Veter­ans’ jobs on the line

Ros­ter to be trimmed from 90 to 75 in first round of manda­tory cuts

Baltimore Sun - - NFL & RAVENS - By Jeff Zre­biec jeff.zre­biec@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jef­fzre­biec­sun

The Ravens will have to make the first of two manda­tory rounds of cuts, trim­ming their ros­ter from 90 to 75, be­fore 4 p.m. Tues­day. Teams of­ten let go of se­lect veter­ans who don’t look like they’ll make the reg­u­lar-sea­son ros­ter, giv­ing them a chance to latch on else­where.

That’s hap­pened in re­cent days with the Detroit Lions re­leas­ing run­ning back Ste­van Ri­d­ley, the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots mov­ing on from run­ning back Don­ald Brown and wide re­ceiver Nate Wash­ing­ton, and the Kansas City Chiefs let­ting go of wide re­ceiver Mike Wil­liams and safety Ste­vie Brown.

As the Ravens head into their third pre­sea­son game tonight against the Lions, here’s a look at five veter­ans or re­turn­ing Ravens who are in most jeopardy of not mak­ing the team. Kyle Ar­ring­ton, cor­ner­back: Ar­ring­ton is a to­tal pro and he’s had a strong ca­reer for a for­mer un­drafted free agent, but it ap­pears his days with the Ravens are num­bered. The vet­eran hasn’t re­turned from a sig­nif­i­cant con­cus­sion suf­fered in the pre­sea­son opener, and even be­fore the in­jury, it looked as if the ad­di­tions of vet­eran Jer­raud Pow­ers and rook­ies Tavon Young and Mau­rice Canady would cost him a spot. Arthur Brown, in­side line­backer: The 2013 sec­ond-round pick has had a solid camp and made im­prove­ments, but his shot at the start­ing weak-side line­backer role never re­ally ma­te­ri­al­ized. He’s played be­hind Zachary Orr and rookie Ka­malei Cor­rea. The Ravens are rel­a­tively thin at the po­si­tion, which, along with his spe­cial­teams abil­ity, could save Brown. How­ever, the for­mer Kansas State stand­out is a long way from a ros­ter lock. James Hurst, of­fen­sive tackle: Hurst started 15 games, in­clud­ing two play­off con­tests in 2014, over the past two sea­sons. That’s not bad for an un­drafted free agent. How­ever, he strug­gled last year and hasn’t dis­tin­guished him­self much this sum­mer. Hurst is be­hind rookie fourth-round pick Alex Lewis and De’On­dre Wesley for a re­serve role. Kapron Lewis-Moore, de­fen­sive end: Lewis-Moore has done all the right things Cor­ner­back Kyle Ar­ring­ton hasn’t re­turned from a sig­nif­i­cant con­cus­sion suf­fered in the pre­sea­son opener. The for­mer un­drafted free agent could be let go dur­ing cuts. this sum­mer, and the Ravens would love to keep the hard­work­ing and re­silient line­man. There just might not be a spot un­less the Ravens de­cide to keep Lewis-Moore over fourth-round pick Wil­lie Henry. If the Ravens keep six de­fen­sive line­men, which is the ex­pec­ta­tion given the ros­ter crunch else­where, Lewis Moore could be the vic­tim of a num­bers game. Chris Matthews, wide re­ceiver: Good luck find­ing any­body who doubts that the 6-foot-5 Matthews is an NFL-cal­iber re­ceiver. He had a solid start to train­ing camp, too, but a soft-tis­sue in­jury kept him side­lined for two weeks and now he might be out of time. With Steve Smith Sr., Ka­mar Aiken, Mike Wal­lace, Bre­shad Per­ri­man, Michael Cam­pa­naro (River Hill), Chris Moore and Jeremy But­ler all healthy, Matthews will prob­a­bly be on the out­side look­ing in.

KIM HAIRSTON/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

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