After making the Baltimore Ravens’ initial 53-man roster on Tuesday, undrafted rookies running back Keaton Mitchell and outside linebacker Malik Hamm, and second-year cornerback Damarion “Pepe” Williams are headed to injured reserve to start the 2023 season.
The corresponding moves the team made to fill their places on the active roster were re-signing veteran defensive end Brent Urban, cornerback Kevon Seymour, and quarterback Josh Johnson on Thursday.
We have signed QB Josh Johnson, CB Kevon Seymour and DE Brent Urban to the 53-man roster and placed Keaton Mitchell, Pepe Williams and Malik Hamm on IR.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 31, 2023
We also signed DT Bravvion Roy to the practice squad.https://t.co/XAX4kyxqS1
None of these transactions should come as a surprise, as they were expected as part of the annual final roster gymnastics that ensue following final cuts. It allows vested veterans to be brought back after initially being released and injured players on rookie contracts to remain eligible to return during the regular season.
Williams recently underwent ankle surgery earlier this month and will be out until about October, according to Head Coach John Harbaugh. Mitchell suffered a shoulder injury in the Ravens’ Week 2 preseason game against the Washington Commanders and Hamm is reportedly dealing with a lower body/ankle injury.
Both Mitchell and Hamm were standouts during training camp and the preseason and were the only undrafted rookie free agents to make the roster. Williams was competing for the starting nickel corner spot before he suffered his latest injury setback.
Opening the regular season on injured reserves means a player will have to miss at least the first four games. They won’t be eligible to return to action until Week 5 at the earliest which would be in time for the Ravens’ first matchup of the year with the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 8.
All three of the veterans who were re-signed are slated to either start or play key reserve roles on the team this year.
Urban is extending his second stint with the team for another year and will help offset the loss of six-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell by sliding into his vacated five-technique spot. The 10th-year veteran and former 2014 fourth-round pick out of Virginia appeared in all but one game last season. He recorded 21 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 batted passes, a sack, and a quarterback hit according to Pro Football Reference.
Seymour had a very strong training camp and preseason. He could be one the Ravens’ starting cornerbacks to open the season while three-time Pro Bowler Marlon Humphrey recovers from foot surgery. He could also be lining up across from Humphrey following his return.
Johnson competed to be the Ravens’ No. 2 quarterback with Tyler Huntley this summer. He very well might be Lamar Jackson’s primary backup to begin the season if the fourth-year pro still hasn’t recovered from his hamstring injury by then. The 16th-year journeyman signal-caller had a sensational final two preseason games. He likely would’ve been signed by another team at some point during the season if he were brought back on the practice squad and not the active roster.