Health concerns and low numbers on the Ravens defensive line are prompting some roster shuffling for the remainder of organized team activities in Owings Mills.
With veterans Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, Derek Wolfe, and Justin Ellis not present for the first voluntary workout open to local reporters last Wednesday, the Ravens were already dealing with a shortage of defensive linemen before rookie free agent Xavier Kelly was carted off the practice field with what The Athletic reported to be a torn Achilles tendon. That injury left Baltimore with just three healthy defensive linemen — Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington, and Aaron Crawford — to finish the practice with Braxton Hoyett also absent from the session.
Kelly split his collegiate career between Arkansas and Clemson and was aiming to make a good impression in an older position group built for the present and light on long-term answers under contract beyond 2021.
According to NFL Network, the Ravens worked out 29-year-old defensive tackle and former University of Maryland product Darius Kilgo on Tuesday. The 6-foot-3, 319-pound Kilgo hasn’t appeared in a game since 2018 and spent the 2020 preseason with New England before signing with Denver’s practice squad during the regular season. A 2015 sixth-round pick of the Broncos, Kilgo has appeared in 29 games in his NFL career, totaling 16 tackles, a pass breakup, and one quarterback hit.
General manager Eric DeCosta also signed undrafted rookie defensive lineman Jovan Swann. The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Swann finished his collegiate career at Indiana last season after playing at Stanford the previous three years.
On Tuesday, the Ravens waived both Kelly and wide receiver Donte Sylencieux with injury designations to clear two spots on the 90-man offseason roster that already had one vacancy last week. Should Kelly and Sylencieux clear waivers, they would revert to injured reserve with the potential to remain with the organization while not counting against the roster limit. Swann’s addition leaves two roster spots to fill.
Sylencieux was not on the field for last Wednesday’s open workout, which indicated a health concern for the friend and former high school teammate of star quarterback Lamar Jackson. The 26-year-old caught 59 passes for 1,211 yards and 11 touchdowns in his three-year career at Graceland, an NAIA school located in Iowa.
The Ravens will reconvene Wednesday morning for a voluntary OTA open to media. After the workout, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, outside linebacker Tyus Bowser, wide receivers coach Tee Martin, quarterbacks coach James Urban, and outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins are scheduled to answer questions from reporters via video calls.
Baltimore will continue with voluntary OTAs through next week and will hold its mandatory minicamp from June 15-17 before players are then off until the start of training camp in late July.