Ravens: 5 players who must step up following the DeShon Elliott injury

Ravens, DeShon Elliott Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, DeShon Elliott Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ravens, Chuck Clark Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Chuck Clark, S, Ravens

Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale is known for his flexibility when it comes to the safety position. There really isn’t a defined “free” or “strong” safety in Martindale’s defense.

Instead, he asks his safeties to play all over the field and fulfill a variety of responsibilities. That’s why we should expect to see Chuck Clark take on an expanded role in Elliott’s absence.

Clark is the lone remaining starter at the safety position and he’ll be forced to step up and carry the load with Elliott out.

More of a natural box safety by trade, don’t be surprised to see the Ravens ask Clark to expand his role moving forward. And more importantly, he’ll have to serve as the glue holding the defensive backfield together.

Clark’s experience as a starter in the Ravens’ system will help the defense not miss a beat without Elliott. On top of that, he can serve as Elliott’s replacement from an energy perspective as well.

Elliott, or “Joker” as he’s been dubbed, was the spark plug of the defense, in many ways. His demeanor, attitude, and energy were infectious, as he helped set the tone whenever he was on the field.

The Ravens won’t have that now. And someone like Chuck Clark, who has shown that moxie and attitude, should be considered a prime candidate to fill that role.

Clark will be asked to fill Elliott’s shoes in a variety of ways.