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Ravens Linebacker Albert McClellan Out For Season With Torn ACL

August 28, 2017
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ravens linebacker Albert McClellan will miss the entire 2017 season after suffering a torn ACL in his knee during practice last week, head coach John Harbaugh announced Aug. 28, yet another major injury for a team that has been reeling from them this summer. 

Harbaugh said McClellan suffered the injury without contact near the end of a practice.

"He just planted his foot to change direction and it gave out," Harbaugh said.

McClellan, 31, is listed as a backup inside linebacker behind C.J. Mosley, but McClellan has been a special teams ace for years and can play any linebacker position in the Ravens' 3-4 defense. He is also a locker room leader and considered a mentor to young Ravens linebackers and special teams players. 

Only five Ravens have longer tenure with the team than McClellan, who was signed by the team in 2010 after going undrafted out of Marshall.

Last season, McClellan started 11 games, nine at outside linebacker in place of ailing Elvis Dumervil and two at inside linebacker, finishing with a career-high 52 tackles and one sack. He also had three special teams tackles last season, and he led the Ravens in special teams tackles in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

"He's not just a leader of special teams, but a team leader," special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said earlier in training camp. "... In the classroom, and with the young players, he's a constant voice in their ear. He grabs guys specifically to sit by him so he can coach them while we're in the meeting room. He's a remarkable man and he's a huge asset to our organization."

Linebacker Tyus Bowser, a rookie second-round draft pick, called McClellan's injury "heartbreaking" and said he has been leaning on McClellan throughout the summer.

"He's a big special teams guy that's been helping me out on special teams, teaching me the ropes and everything," Bowser said. "To see him out is heartbreaking."

Harbaugh said he expects McClellan back in 2018 for a ninth NFL season, and he said, "It provides a great opportunity for a couple of these linebackers who have played well on special teams."

Undrafted rookies Bam Bradley and Donald Payne are those who have been working on special teams and could wind up on the 53-man roster in light of McClellan's injury.

McClellan is the ninth Ravens player to suffer a major injury, joining cornerback Maurice Canady (knee), running back Kenneth Dixon (knee), tight end Crockett Gillmore (knee), offensive lineman Alex Lewis (shoulder), tight end Dennis Pitta (hip), offensive lineman Nico Siragusa (knee), cornerback Tavon Young (knee) and wide receiver Tim White (hand). Canady could return later in the season, but the others are all considered season-ending injuries.

PRACTICE NOTEBOOK

HUMPHREY, STANLEY RETURN TO PRACTICE: Rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey was back on the practice field for the first time since aggravating an injury at Miami Aug. 17. Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, who had not practiced since Aug. 12, also was at practice but took part just in light individual drills.

FLACCO, PERRIMAN, WOODHEAD REMAIN SIDELINED: Quarterback Joe Flacco (back), wide receiver Breshad Perriman (hamstring) and running back Danny Woodhead (undisclosed) remain sidelined. Harbaugh said Aug. 26 that Flacco was on schedule to return from the back injury that has sidelined him throughout the preseason, and he reiterated Flacco would be ready to play in the season-opener at Cincinnati Sept. 10. According to a news release issued by the team Aug. 11, Flacco was expected to return to practice "in the preseason."

BOWSER HAS HOUSTON ON HIS MIND: Bowser, who attended the University of Houston, expressed his concern for the city of Houston and its residents dealing with catastrophic flooding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. "I'm praying for everybody, and hoping that everybody's safe," said Bowser, who grew up in Tyler, Texas, about three hours north of Houston. "Just being out here in Baltimore, my love and support for Houston is always there. [I'm] just praying everybody is OK. Stay safe out there."

RAVENS SIGN LONG SNAPPER: The Ravens have signed long snapper Taybor Pepper, who was with the Green Bay Packers in the spring before being cut. Pepper, undrafted out of Michigan State, is likely to fill in for Pro Bowl long snapper Morgan Cox in the fourth preseason game. 

HARBAUGH SAYS JOBS AT STAKE THIS WEEK: Without talking about specific players, Harbaugh said it is a make-or-break week for players on the roster bubble. The Ravens play the final preseason game at New Orleans Aug. 31, and the 53-man roster must be set by 4 p.m. Sept. 2. "There are some undetermined spots right now," Harbaugh said, "so a lot of it is going to come down to this week and this game."

Follow Bo on Twitter @bsmolka    

Photo Credit: Sabina Moran/PressBox