The Ravens sent linebacker Jameel McClain (spinal cord contusion) to injured reserve in an expected move, but unexpectedly activated outside linebacker Adrian Hamilton from the practice squad.
There was thought that the Ravens were saving McClain's roster spot for linebacker Ray Lewis (biceps).
The Ravens still could activate Lewis from the injured reserve – designated to return list by Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline, but the Hamilton move appears to indicate that won't happen.
Hamilton led the nation last year with 20.5 sacks at Prairie View A&M. He established a Southwestern Atlantic Conference single-season record previously held by Colts defensive end Robert Mathis.
The FCS Defensive Player of the Year and SWAC co-Defensive Player of the Year signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent, and had a good showing in the preseason. He had a highlight-reel sack on St. Louis Rams backup quarterback Kellen Clemons.
Hamilton was cut because the Cowboys had a bounty of linebackers, and Baltimore immediately added the 6-foot-3, 251-pounder to their practice squad on Sept. 3.
The knock on Hamilton was that he wasn't a well-rounded linebacker, and could only be used as a speed pass rusher. Even if that's still the case after nearly a year of practice on the practice squad, his presence on the edge gives Baltimore more weapons for getting after opposing quarterbacks and possibly Giants' signal caller Eli Manning this Sunday.
The Ravens are still thin at inside linebacker with Lewis, McClain and Dannell Ellerbe (ankle) banged up. Ellerbe is questionable to return this week. Hamilton's presence could also allow Albert McClellan to see more time at inside linebacker.