Baltimore Ravens make a few moves before Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers

The (2-1) Baltimore Ravens made a couple moves in preparation for their Week 4 showdown against the (2-1) Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.

This game will have a big outcome on who is the division leader for the AFC North. With both teams at 2-1, both offenses have not gotten to a hot start and it’s been mostly the defense winning games. The Ravens defense forced 5 turnovers in the first two games but was a no-show in London for week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars while the passing game especially has struggled with their injured offensive line and their receivers underperforming. The Steelers have been in close games with the Cleveland Browns but could not pull away against the Chicago Bears as they lost in overtime and Ben Roethlisberger has struggled significantly in away games. Getting back defensive tackle Brandon Williams will help the Ravens defense stop running back Le’Veon Bell as he was out last week with a foot injury but is back in practice this week. Whichever offense shows up will most likely win this divisional matchup.

The Baltimore Ravens lost in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars 44-7 and will have to rebound in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Ravens looked sluggish in their first and most likely last London outing as the Ravens defense made quarterback Blake Bortles have an elite performance and quarterback Joe Flacco was benched in the 4th quarter for quarterback Ryan Mallett for protection. The Ravens need the passing game to be effective against the Steelers as the lack of the run game in Week 3 was due to the scoreboard.

If the Ravens want to win in Week 4, Flacco has to play a lot better, to put it simply, and make the downfield throws he needs to make. The Ravens should get back to the run game next week with running backs Terrance West, Javorius Allen, and Alex Collins and if the minimize the turnovers; the Ravens defense will bring the heat at M&T Bank Stadium. I think last week was an anomaly for the Ravens defense and I expect it to be back to form against a very talented Steelers offense. Receivers Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman have not been involved much and Flacco will have to throw to them as well as wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, and tight end Ben Watson to have success against this Steelers defense. I still am worried about the right guard position, as offensive guards Matt Skura and rookie Jermaine Eluemenor struggled against the Jaguars but offensive guardTony Bergstrom, who was a healthy scratch last week, or even center Luke Bowanko could start ahead of them.

The Baltimore Ravens did not come out of the London game without another injury.

Even though defensive end Willie Henry got his first start, the Ravens took another hit to the defensive line as defensive end Brent Urban was put on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury, according to Jeff Zrebiec. This is the 17th player for the Ravens to be put on injured reserve. Urban showed a lot of improvement this year even though he didn’t any sacks but was still very good against the run.

With this injury, the Ravens sign former linebacker Jonathan Freeny to the roster as a defensive end.

Although Jonathan Freeny was the former Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots linebacker, I think the Ravens plan to use him as a defensive end that could replace Urban even though Bronson Kaufusi could start there in Week 4 as his first start. Freeny could also serve as veteran depth at outside linebacker as an edge rusher. As of now, Freeny is a backup but has the starting experience over guys like defensive ends Willie Henry, Bronson Kaufusi, and rookie Chris Wormley.

The Baltimore Ravens made a few moves in the practice squad and restructured a few contracts.

The Ravens restructured the contracts of safety Tony Jefferson and kicker Justin Tucker prior to the London game in week 3 as it frees up a total of $2.66 million dollars in cap room. They changed the $1.96M of Tony Jefferson’s contract and $1.79M of Justin Tucker’s contract into a signing bonus. The Ravens signed Jefferson in the offseason to a 4-year deal worth $36 million with a $10 million signing bonus and $19 million in guaranteed money and signed Tucker to a 4-year $16.8 million in 2016 with $6 million signing bonus and $10.8 million guaranteed.

Also resigned tight end Ryan Malleck to the practice squad and released linebacker Boseko Lokombo from the practice squad, according to Jeff Zrebiec. Running back Jeremy Langford was also cut from the practice squad with an injury and the Cleveland Browns signed defensive back Reggie Porter off the Ravens practice squad.

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