Ravens take calculated risk with Forsett move
Sign return man Hester
— The Baltimore Ravens got creative to finalize the 53-man roster.
The Ravens made the most surprising move in the NFL on Saturday when they cut running back Justin Forsett, but Forsett was never going anywhere. Baltimore re-signed him Monday.
“He handled it just like we expect a man of his character to handle it: He was great. He wants to be here, certainly, and he was going to be here,” head coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday. “It was a team move on his part. It didn’t hurt him in any way, financially or otherwise. He knew what the plan was all along. I thought it was well-executed. Hopefully it helps us in the end.
“It’s a small thing, but it’s not a small thing for those two guys that have a chance to come back on the roster,” he continued. “It’s a big thing for those two guys and our team. I just see it as a plus all the way around and a well-executed move.”
The move allowed safety Matt Elam and defensive tackle Carl Davis to technically begin the season on active roster. Both players are hurt and were placed
on injured reserve Monday. But because they were part of the initial 53-man roster, they are eligible to return this season. Each team can activate one player from IR.
Though the move ulti- mately proved beneficial, it was certainly risky. Forsett, a nine-year veteran, has been in the league long enough that he did not have to clear waivers. He became a free agent immediately upon his release Saturday. All teams were free to make him a more lucrative offer.
“We understood that. You have to take risks – no guts, no glory. You can’t achieve anything unless you want to take some risks,” Harbaugh said. “Certainly, you take calculated, smart risks. That’s what we did there.”
When Davis and Elam were added to IR, the Ravens could officially sign re- turn man Devin Hester.
Hester holds the NFL record for return touchdowns (20). He has taken 14 punts, five kickoffs and one missed field goal back to the end zone.
The 11-year veteran spent the first eight years of his career with the Chicago Bears before playing the last two with the Atlanta Falcons. Hester played just five games last season and underwent offseason surgery on an injured toe.
Harbaugh had confirmed Saturday that the Ravens had worked him out that morning and the previous day. He also took a physical with team doctors.
Harbaugh expects Hester to return kicks in Sunday’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
“He looks a player immediately. Practice today, albeit not a real fast practice, but he looked good in practice,” Harbaugh said Tuesday. “He was good in the workouts, no side effects from the workouts which was good to see. He’s in very good shape, looks like he’s ready to play and I’m not worried abut him handling the job at all. We’re excited for him to be out there returning kicks and punts for us at least on Sunday.”
Hester also insisted Tuesday that he is at full strength.
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The Baltimore Ravens re-signed Justin Forsett Monday, two days after he was released by the team.