After losing safety DeShon Elliott to a knee injury, the Ravens have added a player they are very familiar with.
Bennett Jackson was signed Tuesday off the New York Jets' practice squad, moving the 28-year-old veteran a step closer to playing in his first regular-season game since he was drafted in 2014. Jackson takes Elliott's place on the 53-man roster after Elliott was moved to injured reserve.
Jackson has spent the past two seasons in Baltimore's training camp and has been one of the team's last roster cuts. He is finally part of the 53-man roster.
Jackson's familiarity with Baltimore's defense could be important for a team that has been hit hard by injuries in the secondary. The Ravens have now placed three safeties on injured reserve: Elliott, Tony Jefferson (knee) and Brynden Trawick (elbow). Nickel cornerback Tavon Young (neck) is also out for the season, rookie cornerback Iman Marshall is on IR and cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) has missed five straight games.
Joining the Ravens safety rotation will give Jackson an opportunity he has coveted for years. Jackson entered the NFL in 2014 out of Notre Dame, a sixth-round pick by the New York Giants. He was slated to be a starter for the Giants in 2015, but suffered a season-ending knee injury late in the preseason.
Jackson has spent the past four years trying to find a place in the league. He spent 2018 on the Ravens practice squad, and joined the Jets practice squad after being released by Baltimore this season. During the preseason for the Ravens, Jackson had eight tackles and a nice interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was a frequent playmaker in practice and can help patrol the deep part of the field.
Over the past two weeks, inside linebackers Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort have seen action quickly after joining the roster, and Jackson may be next in line. Elliott played 25 snaps Sunday against the Bengals, and Jackson could step into a similar role.
The Ravens also swapped defensive backs on the practice squad, releasing A.J. Howard and signing Denzel Rice, who will be with his sixth team after going undrafted in 2015.