(Updated: 8:30 p.m.)
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens safety Matt Elam suffered what is feared to be a season-ending arm injury during the first full-contact practice of training camp on Saturday.
The 2013 first-round pick underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam to determine whether he suffered a torn biceps when he reached awkwardly for a wide receiver. Head coach John Harbaugh did not have the final results of the MRI when he addressed reporters on Sunday evening.
“I’m not real optimistic right now,” Harbaugh said. “I haven’t heard a final word, but it wasn’t very optimistic yesterday talking to the doctors [about] his biceps.”
After injuring his arm on Saturday afternoon, Elam walked inside the Ravens’ training facility with head athletic trainer Mark Smith. He did not appear to be in serious pain as he walked without any assistance.
After a disappointing start to his NFL career, Elam was expected to compete with Will Hill for the starting strong safety spot this season. Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome made it no secret this offseason that the organization expected more from the University of Florida product, but defensive coordinator Dean Pees had praised Elam for his performance during spring workouts.
“I’m sure it’s very disappointing for him and he told me that,” Harbaugh said. “Here’s a guy who came back with a renewed attitude. He had a better approach than he’d had the first two years. He just had grown up a lot. He was very serious. He was in tremendous shape and then he gets a fluke injury. That’s a disappointment.”
Should Elam be sidelined for an extended period of time, depth at the safety position would become a concern behind projected starters Hill and Kendrick Lewis. Terrence Brooks remains on the active physically unable to perform list while recovering from a knee injury, which would leave Anthony Levine, Brynden Trawick, and rookie free agent Nick Perry as the only other healthy safeties on the 90-man preseason roster.
In two seasons, Elam has played in 32 games (26 starts), accumulating 127 tackles, one interception, and seven pass breakups.
(Updated: 8:30 p.m.)