It would have been interesting to see whether Allen’s job was truly in danger before the knee injury suffered by Dixon, but the Ravens appeared to be protecting the former’s health on Thursday.WIDE RECEIVERS (7)IN: Steve Smith, Kamar Aiken, Breshad Perriman, Mike Wallace, Chris Moore, Michael Campanaro, Jeremy ButlerOUT: Keenan Reynolds, Chris MatthewsSkinny: Keeping seven receivers isn’t ideal from a roster construction standpoint, but the number of injury risks in this group makes it easier to justify carrying Butler for the present and future.TIGHT ENDS (3)IN: Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Dennis PittaSUSPENDED: Nick Boyle, Darren WallerOUT: Daniel BrownSkinny: If Williams and Pitta are bigger question marks for the opener than Harbaugh indicated this week, Brown could find his way onto the 53-man roster temporarily.OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)IN: Marshal Yanda, Ronnie Stanley, Rick Wagner, Jeremy Zuttah, John Urschel, Alex Lewis, Ryan Jensen, De’Ondre WesleyOUT: Vlad Ducasse, James Hurst, Matt Skura, Blaine Clausell Skinny: Lewis’ ability to play left tackle and left guard will push Hurst off the roster while Ducasse is an unfortunate victim of the numbers game despite a good summer.DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7)IN: Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Lawrence Guy, Carl Davis, Brent Urban, Willie Henry, Michael PierceOUT: Kapron Lewis-Moore Skinny: Pierce was already in the roster discussion before his exceptional performance on Thursday and is an interesting talent to retain since Williams is scheduled to become a free agent next offseason.INSIDE LINEBACKERS (3)IN: C.J. Mosley, Zachary Orr, Kamalei CorreaOUT: Arthur Brown, Patrick Onwuasor Skinny: Brown’s status as a former second-round pick will no longer save his roster spot, and Albert McClellan or Anthony Levine can play inside linebacker if game-day injuries were to pile up.OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (5)IN: Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Za’Darius Smith, Albert McClellan, Matt JudonOUT: Chris Carter, Victor Ochi, Brennen Beyer Skinny: The veteran Carter should find a job elsewhere with ease while Ochi is a raw and talented prospect the Ravens will hope to sneak onto the practice squad.CORNERBACKS (5)IN: Jimmy Smith, Shareece Wright, Jerraud Powers, Tavon Young, Will DavisOUT: Sheldon Price, Maurice Canady, Julian Wilson, Carrington Byndom Skinny: The Ravens will gamble that Price or Canady — or both — will make it to the practice squad, but depth is a clear concern at this position with the play of Wright and Powers in the preseason.SAFETIES (5)IN: Eric Weddle, Lardarius Webb, Terrence Brooks, Anthony Levine, Kendrick LewisOUT: Matt ElamSkinny: Kendrick Lewis missed the final three preseason games, but his veteran experience should count for something as a backup to Weddle and Webb.SPECIALISTS (3)IN: Sam Koch, Morgan Cox, Justin TuckerOUT: None Skinny: This trio stays together for the fifth consecutive season, a rarity in this day and age in the NFL.
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