Trying to win their first season opener since 2012, the Ravens are in Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Week 1 for the second time in three years.
Beginning an imposing stretch of five of the first seven games on the road, Baltimore is without a quartet of key players as defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee) and cornerback Rashaan Melvin (thigh) were deactivated after both were listed as doubtful on the the final injury report of the week. The Ravens offially ruled out rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (knee) on Friday.
The absence of Jernigan means rookie Carl Davis will start at the 3-technique defensive tackle spot in the base defense. This will also impact the inside pass rush as Jernigan was effective getting after the quarterback in his rookie season.
The biggest surprise of the healthy inactives was rookie outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, who was drafted to replace free-agent departure Pernell McPhee. This leaves the Ravens with only three outside linebackers active for Sunday’s game, but reserve inside linebacker Albert McClellan has experience playing both outside spots.
The Ravens will only have four cornerbacks active on Sunday with rookie Tray Walker backing up starters Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb and nickel corner Kyle Arrington. Reserve safeties Anthony Levine and Terrence Brooks are also capable of playing corner in a pinch.
The decision to deactivate Ryan Jensen leaves the Ravens with just two reserve offensive lineman against the Broncos — tackle James Hurst and interior lineman John Urschel.
These teams are meeting for the 11th time in the regular season are are tied 5-5 in the series. The Ravens are 2-0 against Denver in postseason history, but the Broncos have won the last two regular-season meetings with the most recent coming in 2013.
The forecast for Sunday afternoon’s game in Denver calls for sunny skies, temperatures up to 90 degrees, and winds up to 12 miles per hour, according to Weather.com.
Referee Gene Steratore and his crew will officiate Sunday’s game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
The Ravens will be wearing white jerseys with black pants while Denver will sport their orange home jerseys with white pants.
Here are Sunday’s inactives:
LB Za’Darius Smith
DT Christo Bilukidi
OL Ryan Jensen
DT Timmy Jernigan
WR Breshad Perriman
CB Rashaan Melvin
RB Lorenzo Taliaferro
QB Trevor Siemian
CB Curtis Marsh
CB Lorenzo Doss
LB Lerentee McCray
G Shelley Smith
TE Mitchell Henry
DE Kenny Anunike