Ed Dickson (Photo credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
The wait is almost over. The Baltimore Ravens are set to take on the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. During the Ravens preseason stretch, the team suffered a few injuries. While some were worse than others, the team has decided who will be playing in Thursday night’s game, and who is sitting this game out.
The Ravens have been expecting big things from Arthur Jones this season on defense. The fourth-year defensive end has recently been battling a personal health issue and will not be on the field in Denver.
With Jones sidelined for Thursday night’s game, Marcus Spears is looking to step up and fill in for him while he deals with the undisclosed illness. Spears battled a hamstring injury during the preseason, but is now healthy and expected to play in the season opener.
While many feared that Dennis Pitta would not return to the field this season for the Ravens, recent decisions by team personnel may have shown a glimmer of hope for Pitta. The Ravens placed the tight end on injured reserve. The Ravens chose Pitta to be their one athlete to place on IR, with the hopes of his return later this season.
The Ravens chose to place Pitta on IR, just as they did with Ray Lewis last season. Lewis returned to the field late in the season and was available throughout the postseason for the Ravens. Pitta being placed on the IR means that he will be able to return to the active roster after Week 6, but he will likely not return by that date.
Thompson has been sidelined with a foot injury for the past couple weeks, but managed to make the wide receiver cut. The Ravens dwindled their wideouts from eight to six, cutting returners LaQuan Williams and Tandon Doss to make the 53-man roster.
Thompson did not practice this week and has no set date of return, but the Ravens have plenty to work with when it comes to receivers. Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, and Brandon Stokley have been looked toward the most by Joe Flacco and are expected to put up big numbers this season. But rookies Aaron Mellette and Marlon Brown have made a name for themselves during the preseason, proving that they could be a valuable asset to the team.
Ed Dickson was set to be the number one tight end after Pitta suffered his hip injury. But after sustaining a hamstring injury early in the preseason, Dickson had to watch from the sidelines and hope that he would be able to return by Week 1.
Dickson’s wishes came true and he returned to full practice for the entire week leading up to the season opener. Dickson will likely get the start over Dallas Clark, who the Ravens acquired last month from Tampa Bay.
Baltimore Ravens: Who’s fighting for their Ravens life?
Baltimore Ravens: Breakdown of the wide receivers
Baltimore Ravens: Injury report