On Saturday, the Baltimore Ravens announced the promotion of practice squad member, Zach Sieler, to the 53-man roster. The Baltimore Ravens placed defensive back and special teams ace, Brynden Trawick, on the injured reserve on Thursday, and a move was imminent since then. Sieler, the former Ferris State defensive tackle, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft. As Baltimore’s final pick of the draft class, Sieler was also the last player to be picked by former Ravens general manager, Ozzie Newsome. After an unproductive rookie year, Sieler was cut at the end of the 2019 preseason and signed to the initial practice squad.
The promotion of Sieler signals two things for the Ravens. The first is that Baltimore wants to add depth to the defensive line. The Ravens only carried five defensive linemen after the preseason. After Brandon Williams’ recent knee injury, extra strain was placed on the already thin group. The second is that the Ravens are planning to play Sieler against the Steelers on Sunday. Because the Ravens made this roster move before 4 P.M. on the east coast, Baltimore has the option to activate Sieler for Sunday. If the Ravens wanted to sign another player from outside the organization, they probably would have waited until after the deadline, as there would be no time for that player to get accustomed to the team and playbook by Sunday. Sieler will not have this problem, though, as he has been a part of the organization since last year.
Whether or not Sieler will make a substantial contribution to the 2019 Ravens defense is up for debate. What is not up for debate is that the Ravens need to revitalize this defense before it is too late. The unit as a whole has played terribly, and Baltimore will have an uphill battle to the playoffs if the defense fails to return to normalcy.