Ravens take cal­cu­lated risk with Forsett move

Sign re­turn man Hester

Cecil Whig - - & - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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

OWINGS MILLS

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.

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GROGAN

The Bal­ti­more Ravens re-signed Justin Forsett Mon­day, two days af­ter he was re­leased by the team.

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