The 2015 NFL season hasn’t even started yet and the Baltimore Ravens could already be losing one of their key defensive players. Safety Matt Elam, a potential┬ástarter this season, has reportedly suffered a serious biceps injury and is feared to be done for the year.

Head coach John Harbaugh did not express optimism when prompted about the severity of Elam’s injury, saying, “I haven’t heard on the MRI yet, but I’m not real optimistic right now”.

Elam was reportedly hurt during practice when reaching for a wide receiver that had gotten behind him in coverage. Elam then got his hand caught on the receiver and wrenched his arm, causing the biceps injury. Despite no medial reports back yet, the team fears the injury is a tear, which would knock Elam out of his third NFL season before it even begins.

Making Progress

Elam had yet to make a real impact with the Ravens, but this injury is still a downer for a young, talented player that had just begun to prove himself. Per the coaching staff, Elam had reported to OTAs earlier this summer in fantastic shape and had finally started to prepare like a true professional. There was no guarantee Elam’s new outlook or physical condition would translate into a huge role or guaranteed success, but Harbaugh and co. definitely liked what they had seen prior to the untimely injury.

Elam was thrust into a big role as a rookie, posting 77 tackles with an interception. Unfortunately, Elam struggled with eight, pass coverage and open field tackling. He had been demoted heading into this season but appeared to be gearing up to fight for a job.

Fortunate Situation

The only good news here is that due to not exactly living up to the hype through his first two seasons in the league, the Ravens prepared elsewhere at safety beyond Elam. Veterans Will Hill and Kendrick Lewis were both thought to end up being the starting safeties this year, regardless of what Elam showed in training camp and preseason. That being said, Baltimore certainly was hoping Elam could push Lewis and provide the team with stellar depth at the very worst at the position. It’s a good thing the Ravens had the depth to withstand this injury (if Elam is in fact done for the year), but it’s still bad news for a team trying to work their way back to Super Bowl contention.

Overall, this is a hit the Ravens can handle. Elam wasn’t being counted on for a significant role and if anything, this just furthers the argument that he’s a bust. Baltimore will move on with Lewis and Hill sticking as their starters and should largely be fine in the secondary.

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