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Ravens safety, defensive signal-caller Tony Jefferson suffers season-ending knee injury vs. Steelers

PITTSBURGH — Ravens safety Tony Jefferson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, coach John Harbaugh said after the Ravens’ 26-23 overtime victory Sunday over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jefferson, who has been handling the Ravens’ defensive communication duties for the past two games, was in coverage in the fourth quarter when he fell to the ground, grabbing his knee. He walked off the field, with assistance from team doctors, before being carted to the locker room. Harbaugh said the injury is at least an ACL tear for the 27-year-old veteran.

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“Just to see him go down like that, it’s definitely a blow to the team,” free safety Earl Thomas III said after the game. “Hopefully he sticks around [the facility]. I live next to him so I know I’m going to check on him. But it definitely hurts the team.”

Third-year player Chuck Clark replaced Jefferson at safety. Second-year player DeShon Elliott and safety-linebacker Anthony Levine Sr. could also help fill Jefferson’s place.

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“Chuck is probably the smartest guy in the [defensive backs] room," Thomas said. "DeShon is probably the most athletic guy. He just has raw talent. He just has to understand the rules and get more experience.”

Inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor handled communication duties Sunday after Jefferson went out, taking over the helmet mic worn by the team’s defensive play-caller. Onwuasor relayed calls to the defense to begin the season before Jefferson took over.

Also Sunday, tight end Mark Andrews walked off the field without assistance after an awkward fall while being tackled late in the fourth quarter. Andrews returned to the field on the team’s next offensive possession after sitting out a few plays.

Rookie receiver Marquise Brown sat out the entire third quarter with an ankle injury before returning and catching a pass in the red zone.

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