Ravens second-year safety DeShon Elliott will likely miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, head coach John Harbaugh announced Oct. 14, adding to the injury concerns in the Ravens' once-deep secondary.
Elliott was injured during the Ravens' 23-17 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury comes just as Elliott's role was growing after starting safety Tony Jefferson suffered a season-ending injury a week earlier. It's a tough break for the former 2018 sixth-round pick out of Texas, who had missed his entire rookie season with a broken arm.
Elliott, 22, played in all six games this year, mainly on special teams and totaled three tackles on defense and three more on special teams. He played a season-high 27 defensive snaps against the Bengals and recorded his first pass defensed before leaving with the injury late in the game.
At his weekly Monday news conference, Harbaugh said that a more thorough exam concluded that Elliott’s injury is “way worse than we thought it was going to be.”
Elliott becomes the fourth member of the Ravens' secondary who figured to make significant contributions who instead is sidelined for an extended period.
In addition to Jefferson, top nickel back Tavon Young will miss the entire season with a neck injury and starting cornerback Jimmy Smith has missed five straight games with a sprained knee sustained in the season opener.
And those aren't the only injuries to a Ravens secondary that two months ago was the team's deepest unit. Brynden Trawick, a safety by trade who was mainly a special teams ace the past few years, is also on IR with an elbow injury, and rookie cornerback Iman Marshall has been on injured reserve all season.
Elliott’s injury leaves the Ravens with three safeties on the roster -- Earl Thomas, Chuck Clark and Anthony Levine. The Ravens signed safety A.J. Howard to the practice squad after Jefferson's injury, and Howard, who was with the New England Patriots during training camp, would be a possible addition.
Harbaugh said the Ravens might also look outside the organization, something they have already done with some success this season, adding linebackers Josh Bynes and L.J. Fort and defensive lineman Jihad Ward, all of whom contributed to the win against the Bengals.