The Joker, DeShon Elliott, Is Ready for His Premiere


"Joker," the movie that everybody is buzzing about right now, debuted on Friday.

About a week later, DeShon Elliott, the Ravens safety nicknamed the "Joker," will make his unofficial defensive debut this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Creepy.

Elliott is part of the Ravens' solution for replacing Tony Jefferson, whose season ended in Pittsburgh with a major knee injury. Elliott will join Chuck Clark in a combo that Baltimore hopes won't show any drop-off.

"It's a blessing from God, but at the same, it's horrible to see one of my best friends, T.J., go down," Elliott said.

"To me, football is football. I'm a baller, so I'm going to go out there and play football like I always do."

Elliott has flashed his potential quite a bit in practice. He had some of the team's most impressive interceptions this summer, showing his premier range and ball skills.

It's no surprise considering the player he showed himself to be in college at Texas, where he made six interceptions, returned two for touchdowns, and forced three fumbles as a junior. Still, he surprisingly lasted until the sixth round of the 2018 Draft.

Elliott flashed as a rookie but a broken forearm suffered late in the preseason knocked him out for the entire year.

"[It was] extremely tough because I know what I can do and what I bring to the table. I know I can help this defense," Elliott said. "So that was really hard for me for a while."

This offseason, Elliott picked up where he left off, prompting Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale to tell reporters that if Elliott kept playing so well in practice, he would find a defensive role. Sure enough, it's here. Unfortunately it's because of injury, but it's here nonetheless.

"It's going to be fun to watch him grow and play defense, instead of just special teams," Martindale said. "I'm looking forward to it. We all are."

The Joker acts like how Elliott plays the game – spreading chaos. Elliott got the "Joker" nickname from his college position coach, who took notice of the large Joker tattoo Elliott has on his left forearm.

The coach started calling him the Joker, and everybody picked it up after he returned an interception for a touchdown against USC and did the Joker's disappearing hand gesture.

Asked how eager he is to get his first interception, Elliott just smiled.

"Oh, it's going to happen. And when it happens, it's going to be big," he said. "If you do your job, give full effort and run to the ball, things will happen for you."

Elliott has seen the "Joker" movie twice already, even though it has only been out for a week. Not surprisingly, he gives it two thumbs up.

"It's a real good movie," Elliott said. "It's more realistic with the persona they brought into it. In the comics, it's multiple different Jokers. This guy is more like a real-life Joker. I understand how people are like, 'Don't go out here acting a fool after seeing the movie.' But, I mean, it's just a movie."

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