Doss gets a second chance

Doss gets a second chance
September 10, 2013, 3:30 pm
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(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tandon Doss gets a do-over.

Doss did not do enough to stick with the Ravens when the 53-man roster was set two weeks ago, but with Jacoby Jones sidelined a month or more with a knee injury, Doss is back in a Ravens uniform.

Doss, among the Ravens final cuts on Aug. 31, was re-signed by the team on Monday. He is likely to fill both roles held by Jones -- as a receiver and especially as a return specialist. The Ravens are also hoping that receiver Deonte Thompson can return from his ankle injury soon, which should boost the kick return unit.

Doss, a fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 2011, was thought to be the heir apparent to Anquan Boldin as the team's slot receiver. But after an underwhelming training camp, Doss lost out on that job to Brandon Stokley, and the Ravens decided to keep rookies Aaron Mellette and Marlon Brown over Doss as well.

When Jones went down, though, the Ravens turned to a player who has already been in their system for three years.

Doss had seven receptions for 123 yards and one touchdown last season. He had seven catches for 85 yards this preseason, finishing with a strong effort at St. Louis (5-75). But Doss drew the wrath of coaches when he apparently ran the wrong route against Carolina, leading to an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

After being cut by the Ravens, Doss reportedly tried out for the Packers but never signed.

"We were fortunate that he was available," Harbaugh said on Monday. "For him to be there, knowing the offense and having the return ability that he does, it was just perfect for us."

On the latest depth chart, Doss is listed as the No. 3 punt returner, behind Jones and Lardarius Webb. But the Ravens probably don't want Webb returning too many punts considering he is the team's top cornerback and is coming off his second ACL repair in four seasons.

So Doss, who set an Indiana record for kickoff return yardage in 2010, might fill in there.

Thompson, meanwhile, is listed as the team's No. 2 kick returner behind Jones, but Thompson has been sidelined since sustaining an ankle injury in the first preseason game at Tampa Bay. Thompson had the job at the start of last season and averaged 25.9 yards on 15 returns, but then fumbled a return against Kansas City, and Jones took over as the top kick returner the next week.

With Jones and Thompson out, and other top preseason kick returners unavailable (Asa Jackson is suspended, Bobby Rainey was cut and David Reed was traded), running back Bernard Pierce is listed as the no. 3 kick returner.

Harbaugh did not give a time frame on Thompson's return to the lineup, but said on Monday that Thompson is "making progress" and that "he's close."