Baltimore Ravens: Jeremy Butler

Injuries hit the Baltimore Ravens hard in 2014. All you have to do is take a look at the long list of names on injured reserve.

The Ravens have placed 19 players on IR, which was the seventh-most in the NFL this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information's MC Barrett. The New York Giants led the NFL with 26 players on IR.

Injuries typically derail a team's season. In fact, only three of the eight teams that had 19 players or more on injured reserve made the playoffs in 2014 (the Ravens, Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys).

[+] EnlargeJimmy Smith
AP Photo/Darron CummingsThe loss of Jimmy Smith to a season-ending foot injury impacted the Ravens' season more than any other Baltimore player who was placed on IR.
The Ravens' IR list includes four starters, three rookie draft picks and two long-snappers. Here is a look at those whose seasons ended early in 2014:

STARTERS

CB Asa Jackson (knee): He just can't stay healthy. Jackson suffered three injuries that sidelined him this season, which makes it hard for the Ravens to depend on him going forward. He does have potential as a No. 3 or No. 4 corner.

TE Dennis Pitta (hip): Two hip injuries have limited him to seven games in two seasons. The Ravens are still waiting to hear whether Pitta will play this season.

CB Jimmy Smith (foot): No injury hurt the Ravens more than this one. The Ravens allowed seven touchdown passes with Smith. They gave up 15 touchdown passes without Smith, their best player at their most vulnerable position.

OT Rick Wagner (foot): He was one of the bigger surprises of the season. In his first-year as a starter, Wagner was the second highest-graded right tackle by Pro Football Focus.

ROOKIE DRAFT PICKS

S Terrence Brooks (knee): The third-round pick had an up-and-down rookie season because it took longer than expected for him to learn the defense. Brooks never developed into a starter but he showed promise at times.

RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot): The fourth-round pick was underutilized this season, and the Ravens could've used him toward the end of the season when Justin Forsett wasn't as explosive. He ranked fourth among rookie running backs with a 4.2-yard per carry average.

DE Brent Urban (knee): The fourth-round pick had a shot at being the top backup to Chris Canty, but he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on July 30. He'll likely be among those competing for the starting defensive end job if Canty is a salary-cap casualty.

RESERVES

DT Christo Bilukidi (ankle): Claimed off waivers after the Bengals cut him, Bilukidi played a total of 47 snaps in four games before being put on IR.

LB Arthur Brown (hamstring): The team's second-round pick in 2013 has been slow to develop. Brown was only active for four games and didn't play a down on defense.

WR Jeremy Butler (shoulder): He's an undrafted rookie who stood out in the spring offseason workouts but faded in training camp. Ravens coach John Harbaugh has brought up his name a couple of times this offseason when talking about the team's depth at wide receiver.

LS Morgan Cox (knee): He's highly regarded by the organization, but his value actually increased after he suffered a season-ending ACL injury midway through the season. Cox's replacements, Kevin McDermott and Patrick Scales, both struggled at times, putting more emphasis on re-signing their long-snapper of the past five seasons.

CB Danny Gorrer (knee): He was signed midway through the season after being waived by the Detroit Lions. Gorrer was expected to upgrade the cornerback position but he lasted four games before suffering a season-ending injury.

CB Tramain Jacobs (hamstring): The Ravens promoted the undrafted rookie from the practice squad in Week 10 because he provided more upside than Chykie Brown. But Jacobs went down after three games.

DE Kapron Lewis-Moore (Achilles): An injury sidelined the former sixth-round pick for a second straight season. Lewis-Moore was placed on injured reserve during training camp after being earmarked as the top backup to Canty in 2014.

LS Kevin McDermott (elbow): He had some shaky moments in his seven games as the replacement for Cox. A high snap disrupted the timing of a field goal in Week 15, his last game with the Ravens.

G Will Rackley (concussion): He lasted only one week in Ravens' training camp in 2014 before getting sidelined the rest of the year with a concussion.

OT Jah Reid (hand): The former third-round pick played a career-low four games and 10 snaps in 2014.

TE Konrad Reuland (foot): He played 26 games for the New York Jets in 2012 and 2013, including three starts. Reuland was signed to the Ravens' practice squad in November but ended the season on IR.

CB Aaron Ross (Achilles): He spent most of the past two seasons on injured reserve. In 2014, Ross tore his Achilles' tendon during the Ravens' conditioning test for training camp and never played a game.

W2W4: Baltimore Ravens

August, 7, 2014
8/07/14
12:00
PM ET
The Baltimore Ravens play host to the San Francisco 49ers to open the preseason Thursday night at M&T Bank Stadium.

1. How the cornerbacks hold up. The most pressing concern for the Ravens is the depth at cornerback. Lardarius Webb will miss at least the first two preseason games with a back injury. That means Chykie Brown most likely will start opposite Jimmy Smith in the opener. All eyes should be on Brown, Asa Jackson and undrafted rookies Tramain Jacobs and Deji Olatoye . Brown has played better recently after struggling mightily in the first week of camp. Jackson has had a solid camp, but he has to prove he can play on the outside (and not just in the slot). If the Ravens don't have a comfort level with the corners beyond Smith and Webb, they'll have to make a move before the regular season begins.

2. Effectiveness of the running game. Ray Rice has captured national attention this offseason, but the focus on the Ravens' offense will be the running game as a whole. The Ravens produced the fewest rushing yards in their history last season, and they're adjusting to Gary Kubiak's new running scheme. It's all about lineman zone blocking on stretch runs and backs making one cut before turning upfield. Rice is expected to play one or two series before giving way to Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro.

3. Wide receiver competition. The top four receivers -- Steve Smith, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown -- are locks to make the team. The remaining receivers are battling for one or two spots. Kamar Aiken has been the biggest surprise of camp, impressing the team with his strong hands. Rookie seventh-round pick Michael Campanaro has shown off his quickness, but he has had trouble staying healthy. He might not play because of a rib injury. Undrafted rookie Jeremy Butler hasn't stood out as much as he did in the offseason workouts. Deonte Thompson has dropped several passes, and as a result, he has dropped further down the depth chart. LaQuan Williams has a better shot at making the team because of what he does on special teams. “In all my years in the league, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen as competitive of a situation as we have at receiver right now,” offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Here are some quick thoughts after the Baltimore Ravens completed their second practice of this week's three-day minicamp:
  • Tempers flared in the 90-degree heat with the first on-field scuffles of camp. The first one involved two rookies: tight end Crockett Gillmore and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan started a fight that ended with a small pile-up of players. Then, in the final half hour of practice, wide receiver Steve Smith shoved Lardarius Webb after he felt the cornerback contested a pass too vigorously for non-contact minicamp. Smith shoved Webb, and Webb then retaliated. After this exchange, Steve Smith immediately caught a pass against Jimmy Smith and Webb followed that up by knocking down a pass away from Owen Daniels on the next play. Smith and Webb are very competitive players.
  • [+] EnlargeBaltimore Ravens
    Patrick Semansky/AP PhotoWednesday's minicamp saw a whole lot of action from the Baltimore Ravens' receiver corps.
    Of all the practices open to the media this offseason, this was the sharpest one for quarterback Joe Flacco. There was a long stretch where the ball didn't hit the ground in full-team and seven-on-seven drills. His best throw was a deep one down the middle of the field to Steve Smith, who got behind safety Matt Elam. Flacco was spot-on with most of his throws.
  • While Flacco excelled, the wide receivers stood out for the wrong reasons. There were too many drops for a second straight day. Marlon Brown, Torrey Smith, Jace Davis and Jacoby Jones all let passes go through their hands in a short period of team drills. Defensive players do push-ups on the field when they drop interceptions. Maybe the same rule should apply to the Ravens' wide receivers.
  • Wide receiver Jeremy Butler continues to make plays this offseason. The rookie from Tennessee-Martin is trying to become the latest undrafted success story for the Ravens. Butler is making more catches than the other players who are competing for one of the last receiver spots on the team such as Michael Campanaro, Deonte Thompson and LaQuan Williams. Butler's path got easier when the Ravens waived Aaron Mellette, too.
  • It looks like it will be an uphill battle for Will Rackley to make the team. A third-round pick in 2011, Rackley started 25 games for the Jacksonville Jaguars before being released earlier this year. Right now, Rackley is running with the Ravens' third team and is behind backups A.Q. Shipley and Ryan Jensen on the depth chart.
  • Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore joined the list of injured players not practicing after hurting his hamstring toward the end of Tuesday's workout. That led to more increased reps for rookie Brent Urban with the second team. The players not practicing for a second straight day are: defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip), offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf), wide receiver Kamar Aiken (lower leg) and offensive tackle Parker Graham (undisclosed).
The Baltimore Ravens announced they signed 17 undrafted rookies Monday. That brings their total to 89 players, which leaves one roster spot left.

Of the 17 undrafted rookies, there are four cornerbacks and three offensive tackles. The Ravens didn't draft anyone at either position this year and only had four cornerbacks on the roster before these signings.

Xavius Boyd, LB, Western Kentucky: Led the Sun Belt in tackles for loss (15.5) and sacks (8.5).

Levi Brown, DT, Temple: The 310-pound nose tackle played in 43 career games and was a senior captain last season.

Jeremy Butler, WR, Tennessee-Martin: The 6-foot-2 possession receiver caught 141 passes and scored 20 touchdowns in two seasons.

Jace Davis, WR, North Colorado: Averaged 15.2 yards per catch during his career and caught 44 passes last season.

Parker Graham, OT, Oklahoma State: The versatile lineman started all 12 games for the Cowboys last season, five at left tackle and seven at right guard.

Derrick Hopkins, DT, Virginia Tech: Second-team All-ACC selection recorded 49 tackles, including 7.5 for loss, four sacks, a blocked kick and a 40-yard fumble return.

James Hurst, OT, North Carolina: Four-year starter broke his left leg in the Belk Bowl in late December and had been projected to go as early as the fifth round.

Tramain Jacobs, CB, Texas A&M: Started six of 13 games last season with one interception and eight passes defensed.

Richie Leon, P, Houston: Handled punts, kickoffs and field goals for most of last season. He averaged 43.2 yards on punts (24th in the nation), and nearly 50 percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

Jamie Meder, DT, Ashland: The two-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference defensive lineman of the year was a four-year starter.

Dexter Moody, S, Albany State: The converted linebacker totaled 45 tackles, including 6.5 for loss, a forced fumble, a blocked punt and three interceptions.

Deji Olatoye, CB, North Carolina A&T: Recorded five interceptions and 18 passes defensed in 21 games while playing cornerback and safety. He left Colorado after being suspended for an off-the-field issue.

Zachary Orr, LB, North Texas: Made a career-high 123 tackles (fifth most in school history) and was named to the 2013 Conference USA Football All-Academic team.

A.J. Pataiali'i, DT, Utah State: The 307-pound nose tackle finished first among defensive linemen on his team with 42 total tackles, which included 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

Avery Patterson, CB, Oregon: He converted from cornerback to safety in college, but he's listed as a corner with the Ravens. He picked off six passes in his final two seasons.

Sammy Seamster, CB, Middle Tennessee State: Has intriguing size and speed but wasn't a full-time starter last season.

Brett Van Sloten, OT, Iowa: The converted tight end made 25 straight starts at right tackle and was part of was part of an offensive line that allowed just 15 sacks, fewest in the Big Ten.

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