Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco need answers on offense in 2017 to return to playoffs

Marshal Yanda, right, will be limited at the start of camp after having offseason shoulder surgery, and that might be the least of Joe Flacco's worries when it comes to the Ravens' offensive line. Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire

The Baltimore Ravens open training camp on July 27 at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Top storyline: Does Joe Flacco have a strong enough supporting cast to end the Ravens’ two-year playoff drought? Baltimore devoted most of its resources in free agency and the draft on defense, and Flacco lost four of his top six targets (including Steve Smith Sr. and Dennis Pitta) as well as two three-year starters on the offensive line (right tackle Rick Wagner and center Jeremy Zuttah). The only additions to the offense were wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back Danny Woodhead. The Ravens have to figure out a way to jumpstart a running game that ranked No. 28 in the NFL last season and a passing game that finished No. 28 in efficiency (6.4 yards per attempt). At this year's training camp, Baltimore needs to find some answers on offense to avoid missing out on the postseason for a third straight year, which hasn’t happened since 1996-99.

QB depth chart: There is no debate about the Ravens' starting quarterback. Flacco is entering his 10th season in that role for Baltimore. But there are questions about his effectiveness. Flacco is 29-29 since winning the Super Bowl. He has thrown 61 interceptions over that span, third most in the NFL. Ryan Mallett is in his second season as Flacco's backup.

Bubble watch: RB Buck Allen. He has gone from being a starting running back at the end of the 2015 season to being squarely on the roster bubble. Allen was a healthy scratch for the final four games of last season, and the Ravens added Danny Woodhead as their pass-catching back (which has been Allen's strength) this offseason. There's a chance Allen could stick around because Kenneth Dixon is suspended for the first four games of 2017. But Allen's long-term future is in doubt.

That rookie could start: CB Marlon Humphrey. Several factors suggest Humphrey will get a chance to take the field immediately: He was the No. 16 overall pick. He comes from a pro-style defense in Alabama. And he played more snaps last season than any other defensive first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft (827). Brandon Carr could get the nod at the start of the season. But no one should be surprised to see Humphrey starting opposite Jimmy Smith at some point in 2017.

Injury watch: TE Maxx Williams is the biggest injury question mark. The 2015 second-round pick underwent a knee surgery that had never been performed on an NFL player, according to coach John Harbaugh. Williams could be put on the physically unable to perform list and could miss the start of the regular season. Yanda (shoulder) might miss a portion of camp but guaranteed he would be ready for the season opener. LB C.J. Mosley (shoulder), DL Carl Davis (pectoral strain) and TE Crockett Gillmore (hamstring) all missed mandatory minicamp in June, but Harbaugh expected all of them to be back for training camp. WR Michael Campanaro (toe) was placed on PUP last week, but he should return at some point in camp.

Jobs up for grabs: Eight. This camp will have plenty of competition at these spots: center (Jensen or Urschel); tight end (Benjamin Watson or Nick Boyle); fullback (Lorenzo Taliaferro or Ricky Ortiz); defensive tackle (Davis or Michael Pierce); defensive end (Brent Urban, Bronson Kaufusi or Chris Wormley); outside linebacker (Albert McClellan, Matt Judon, Za'Darius Smith or Tyus Bowser); cornerback (Carr or Humphrey) and returner (Campanaro, Lardarius Webb, Keenan Reynolds, Chris Moore or Tim White).

For daily updates at camp, check out the Baltimore Ravens clubhouse page.