The Ravens had three weeks to evaluate Lorenzo Taliaferro in practice, but the team apparently didn't need much time to decide the third-year running back would be a good addition to its injury-plagued 53-man roster.
Following Saturday's walkthrough practice, the Ravens activated Taliaferro from the physically unable to perform list, and also promoted cornerback Robertson Daniel from the practice squad. To make room, the Ravens waived tight end Daniel Brown and placed reserve safety Kendrick Lewis, who aggravated a hamstring injury in practice this week, on injured reserve.
Taliaferro and Daniel are both expected to play Sunday when the Ravens (3-3) look to break a three-game losing streak against the New York Jets (1-5) at MetLife Stadium. The Ravens had two players declared out, and five players, including Lewis, listed as doubtful on the final injury report for Sunday's game, so they needed more healthy bodies.
Taliaferro hasn't played in an NFL game since Oct. 1, 2015, against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was placed on injured reserve two weeks later and then had foot surgery. A slow recovery led to him missing training camp and starting the regular season on the PUP list.
Taliaferro returned to practice this week and the coaching staff apparently saw enough to believe the third-year back could help the Ravens on special teams and perhaps in the running game.
Taliaferro, a 2014 fourth-round draft pick out of Coastal Carolina, rushed for 292 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie, and 47 yards and a touchdown in three games last year. His first two seasons have both ended on injured reserve with a foot injury.
It's unclear how Taliaferro will immediately fit in the running back rotation. Terrance West (Northwestern High, Towson University) is the lead back, and rookie Kenneth Dixon and second-year pro Buck Allen have gotten sporadic carries behind him. The 6-foot, 225-pound Taliaferro has averaged 4.2 yards on 81 career carries, so he ultimately could factor in short-yardage situations, an area where the Ravens have struggled.
The Ravens signed Daniel to their practice squad last week. The 25-year-old, who played his college football at Brigham Young, was undrafted in 2015. He briefly spent time on the Green Bay Packers' active roster last season, but didn't play in a regular-season game.
Daniel has spent time on the practice squads of the Packers and Washington Redskins.
His promotion comes at a time when the Ravens are extremely thin at cornerback. Six defensive backs are on injured reserve. Cornerback Shareece Wright (hamstring) is doubtful to play Sunday, while cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (concussion) and Jerraud Powers (thigh) are both questionable for the game.
Lewis started 15 games for the Ravens last year, but the signing of Eric Weddle and Lardarius Webb's conversion from cornerback to safety pushed the veteran into a reserve role. He had six tackles in six games this season while playing mostly on special teams.
Brown was elevated from the practice squad on Oct. 5. He played in two games, but did not have a catch as he also saw most of his action on special teams. The Ravens felt Brown was expendable because he was fourth on the tight end depth chart behind Dennis Pitta, Crockett Gillmore and Darren Waller.