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Ravens Week 15 Rookie Report: Keaton Mitchell was going off prior to injury

The undrafted running back was on pace for his best game since his breakout performance until disaster struck.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens won their fourth straight in Week 15 with a commanding 23-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road in a primetime matchup between AFC division leaders. They received significant contributions from their top undrafted free-agent rookie while the drafted first-year pros that were active had relatively silent nights collectively.

The Ravens had just three of their six 2023 draft selections and one undrafted first-year pro dressed. Their first overall selection was hardly used but their undrafted rookie running back was churning out several explosive plays before getting injured.

The only healthy first-year pro not in uniform was sixth-rounder Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, who was inactive after dressing as a backup in previous weeks. Seventh-round offensive guard Andrew Vorhees, who is likely to miss his entire rookie year, remains on the Non-Football Injury list. Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Malik Hamm practiced for the second week in a row but wasn’t activated from injured reserve although his 21-day window is officially open.

How did the rookies who took the field fare in their latest taste of NFL action?

RB Keaton Mitchell

Baltimore Ravens v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The undrafted rookie out of East Carolina University was on pace for his best game since he exploded onto the scene in Week 9 with a breakout performance in the Ravens’ overwhelming win over the Seattle Seahawks. Mitchell made his second career start and was beginning to get loose, ripping off 10-plus yard runs one after the other, when the offense started to rely heavily on the run game until he went down early in the fourth quarter with a gruesome-looking knee injury that Head Coach John Harbaugh already announced will end his impressive rookie campaign.

Despite finishing third on the team in carries, Mitchell recorded the second-most rushing yards on the team behind quarterback Lamar Jackson with 73 on nine attempts and added another 15 yards to his scrimmage total on two receptions out of the backfield. He also tied his dual-threat quarterback for the most yards per carry with 8.1. His longest rush of the night was a 24-yarder late in the third where he started running right before reversing field to the left side and received a key block from Jackson that sprung him for a few extra yards.

WR Zay Flowers

NFL: London Games-Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

The first-round rookie out of Boston College saw his fewest targets and recorded his fewest receptions since he only caught one pass for 11 receiving yards in Week 9. A week after he was one of the heroes of the game in the team’s overtime win over the Los Angeles Rams, Flowers caught just one of his two targets for seven yards and that didn’t come until the first drive of the second half. The Ravens used him a lot in motion to reveal what kind of coverage the defense was going to deploy on a given play but he didn’t receive a single handoff. There was a play in the second half where it appeared that Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken had schemed up a quick wide receiver screen to Flowers but after seeing that Jacksonville had sniffed it out, Jackson made the executive decision to keep the ball and gain some positive yards on a scramble.

EDGE Tavius Robinson

NFL: SEP 17 Ravens at Bengals

The fourth-round rookie out of Ole Miss continues to play rotational defensive snaps on early downs and contribute on special teams. He wasn’t credited with a tackle but he did help safety Kyle Hamilton coral Jaguars’ wide receiver Zay Jones for a short four-yard gain early in the third quarter.

ILB Trenton Simpson

Baltimore Ravens v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The third-round rookie out of Clemson continued to play exclusively on special teams in his second game back from missing the previous two ahead of their bye with a concussion. He didn’t record a tackle but was on the field for the kick coverage team that sprung a few leaks and allowed Jaguars’ All-Pro return specialist Jamal Agnew to average 30.3 yards on three kick returns, including a long off 38 yards that thankfully didn’t come back to bite the Ravens, because their effort on defense was stout and even suffocating at times.