The Ravens have signed Tony Jefferson to their practice squad, coach John Harbaugh announced Monday, reuniting with the safety who started 35 games in Baltimore from 2017 to 2019.
The San Francisco 49ers released Jefferson, 29, from their practice squad Wednesday. He appeared in two games for the 49ers last month, his first game action since the Ravens released him after the 2019 season. He earned two defensive snaps and 21 special teams snaps and finished with one tackle for San Francisco.
Jefferson, a popular Ravens teammate who’s remained close with veterans like defensive back Anthony Levine Sr., first arrived in Baltimore in 2017, when he signed a four-year, $34 million contract. He started 16 games in 2017, 14 in 2018 and five in 2019, when he suffered a season-ending ACL injury. The Ravens released Jefferson with a year remaining on his contract, and he sat out the 2020 season while recovering.
“Missed my family,” Jefferson tweeted Monday after Harbaugh announced his signing.
Injuries have rocked the Ravens’ secondary, where starting cornerbacks Marcus Peters (knee) and Marlon Humphrey (pectoral) and starting safety DeShon Elliott (biceps/pectoral) have suffered season-ending injuries. Jefferson, who Harbaugh said was “moving well” in his workout, should help the team’s depth at safety. He’s also a strong veteran presence.
“He’s an early-morning-workout guy, so I plan on seeing him in there early morning in the weight room,” Harbaugh said. “We use a lot of energy. He brings a lot of energy in there, so yeah, it’s great.”
Defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who left the Ravens’ loss Sunday to the Cleveland Browns with a first-quarter thigh injury, has a soft-tissue injury, Harbaugh said.
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“It happened in the game, so you know how those go,” he said. “We’ll see how that looks this week. We just have to go day-by-day on that and see where he’s at. A lot of that has to do with how he feels today and tomorrow.”
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who sat out the Ravens’ final four drives Sunday and finished with just 23 offensive snaps, was dealing with a knee injury, Harbaugh said. He was targeted twice and didn’t have a catch.
“He just didn’t feel like he could go on it during the game,” Harbaugh said. “So again, we’ll see how that feels this week and how it looks today and tomorrow and how he’s practicing.”
While Patrick Ricard was inactive for Sunday’s loss, an MRI revealed “good news for the fullback,” Harbaugh said. The two-time Pro Bowl selection has dealt with hip, back, foot and knee injuries this season, but Harbaugh was optimistic that he could return for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
“We’ll see how it progresses during the week,” Harbaugh said, “and kind of expecting to have him next week.
Harbaugh was also “hopeful” that tight end Nick Boyle, who’s missed the past two games with a knee injury, could return Sunday.
“I think it’s part of the rehab thing,” Harbaugh said of Boyle, whose season-ending knee injury last year sidelined him for much of the Ravens’ offseason workouts and early season. “You probably don’t recover quite as quickly, maybe. Hopefully, he’s getting better every week with that, but I’m real hopeful for him this week. I’ve got my fingers crossed, and I think there’s a good chance.”