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Ravens sign C Trystan Colon-Castillo to 53-man roster, place LB Otaro Alaka on injured reserve | NOTES

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after Sunday’s 27-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Ravens have placed inside linebacker Otaro Alaka, who suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, on injured reserve, the team announced Monday.

In a corresponding move, the team signed center Trystan Colon-Castillo from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

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Earlier Monday at his weekly news conference, coach John Harbaugh hinted that Colon-Castillo, an undrafted rookie, would be on the 53-man roster.

When asked why Colon-Castillo was elevated to the roster for Sunday’s game but not active, Harbaugh said there were “strategic reasons” behind the decision and said he expected Colon-Castillo to be on the 53-man roster “very soon.”

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Ahead of Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens opted to elevate veteran safety Marcus Gilchrist and Colon-Castillo. But while Gilchrist was active and contributed on defense and special teams, Colon-Castillo was inactive. It marked the first time this season the Ravens promoted a practice-squad player to the game-week roster but did not make him active.

Leading up to Colon-Castillo’s permanent promotion to the 53-man roster, the Ravens' weekly transactions underscored how highly they thought of him.

Under NFL rules, practice-squad players can be promoted to the game-week roster twice and revert to the practice squad without having to clear waivers. Saturday’s elevation was the first of the season for Colon-Castillo.

New practice-squad rules instituted because of the coronavirus pandemic also allow teams to protect up to four practice squad players per week from being signed to another team’s 53-man roster. Colon-Castillo, who started 38 straight games at Missouri, had been protected four out of five times.

The Ravens filled the vacancy left on the practice squad by signing cornerback Nate Hairston, according to the NFL transaction wire.

Hairston, 26, was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the fifth round of the 2017 draft. A Frederick native, Hairston has appeared in 40 games and started in 17 with the Colts and New York Jets.

Extra points

>> Harbaugh said he expects quarterback Lamar Jackson, who missed two practices last week because of a sore knee and illness but still played, to practice “the whole week.”

>> Harbaugh said the team expects rookie right guard Tyre Phillips, who did not play Sunday because of a shoulder injury, to return “pretty soon.”

>> Rookie defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, who made his NFL debut Sunday, had a “good start,” Harbaugh said. “He was really physical, really played hard and ran to the ball. I thought he was a force in there," Harbaugh said. “Still a couple things technique-wise, he got washed a bit on some of the runs. He even told me that after the game in the locker room. He’s the first one talking about that so he’ll be chasing improvement there. But it’s a good start for him, I thought he played well.”

>> Harbaugh said the offense faced communication issues with Jackson’s helmet in the “first few series” Sunday, including one instance that forced Jackson to call a play. “I’ll say this about Lamar,” Harbaugh said, “he’s pretty darn incredible at handling the play clock. Because I don’t know too many quarterbacks who would have gotten some of those plays off without timeouts ... I see him do [it] a lot in practice, too, so he’s just really good at that part of it.”

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