Two days after he was released amid the Ravens’ roster juggling, veteran running back Justin Forsett has agreed to re-sign with the team today and is in line to practice Tuesday and play in Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium.
To accommodate the return of Forsett and the signing of wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester, who agreed to terms Sunday on a one-year deal, the Ravens are expected to place both defensive tackle Carl Davis (ankle) and safety Matt Elam (knee) on injured reserve.
While it was a little risky because Forsett was a free agent and could have signed with anybody after his contract was terminated before 4 p.m. Saturday as the team trimmed its roster to 53, this was the Ravens’ plan all along.
In removing him from the roster when they did and holding off from officially signing Hester, the Ravens were able to keep both Davis and Elam on the 53-man roster through 4 p.m. Sunday. In doing so, both players are now options to return from injured reserve and onto the active roster later this season.
Per league rules, the Ravens are allowed to bring only one IR player back to the active roster but that player had to still be on the active roster through 4 p.m. Sunday. Thus, wide receivers Michael Campanaro and Chris Matthews, who were both placed on IR on Saturday, are not eligible to come back to the active roster this season, and Elam and Davis, whose IR trip was delayed 24 hours, are eligible.
The juggling reflects the Ravens’ effort to maneuver their roster and keep as much depth as possible. What’s not yet clear is whether Forsett had any alterations to his previous contract as a result of the move. He was entering the second season of a three-year, $9 million deal.
With the addition of Hester and the return of Forsett, the Ravens now have an accomplished return man on the roster and three healthy running backs. Forsett will join Terrance West (Northwestern High, Towson University) and Buck Allen in the backfield. Rookie fourth-round pick Kenneth Dixon, who had a strong preseason, is expected to be sidelined for a couple of weeks with a torn MCL in his left knee.