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Projecting the Ravens’ 53-man roster: Who makes the cut? It might not matter for some.

On paper, the Ravens’ roster math is straightforward. They entered Monday with 79 players on their roster. By 4 p.m. Tuesday, their initial 53-man roster will be set. On Wednesday, they’ll move a handful of ailing players to injured reserve — clearing space for veterans they intend to re-sign or newcomers who might fill a need — and assemble their 16-man practice squad.

In practice, the Ravens’ calculus is more complex. There are deals with agents to make. There’s a waiver wire to monitor. There are trade proposals to mull over. There are roster considerations to weigh.

“You have to decide not just between guys at a position, but how many guys you keep at one position across to another,” coach John Harbaugh said after the Ravens’ 17-15 win Saturday over the Washington Commanders, their 23rd straight preseason triumph. “So we’ll just see where we go tomorrow and the next day.”

After a relatively stable Ravens preseason, general manager Eric DeCosta’s next three days could be relatively simple. Two weeks from the season opener, there are only so many variables in play. But with uncertainty lingering at key positions, the front office could veer in unexpected directions.

Here’s a look at how the Ravens’ initial 53-man roster could take shape:

Offense

Quarterback (2): Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley

In his early offseason workouts, undrafted rookie Anthony Brown looked like he’d be just another training camp body. Instead, he ended the preseason with 464 passing yards, three touchdowns and a 117.7 passer rating, the sixth highest among quarterbacks with at least 20 attempts entering Sunday. Huntley’s development makes Brown a luxury on this roster, but he’d make a fine practice squad quarterback.

Running back (4): J.K. Dobbins, Mike Davis, Justice Hill, Tyler Badie

Gus Edwards (knee) will miss at least four games after being placed on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list. Dobbins’ early-season availability is uncertain; even if his surgically repaired knee is cleared for live repetitions, he’d still need time to ramp up his workload. That leaves Davis, who started all three preseason games and has the coaching staff’s trust, as the likely Week 1 starter. Hill’s speed, always an asset on special teams, has caught Harbaugh’s eye. Badie’s burst and rookie status should give him the nod over Nate McCrary.

Wide receiver (5): Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, Demarcus Robinson, James Proche II, Tylan Wallace

Robinson’s signing — and subsequent explosion in Saturday’s home win — takes some of the mystery out of the receiver competition. With Proche (soft tissue) and Wallace (knee) recovering from minor injuries, the Ravens had to find another complementary wideout, especially with no in-house candidates emerging. Shemar Bridges, Makai Polk, Binjimen Victor and Raleigh Webb all topped out at one standout preseason performance. A few will likely return as practice squad members. Wallace’s special teams ability should keep him safe despite a disappointing camp.

Tight end/fullback (5): Mark Andrews, Patrick Ricard, Nick Boyle, Isaiah Likely, Charlie Kolar

Likely did enough in two preseason games to skip the finale. Boyle, who played just over a third of the offensive snaps in wins over the Arizona Cardinals and Commanders, might enter the season behind him on the depth chart. Kolar, still recovering from sports hernia surgery, is an obvious IR candidate. With the Ravens’ depth here, the rookie won’t need to rush his way back.

Offensive tackle (4): Ronnie Stanley, Morgan Moses, Ja’Wuan James, Daniel Faalele

The good news: Stanley’s expected to return to practice this week. The maybe-bad news: That might not be enough time for the All-Pro left tackle, sidelined all offseason by another ankle rehabilitation, to get ready for Week 1. James is a solid backup, though he hasn’t started a game since 2019.

Interior offensive line (6): Ben Powers, Tyler Linderbaum, Kevin Zeitler, Patrick Mekari, Tyre Phillips, Ben Cleveland

The Ravens’ much-anticipated left guard competition didn’t give the front office much in the way of trade chips. Powers is the front-runner. Phillips flashed his talent inside but struggled with penalties and in his tackle reps. Cleveland hasn’t practiced or played since the Ravens’ win over the Cardinals.

At center, Linderbaum has eased any Week 1 concerns. The first-round pick said after Saturday’s game that he expects his foot to be fully healthy for the season opener. If he’s not, the versatile Mekari can step in.

Defense

Defensive line (6): Calais Campbell, Michael Pierce, Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington, Travis Jones, Isaiah Mack

If the Ravens want a six-man rotation here, Jones’ knee injury, which could sideline him for a few games, should help Mack’s roster chances. He’s a more likely candidate for the team’s initial roster than Brent Urban, whom the Ravens could agree to re-sign after Tuesday’s cut-down deadline. (As a “vested” veteran, Urban isn’t subject to waiver claims and can sign with any team.) Aaron Crawford’s groin injury hurts his chances of making a Week 1 roster after a strong preseason, but he could return to Baltimore on the practice squad.

Outside linebacker (4): Odafe Oweh, Justin Houston, Daelin Hayes, David Ojabo

Tyus Bowser (Achilles tendon) will miss at least four games after being placed on the reserve/PUP list. Ojabo, who’s headed to IR, won’t be ready until at least midseason as he rehabs his own Achilles injury. Steven Means, a vested veteran who impressed in camp, would likely take the second-round pick’s spot on the roster later this week. Even with inside linebacker Malik Harrison’s experience as an edge defender, Hayes’ injury history could lead the Ravens to look for more help. Undrafted rookie Jeremiah Moon figures to be a practice squad target.

Inside linebacker (4): Patrick Queen, Josh Bynes, Malik Harrison, Josh Ross

Ross finished the preseason with 20 tackles (two for loss) and one pass defense over three games, averaging a tackle every 5.7 defensive snaps. Foyesade Oluokun, who led the NFL in tackles last season for the Atlanta Falcons, averaged a stop every 6.0 defensive snaps in 2021. Ross’ rookie-year role in Baltimore would likely be limited to special teams, but he showed enough this month for some team to want the undrafted Michigan product. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who coached him in college, has also raved about his character.

Kristian Welch’s special teams experience shouldn’t be overlooked, though. The Ravens already lost two stalwarts there in the offseason with the retirement of defensive back-linebacker Anthony Levine Sr. and with inside linebacker Chris Board joining the Detroit Lions.

Cornerback (6): Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Kyle Fuller, Brandon Stephens, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Damarion “Pepe” Williams

Kevon Seymour’s chances of sneaking onto the roster took a hit after he left Saturday’s game with an ankle injury. If Seymour, a vested veteran, is healthy enough to play on Sept. 11, there’s still a viable path to the Ravens’ Week 1 roster, especially if Armour-Davis (head) or Williams (undisclosed) remains sidelined in practice. Peters didn’t participate in team drills during the open portion of camp, but he was healthy enough to grab an interception in a recent practice, safety Chuck Clark said Thursday. Daryl Worley joined the Ravens’ practice squad late last year and could rejoin it this fall.

Safety (4): Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, Kyle Hamilton, Geno Stone

Tony Jefferson said after Saturday’s game that he “wants to be a Raven.” He also said he understands “the technicalities that go with everything and all that.” Translation: Even if Jefferson, a vested veteran, doesn’t make the initial roster, he’d be a top candidate to take a spot vacated by a player heading to IR. Ar’Darius Washington, who missed offseason workouts with a foot injury that also delayed his training camp debut, would be a useful practice squad piece. He played all but two snaps Saturday and has the skill set to cover slot receivers.

Special teams

Specialists (3): Justin Tucker, Jordan Stout, Nick Moore

With Cameron Dicker’s release Sunday, it’s back to the status quo for the Ravens’ kicking battery.

Week 1

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Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m.

TV: Chs. 13, 9

Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM

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