In The Spotlight

August 07, 2008|By JAMISON HENSLEY

What to watch in the Ravens' preseason opener:

POSITION

Offensive tackle. Jared Gaither and Adam Terry, the projected starters, are out with ankle injuries. That means the Ravens will be starting Chad Slaughter at left tackle and Mike Kracalik at right tackle. With the team's lack of depth here, Slaughter and Kracalik could play the majority of the game.

VETERAN

Cornerback Frank Walker. He signed as a free agent from Green Bay, but his arrival has been overshadowed by fellow newcomer Fabian Washington. A big-time trash talker, Walker likely will be in the starting lineup with Chris McAlister (knee) and Samari Rolle (bereavement leave) out.

ROOKIE

Running back Ray Rice. The absence of Willis McGahee (knee) has been less noticeable because of Rice's strong training camp. The second-round draft pick is a tough runner as well as a receiving threat.

ON THE BUBBLE

Defensive tackle Kelly Talavou. With Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata out with leg injuries, Talavou is expected to be an unlikely starter. After stints with Atlanta and Seattle last season, the 340-pound player has quietly impressed the coaching staff this camp.

INJURY REPORT

There are 10 starters who might not play: McGahee, Gaither, Terry, tight end Todd Heap (calf), wide receiver Mark Clayton (shoulder), Gregg, Ngata, McAlister, Rolle and safety Ed Reed (shoulder).

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