Baltimore Ravens (11-3) head coach John Harbaugh confirmed that running back Keaton Mitchell sustained a significant knee injury during Sunday night's win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Harbaugh described the injury as a "long-term knee thing" but did not specify its nature nor a return timeline.
Harbaugh offered some encouraging news for the recovery of Mitchell's reported full torn ACL, however, revealing "There wasn’t cartilage-type damage and things like that, so that helps quite a bit. It’d be a little cleaner and he’ll go to work."
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that Mitchell has a "full ACL tear" in his left knee. There is hope for a complete recovery by the start of the 2024 season, though Harbaugh did not provide a recovery timeline when addressing the media on Monday.
The Ravens, who currently lead the NFL in rushing, will turn to Gus Edwards and Justice Hill to fill the void left by Mitchell's absence. Additionally, the team is promoting Melvin Gordon from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, as confirmed by Harbaugh at the start of the week.
Baltimore signed Gordon in training camp, but he's not featured prominently barring a few times at the start of the year before running out of elevations from the practice squad, let alone once Mitchell returned from Injured Reserve.
Gordon is a former first-round pick but he's already playing his ninth season of pro football. He has amassed 6,515 career rushing yards and 55 touchdowns throughout it to go with 312 receptions for 2,513 yards and 14 touchdowns through the air.
Harbaugh praised Gordon, saying, "He’s been working so hard. His opportunity comes. He’s been there before. He’s a high-pedigree, great player, talented."
Harbaugh also noted Gordon's readiness and conditioning, stating, "He’s in great shape, and he’ll be ready to go."
Baltimore will likely lean much more on Gus Edwards and Justice Hill than Gordon if only because they have been a longer time with the organization and enjoyed much more playing time this season as the RB1 and RB2 of the Ravens following J.K. Dobbins' Week 1 season-ending injury.
This season, Edwards has 163 carries for 663 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is considered a bully, a short-yardage rusher. Hill, meanwhile, has 71 carries for 313 yards and three scores while boasting a more skilled game style.
Mitchell's injury marks the third significant loss for the Baltimore offense this season. Dobbins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the opener. Tight end Mark Andrews is out for at least the remainder of the regular season due to an ankle injury sustained in Week 11, although Harbaugh and the Ravens still hope for a postseason return.