Matt Elam has suffered another tough blow.
The fourth-year safety went down with a knee injury in Saturday's preseason contest against the Colts, and he will be sidelined for "a number of weeks," Head Coach John Harbaugh announced Monday.
"Matt Elam fell on his knee in the game," Harbaugh said. "He has to go in and do an arthroscopic surgery to clean it out. He had a chip come lose in there."
The injury is disappointing for Elam, who had come on strong in training camp. The former first-round pick is in the final year of his contract and he seemed motivated to prove himself after a disappointing start to his career.
Elam had received high marks from the coaching staff for the way he had practiced, and he made a few nice plays in the game against Indianapolis before getting hurt.
This is the second year in a row he's gone down before the regular season, as he tore his biceps in training camp last year and missed the entire season. The silver lining with the recent knee injury is that it is not considered season ending.
Elam's injury leaves his roster status in limbo. He was competing for a spot on the 53-man squad before getting hurt, and the Ravens will have to decide whether they hold a spot for him as he gets healthy.
The Ravens still have plenty of depth at safety with Eric Weddle, Lardarius Webb, Kendrick Lewis and Terrence Brooks.
Another possibility is to place him on injured reserve and then decide later if they want to activate him. Elam is not eligible to go on the physically unable to perform list at the start of the regular season because he did not open camp on it.
A rule change this year essentially removed the old injured reserve –to return designation. Now, teams no longer have to designate a player to return when they put him on IR. Instead, they can pick any player to activate from IR once he's healthy, but teams still only have that option to use on one player.
"We'll just see how that goes," Harbaugh said. "It's unfortunate for him. Ozzie will deal with it roster-wise however he decided to deal with it."