Welcome to lunchtime links, where we round up all the latest Ravens news from around the web for your convenient consumption. Today we predict the Raven’s first wave of cuts, talk about Timmy Jernigan’s return to the field, why the secondary is a huge concern all of a sudden, and discuss camp sleepers Josh Bynes and Courtney Upshaw.
Jason Marcum is predicting the first wave of Ravens cuts, which must take place by August 26th. The current 90 man rosters will be reduced to 75. We can’t really find a bone to pick with Marcum’s choices, as most Ravens fans likely won’t recognize many of the names. Perhaps the biggest is Mike Willie, but the wide receiver position is far too deep to even give him a reasonable shot at this point.
Timmy Jernigan returned to practice yesterday, though he didn’t participate in team drills. Jernigan promised he would be ready by Thursday for the preseason matchup against the 49ers, and that he is just being eased back in. Can’t blame the youngster for not wanting to miss any time as he battles for snaps, but we don’t want to see him make things worse. His quick development promises to be very valuable for the Ravens defense this year.
Another player “hungry” for greatness is Courtney Upshaw, who has been on the receiving end of a lot of praise this offseason from players and coaches alike. Upshaw has thus far struggled to stay in shape through his short NFL career, but has all the talent in the world to be a difference maker at the linebacker position. He was a premier defender against both the run and pass at Alabama, and could have a huge impact this season if he is physically ready.
Another player making his case for snaps at the suddenly crowded linebacker position is Josh Bynes, who has had a solid training camp so far. Bynes is used to fighting for his job every preseason, but this year he has been shown some serious respect by getting the nod to start while Daryl Smith is nursing a groin injury. The former undrafted free agent’s persistence is definitely paying off.
Finally, cornerback was already a concern heading into the season, but a ridiculous number of injuries to this point make it even more of a concern. The most worrisome is Lardarius Webb, whose back problems have kept him on the shelf all week. The Ravens have already ruled him out for the first two preseason games, though John Harbaugh promises that his injury isn’t a long term problem. The problem with back injuries, however is that no one really knows how long they will linger. Only time will tell, and we can only keep our fingers crossed that he is ready by week 1.