A year that was expected to be a make-or-break season for Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam looks to be over before it began after the 2013 first-round pick sustained a complete biceps tear in practice, and will require surgery, according to Ed Werder of ESPN. Elam will be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Elam, 23, was in competition with Will Hill for a starting job, although Hill was considered to be the frontrunner for the spot. Still, coaches were speaking highly of the progress that Elam had made and he was expected to play a role in the Baltimore defense, regardless.
In his first two seasons in the NFL, Elam racked up 26 starts, but his struggles on the field led the team to turn to Hill to take over the starting role during the 2014 season. Elam led the team with 16 missed tackles last season and was one of the worst safeties in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun that Elam's injury ended a resurgent effort from the safety.
"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's very serious and he was in tremendous shape, and then he gets a fluke injury. That's disappointing."
He signed a four-year, $6.767 million contract as a rookie and is scheduled to become a free agent in 2017.