A chance at redemption for Doss

A chance at redemption for Doss
September 16, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Ravens will stick to run game

Tandon Doss has been on an emotional roller-coaster the past two weeks, but his fortunes appear to be headed upward again.

Doss, a former fourth-round draft choice, was among the Ravens final cuts on Aug. 31, a casualty of a disappointing training camp and a crowded competition at wide receiver. But less than two weeks after sending Doss on his way, the Ravens called him back.

After Jacoby Jones went down with a knee injury, the Ravens re-signed Doss, and he delivered two of the game's top special teams plays in the Ravens' 14-6 win over the Browns. Doss had a 22-yard punt return in the second quarter, and a 21-yard return in the fourth quarter that set up the Ravens in Cleveland territory and led to their second touchdown.

“He really solidified us back there with Jacoby being out – and made the play," coach John Harbaugh said on Monday. "He set up the score at the end of the game with the 30-yard punt return or whatever it was. ... There was more wind out there than you think, and it was blowing a little funny up there. Their guy had some short punts up into the wind that were hanging a little bit, and Tandon has great hands and handled them very smoothly."

Smoothly is not how Doss' life proceeded the past two weeks.

Assumed to be on the roster bubble, Doss had a strong game at St. Louis in the preseason finale, with five catches for 75 yards. That wasn't enough, and two days later Doss was let go, as the Ravens opted to stick with rookies Marlon Brown and Aaron Mellette, among others, over the third-year veteran.

An Indianapolis native, Doss said he returned to Indiana after being cut. The Ravens, he said, "told me to stick around, that I might be getting a call, you never know. But at the same time, I was just trying to find a job somewhere."

Doss worked out for the Packers but never signed. Then with Jones out a month or more, Doss got the call to come back to Baltimore.

"It's been a different couple weeks for me," he said in the victorious locker room on Sunday.

In addition to returning kicks, Doss was in on 12 offensive snaps as a slot receiver against Cleveland, though no passes came his way. Still, with Jones likely to miss a couple of more games, Doss has a chance to make the most of his second chance.

He began that quest on Sunday.

"The biggest thing for me was to come out early, get my mind right and whenever my name was called, try to make a play," he said, "so hopefully I'll just continue to do that."