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Linebacker Donald Payne is returning to Baltimore after two seasons with the Jaguars.
Linebacker Donald Payne is returning to Baltimore after two seasons with the Jaguars. (Phelan M. Ebenhack / AP)

The Ravens have signed inside linebacker Donald Payne and waived punter Sean Smith, the team announced Friday.

Payne first joined the Ravens in 2017 as an undrafted free agent out of Football Championship Subdivision program Stetson. After not making the team’s 53-man roster, the 5-foot-11, 217-pound Payne was claimed off waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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He had 13 tackles in 13 games as a Jaguars rookie and two in eight games last year. Payne missed over two months last season with a knee injury, and the Jaguars waived him in May.

Payne’s signing comes a day after Ravens inside linebacker Chris Board suffered a concussion in the team’s 26-13 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Coach John Harbaugh said Board, a projected starter, told him he was “fine,” but the team will continue to monitor his status. Backup Otaro Alaka also briefly left the game with an apparent injury before returning to finish with a game-high six tackles.

The Ravens signed Smith on Tuesday, two days after backup kicker-punter Kaare Vedvik was traded to the Minnesota Vikings. With Smith’s release, the team is expected to bring in another specialist, likely a kicker, to reduce the workload on starters Sam Koch and Justin Tucker.

With the release of defensive tackle Elijah Qualls on Thursday and of Smith on Friday, as well as the signing of Payne, the Ravens have one open spot on their 90-man roster.

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