On Tuesday, the Baltimore Ravens announced that the team placed safety DeShon Elliott on the injured reserve, and signed defensive back Bennett Jackson to take his place. Elliott suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. On Monday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced that Elliott would miss the rest of the 2019 season because of that injury. This is a major blow for the Ravens, as Baltimore is already thin at defensive back and safety. Baltimore lost Tavon Young this offseason due to a neck injury, Jimmy Smith this season to a short term MCL sprain, Tony Jefferson this season to an ACL injury, and obviously DeShon Elliot to a knee injury. Meanwhile, Maurice Canady has a hamstring injury which leaves him as a day-to-day case.
Bennett Jackson was drafted by the New York Giants in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Jackson spent two years in New York before being released in August of 2016. Jackson signed with the Ravens in 2018 and spent the offseason with Baltimore. Jackson was released after the preseason but was re-signed in 2019. He was again released at the end of the preseason. In September of 2019, Jackson was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets. He was waived two weeks later and signed to the practice squad.
Bennett Jackson’s familiarity with the Ravens is a major point for Baltimore. The Ravens need a quick fix at safety. To bring in an outsider and train them to fit the defense would take much longer than to bring in Bennett. Bennett will not be the savior of the Ravens secondary, but he will provide depth. Third-year safety, Chuck Clark, who wore the green dot (communication responsibilities) in Sunday’s game, will be the starting strong safety throughout the remainder of the season. Bennett Jackson will likely be his backup but could see in-game reps.
In a semi-related move, the Ravens released safety A.J. Howard from the practice squad, and signed defensive back Denzel Rice to the unit.