Taylor's injury could be roster headache

Taylor's injury could be roster headache
August 24, 2013, 9:30 am
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John Harbaugh not concerned with Flacco's preseason INTs

Tyrod Taylor’s possible concussion could become something of a roster headache for the Ravens.

The Ravens must set their 53-man roster by next Saturday, and in light of Taylor's injury, one of the questions is whether they need to keep three quarterbacks.

Taylor took a hit and had his helmet knocked off by Panthers safety Mike Mitchell as he scrambled for a gain in the fourth quarter of the Ravens’ 34-27 preseason loss to Carolina on Thursday.

Per the NFL’s concussion policy, Taylor left the game and did not return.

“He went through the concussion protocol there,” Harbaugh said after the game, “so we’ll just have to play that one by ear.”

According to the NFL's concussion protocol, any player suffering from concussion-like symptoms must be cleared to play by an independent neurotrauama specialist who is not on the team medical staff.

Taylor, the Ravens’ third-year backup quarterback out of Virginia Tech, has taken the majority of the snaps with the Ravens offense this preseason. He has looked solid, completing 18 of 32 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. He has also rushed 10 times for 42 yards.

But an injury to Taylor might convince the Ravens to keep a third quarterback – presumably Caleb Hanie, who other than Joe Flacco and Taylor is the only other quarterback in camp -- on the final 53-man roster, which likely was not in their plans a week ago. The Ravens still have one one more preseason game, at St. Louis on Thursday, and Hanie will probably see the majority of the time in that game.

Given Joe Flacco’s durability -– he has not missed a start in his career -– it seems the Ravens would prefer to set their 53-man roster with Flacco and Taylor as the only quarterbacks. That’s what they did last year. Veteran Curtis Painter competed with Taylor all through camp but did not make the team. Dennis Dixon was added to the practice squad last year, and it's possible the Ravens will look to add a signal-caller to the practice squad again.

But if a third quarterback stays, someone has to go. That could be an extra wide receiver, or a defensive back or linebacker who could help on special teams.

The Ravens return to the practice field on Saturday afternoon, and there should be an update about Taylor’s condition then.