UPDATE: ESPN is reporting that safety Matt Elam will undergo surgery on a torn biceps, which will sideline him for the entire 2015 season.
Matt Elam's bid for a bounceback season looks like it has suffered a serious blow.
The third-year safety injured his biceps during Saturday's training camp practice, which could potentially end his season and put him in line for a lengthy recovery. Elam underwent an MRI Sunday to determine the exact extent of the injury, but the team is still awaiting results of that test.
"I'm not real optimistic right now," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "I haven't heard the final word, but it wasn't real optimistic yesterday talking to the doctors."
The injury is particularly disappointing for Elam, who committed himself to having an improved season after a disappointing sophomore campaign. He got himself in better shape, and the coaching staff raved about his play during offseason practices.
"I'm sure it's very disappointing for him, and he told me that," Harbaugh said. "Here's a guy who came back with a renewed attitude. He had a better approach than he'd had the first two years. He just had grown up a lot. He's very serious and he was in tremendous shape, and then he gets a fluke injury. That's disappointing."
The former first-round pick previously emphasized the importance of this season by saying in June, "I have to take myself to the next level."
Elam's injury occurred during the first day of full-contact activity when he reached out hisarm to grab a receiver. It happened before he even had a chance to really show improvements he made the last six months.
He was competing with Will Hill for the starting strong safety job, and the pair had split the first-team reps during the first three days of camp.
Now Hill looks like a lock to start alongside Kendrick Lewis on the back end of the defense.
Elam, 23, has started 26 games the last two years. He notched 85 tackles, an interception and four passes defensed his first two seasons. He will still be under contract when he returns from the injury for the 2016 season.
"His job is to come out the other end of this adversity and make the most of it," Harbaugh said.