2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Rams subs rally to beat Ravens subs 24-21

By R.B. FALLSTROM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-30 03:15

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The preseason finale showed the Baltimore Ravens' opponents nothing.

Coach John Harbaugh used none of his starters, and even let Joe Flacco and Ray Rice skip the trip for a 24-21 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.

The Super Bowl champions were already in regular-season mode, leaving plenty of playing time for hopefuls fighting for roster spots. Rams coach Jeff Fisher used a handful of his first-stringers, including both first-round picks, but none of them for too long. He told everybody else two hours before game-time that they'd be getting the night off.

Typically, Fisher has given everyone playing time in Week 4, but he noted it's a ``new world.''

They were looking ahead, too.

``It feels pretty good for it to be over with. They (preseason games) don't really count,'' said cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who saw limited action. ``It all counts now, so you got to be ready to roll.''

The Ravens (2-2) open the NFL season on Thursday night at Denver, while the Rams (1-3) will be at home next Sunday against Arizona.

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Here are five things we know about the Rams from the preseason:

FISHER'S GUYS: Entering Fisher's second season, the Rams' roster overhaul has been drastic. There's about a dozen holdovers from failed regimes, and it'll again be one of the NFL's youngest teams. A few players have been simply too good to show the door: middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, defensive end Chris Long and quarterback Sam Bradford.

WIN NOW: Expectations are increased after the additions of free agents Jared Cook and Jake Long and what appears to be a strong draft class. The NFC West is stacked but the Rams were 4-1-1 in the division, and Bradford could be ready to make a leap in his second season with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. ``I think obviously we are much improved at the skill position group just in the sense that we've got a lot more speed,'' Bradford said.

BRADFORD'S BACKUP: Both players seeking the Rams' second-string quarterback job played well in the finale. Veteran Kellen Clemens played his strongest game despite breaking his nose, and second-year player Austin Davis threw two touchdown passes, one for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter. Fisher wasn't tipping his hand, but joked that Clemens ``was a little worried about his modeling career after football.''

KID STUFF: The Robert Griffin III trade keeps paying off. Surplus picks from the deal with Washington emboldened general manager to trade up for wide receiver Tavon Austin this year. Austin and fellow first-rounder Alec Ogletree will start, two rookies started on defense last year and they've still got the Redskins' 2014 first-rounder in their pocket.

VANDY DANDY: Rams fifth-rounder Zac Stacy bid to nail down the backup running back job, showing grit on a 1-yard scoring run. St. Louis traded its last two draft picks to get Stacy, the Vanderbilt career leading rusher. Isaiah Pead is suspended for Week 1 and didn't help himself when he fumbled the opening kickoff, his second giveaway of the preseason.

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And five things we know about the Ravens:

CHAMPS RE-MADE: The Ravens had more than their share of comings and goings in the offseason, saying goodbye to starters Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams, and hello to Elvis Dumervil, Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Daryl Smith and Michael Huff.

FLACCO'S CHALLENGE: Joe Flacco has a new six-year, $120.6 million contract but must adjust to losing two of his favorite targets. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was traded after refusing to take a pay cut and tight end Dennis Pitta could be out for the year with a dislocated and fractured hip.

NICE SHOW: Ravens first-round pick Matt Elam, second on the depth chart behind James Ihedigbo, has had a strong preseason and was among the early standouts in the finale with a fumble recovery and four tackles in the first quarter. It's expected he'll quickly become part of the rotation in a new-look secondary.

REPLACING RAY: For the first time in their 18-year existence, Lewis isn't manning middle linebacker. Daryl Smith, who signed a free agent deal in June, is the veteran replacement. He's a sure tackler entering his 10th season and could help provide some of the veteran presence the Ravens lost.

LAST LINE: The second-largest challenge for the Ravens is moving on without Reed on the back end. Free agent pickup Michael Huff, who played every game for Oakland last year, will take on that unenviable task.

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Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

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Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

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Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

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