Ravens Bring Safety Matt Elam Back Off Reserve/Injured List


The Ravens have chosen to bring back safety Matt Elam from the reserve/injured list.

Elam began practicing Tuesday and had 21 days to either be activated to the 53-man roster or placed on season-ending injured reserve.

It's another chance for the 2013 first-round pick to prove that he can be an impact player, which the Ravens have seen flashes of over the past couple summers but has yet to come to fruition.

"I'm just happy to have the opportunity to do it again," Elam said. "It means a lot. They believe in me a little bit."

The Ravens chose Elam over several other players on IR, including defensive tackle Carl Davis and cornerbacks Sheldon Price and Maurice Canady.

Baltimore would have had to wait until December for Price or Canady to be eligible to play in a game since they were placed on injured reserve in October. 

Baltimore could use the help at safety after top reserve Kendrick Lewis (thigh) went on injured reserve last week. The only other safeties behind Eric Weddle and Lardarius Webb are Marqueston Huff and Anthony Levine. Elam can also contribute on special teams, which had struggled in coverage before showing improvement against the New York Jets Sunday.* *

"Depth is always a concern at every position, but certainly at safety too," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday.

Elam hasn't played in a regular-season game since 2014, when he started 14 games and made 50 tackles. That season ended with a tough game against the New England Patriots in the divisional playoffs, in which Elam missed a couple key tackles.

Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said he and Elam had a great, long discussion about Elam's future. Elam was disappointed in how he was playing, and took it hard.

He returned a better player in the spring of 2015, but suffered the biceps injury that knocked him out for the year. The Ravens opted to bring defensive end Brent Urban off injured reserve instead of Elam.

Elam came back again this summer and was "moving around great," according to Pees, but landed on his knee while making a tackle in the third preseason game, which knocked a chip loose and required arthroscopic surgery.

"It's just having a strong mind and knowing it's part of the game," Elam said of the ups and downs.

The Ravens are hoping Elam can return to the player they saw in practice this summer. 

"Based on everything he did on the field and getting himself ready physically and mentally, he did everything he was supposed to do," Pees said. "Now we just have to hope we're back there again, and we'll see when he takes it to the field."

Webb left Sunday's game against the Jets with a hamstring injury, but said afterwards that he'll be ready for Pittsburgh after the bye.

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