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Ravens sit starting offensive linemen despite lack of playing time together

The Ravens decided to take the cautious route by sitting their starting offensive line for the preseason finale.

That means the first time all five starters will play together will be the season opener against the

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Pittsburgh Steelers

. Starting center

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Matt Birk
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(who had been recovering from knee surgery) and left tackle

Bryant McKinnie

(signed a day before the third preseason game) won't play a snap this preseason.

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While Ravens coach

John Harbaugh's

general rule has been sitting starters in the final preseason game, he indicated this week that he might want to get the first-team offensive line some work. But Harbaugh said the risk of injury was a factor, too.

In addition to the offensive line, the Ravens decided to rest 10 other starters: quarterback

Joe Flacco

, running back

Ray Rice

, wide receivers

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Anquan Boldin
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and

Lee Evans

, defensive tackle

Haloti Ngata

, defensive end

Cory Redding

, inside linebacker

Ray Lewis

, outside linebackers

Terrell Suggs

and

Jarret Johnson

and safety

Ed Reed

.

The Ravens' starting offensive line was left tackle

Ramon Harewood

, left guard

Justin Boren

, center

Bryan Mattison

, right guard

Tim Barnes

and right tackle

Jah Reid

.

LaQuan Williams makes his case

LaQuan Williams

continues to show why the Ravens need to give him a roster spot.

Williams, who played at Poly and the University of Maryland, returned his first punt of the game for 33 yards. It was only last week when his 38-yard punt return set up the Ravens' last-minute game-winning touchdown.

The undrafted rookie is likely battling

Marcus Smith

for the sixth wide receiver spot.

Kruger putting on heat

Paul Kruger

forced the Ravens' first fumble of the preseason when he crushed former Ravens quarterback

Chris Redman

. Kruger, who is back at linebacker this year, had a clean shot at

Redman

because of a safety blitz by

Bernard Pollard

, who recovered the fumble.

But Kruger's highlights this preseason won't include his attempt to stop a screen pass to

Jacquizz Rodgers

. The rookie from Oregon State faked out Kruger in the open field for a 10-yard gain.

End zone

Billy Cundiff

was short on a 57-yard field goal in the first quarter. It was his second miss of the preseason. He missed on a 55-yarder in the preseason opener. … Wide receiver

Torrey Smith

rebounded after making two drops last week with two catches for 12 yards in the first half. …

Pernell McPhee

, a rookie fifth-round pick, had another fumble overturned by replay. It was the third time it's happened to him this preseason. … Redman, a 2000 third-round pick by the Ravens, was 4-for-8 for 58 yards. … The Ravens' game captains were quarterback

Tyrod Taylor

(offense), linebacker

Jameel McClain

(defense) and safety

Haruki Nakamura

(special teams).

twitter.com/jamisonhensley

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