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

Kapri BibbsOct 23 07:02p

The Denver Broncos have declared OG Ben Garland, RB Kapri Bibbs, OT Michael Schofield, DL Mitch Unrein, RB Montee Ball, S Omar Bolden, LB Steven Johnson inactive for Week 8.

Manti Te'oOct 23 07:02p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Steve Williams, RB Ryan Mathews, CB Brandon Flowers, RB Donald Brown, LB Manti Te'o, LBs Jeremiah Attaochu and Cordarro Law inactive for Week 8.

Perry RileyOct 23 05:49p

Washington Redskins LB Perry Riley (knee) will start as soon as he is healthy enough to do so, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

John SullivanOct 23 05:46p

Minnesota Vikings C John Sullivan (concussion) is still in the testing phase to be cleared for a concussion, but he has not been cleared to this point. Head coach [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 23 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (bicep) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps), [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 23 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert (concussion), DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), DT Steve McLendon (shoulder) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 23 05:42p

Chicago Bears DE Jared Allen (rest), S Danny McCray (knee) and WR Chris Williams (illness) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LBs Lance Briggs (ribs), Jonathan Bostic (back), CB [ More ]

Quentin GrovesOct 23 05:42p

Tennessee Titans LB Quentin Groves (ankle) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Ropati Pitoitua (hand) and TE Taylor Thompson (knee) were limited.

Zach MettenbergerOct 23 05:34p

Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger has been named the starting quarterback for Week 8, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. QB Jake Locker will serve as the backup quarterback.

Sharrif FloydOct 23 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (hernia) and S Antone Exum (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Gerald Hodges (hamstring), C John Sullivan (concussion), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle), [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 23 05:32p

New York Jets OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) [ More ]

Dashon GoldsonOct 23 05:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Jonathan Casillas (hamstring), OT Anthony Collins (knee), FS Dashon Goldson (ankle) and CB Keith Tandy [ More ]

Daryl SmithOct 23 05:22p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (wrist) and LB Daryl Smith (non-injury) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and OG Kelechi Osemele (knee) practiced in full.

Colt McCoyOct 23 05:22p

Washington Redskins QB Colt McCoy will start Week 8, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Josh McCownOct 23 05:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

Brandon ThompsonOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth (rest) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. OG Clint Boling (rest) and CB Leon Hall (back) were limited, while TE Kevin Brock (neck), LB [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 23 04:52p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) sat out of practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 23.

Morgan BurnettOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers S Morgan Burnett (calf) and CB Sam Shields (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. DE Datone Jones (ankle) was limited.

James StarksOct 23 04:42p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, after not practicing Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Thomas DavisOct 23 04:33p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle), LB Chase Blackburn (knee), WR Philly Brown (concussion), OG Nate Chandler (thigh), OG Amini Silatolu (calf), OG Trai Turner (knee) and RB Fozzy [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 23 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (knee, ankle) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. CB Keenan Lewis (knee, shoulder), LB Ramon Humber (ankle) and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 23 04:22p

New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas (ribs, shoulder) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

R. Griffin IIIOct 23 04:22p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) is unlikely to be ready to play Monday, Oct. 27, against the Dallas Cowboys, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden said [ More ]

Mario WilliamsOct 23 04:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring) and LB Ty Powell (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. WR Marcus Easley (knee) and FS Aaron Williams (neck) were [ More ]

Rashad JohnsonOct 23 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals S Rashad Johnson (knee) underwent an MRI exam on his patellar tendon Monday, Oct. 20, that came back negative. Head coach Bruce Arians said Johnson is dealing with some tendonitis.

Jack CrawfordOct 23 04:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Jack Crawford (calf), OT Doug Free (foot) and S Jakar Hamilton (non-injury) all did not practice Thursday, Oct. 23. LB Bruce Carter (thigh) and DE Anthony [ More ]

Alan BallOct 23 04:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Alan Ball (biceps) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23, and is considered highly unlikely to play in Week 8, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Toby GerhartOct 23 03:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Denard Robinson will start at running back in Week 8 even if RB Toby Gerhart (foot) is active, according to head coach Gus Bradley. Gerhart will [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23.

John BoyettOct 23 03:32p

The Denver Broncos released FS John Boyett from their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 23.

Gosder CherilusOct 23 03:32p

Indianapolis Colts LB Erik Walden (rest) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 23. TE Jack Doyle (knee) was limited during practice, while CB Darius Butler (ankle), OT Gosder [ More ]

Brice ButlerOct 23 03:22p

Oakland Raiders WR Brice Butler could receive more playing time moving forward after making a big play in each of the last two weeks. Butler said he has not [ More ]

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