Veteran linebacker Albert McClellan has re-signed with the Ravens, the team announced Monday. Cornerback Maurice Canady (thigh) was placed on injured reserve to make room for McClellan on the 53-man roster.
McClellan spent the previous eight seasons with the Ravens, so the decision to bring him back was not surprising. The Ravens were shorthanded at inside linebacker after C.J. Mosley suffered a knee injury during Thursday night's loss to the Bengals. No timetable has been set for Mosley's return, though Head Coach John Harbaugh said it's not a long-term injury.
Undrafted rookie linebacker Chris Board beat out McClellan for one of the final roster spots, but there was always a possibility McClellan would return. Releasing McClellan after the preseason was one of their most difficult roster decisions. He missed the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL, but had been a stalwart on special teams for years.
Players and coaches will be happy to welcome McClellan back.
"Just the idea of going out to practice without Albert out there was challenging because he's such a stabilizing factor with our young players and our punt protection and the meeting rooms," Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg said after McClellan was released. "He has such a big role for us. So that was certainly an adjustment that we've had to make – in all of us, not just coaches, but the players as well.
"He's been a big a big part of my life, and I know our club has been better for him being here both as a player and a person. I'm sure I'll see him soon."
McClellan's experience should be an asset to both Patrick Onwuasor and rookie Kenny Young, who have big shoes to fill starting in Mosley's absence. The Ravens surrendered four consecutive touchdown drives to the Bengals immediately after Mosley left the game, before adjusting in the second half and holding Cincinnati to just six points.
Canady suffered his injury in the season-opener against Buffalo and did not play Week 2 against Cincinnati. Injuries have been an issue for Canady since the Ravens made him a sixth-round selection in 2016. Canady was placed on injured reserve in October of his rookie season with a hamstring injury, and he began last season on injured reserve with a knee injury before being activated in November.
Harbaugh said there's a chance that Canady could return later this year because it's not a season-ending injury. Two players can be brought back from IR after missing eight weeks. Canady and Kenneth Dixon (knee) could both be two possible candidates.
Without Canady, the Ravens' cornerbacks for the next two weeks, before Jimmy Smith returns from suspension, are Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, Tavon Young, and rookies Anthony Averett and Darious Williams.