OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Trying to improve a dire wide receiver situation during their bye week, the Ravens officially added veteran Joe Morgan to their 53-man roster on Wednesday.
Baltimore signed the former New Orleans Saints wideout after he and two other receivers — Hakeem Nicks and Chuck Jacobs — worked out for the team on Tuesday. The Ravens created an open spot on their 53-man roster once they officially move Steve Smith to injured reserve.
The 27-year-old Morgan had one of the best performances of his career against the Ravens when he registered a 62-yard reception and a 67-yard run in a Monday night game last Nov. 24.
“We all remember that — his speed on that,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “He is a guy that has been up and down on their roster throughout the course of the season, and our scouts had identified him as a potential roster-add early on, and we’ve been talking about him in our personnel meetings all season.”
A 6-foot-1 product from Walsh University, Morgan was released by New Orleans last month after appearing in just two games and not registering a catch. He has 14 receptions for 471 yards in his career — an impressive 33.6 yards per catch — making him a deep-ball threat if nothing else.
His best season came in 2012 when he caught 10 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns. Morgan missed the entire 2013 campaign with a knee injury and caught four passes for 92 yards last season.
“As a speed receiver, the main thing they want me to do is run,” said Morgan, who sees plenty of similarities between offensive coordinator Marc Trestman’s system and what he was running in New Orleans. “I can run with the best of them. You tell me to go out and run a go route, that’s simple enough. You can go out and run a go route; there’s no play to that at all. I’ve been saying my whole career I want to be labeled as more than just a speed receiver.”
The Ravens also added Jacobs to their practice squad and released tight end Konrad Reuland on Wednesday.
Harbaugh said he hadn’t learned about Jacoby Jones’ release from the San Diego Chargers until after Wednesday’s practice, leading one to believe the former Ravens return specialist is unlikely to return.
However, given the respect he has for Jones’ contributions to the organization, Harbaugh wasn’t about to dismiss any notion of interest in a reunion — at least publicly.
“At some point in time, Ozzie [Newsome] had pulled the trigger on [signing Morgan and Jacobs on Tuesday],” Harbaugh said. “That’s the first I’d heard of Jacoby’s situation [this morning]. I would assume it’s something that we’ll talk about today a little bit and see where we’re at.”
Jones had signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with San Diego in March after being released by the Ravens in late February.
Bye week rest
After practicing on Tuesday and Wednesday of their bye week, Ravens players are now off through Sunday, leaving them four straight days of rest as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement. Coaches will take off Friday through Sunday before returning to the team’s training facility in Owings Mills.
The Ravens haven’t had a player arrest since former running back Bernard Pierce was charged with driving under the influence in March, but Harbaugh reminded players of the expectations the organization has during their downtime.
“I don’t expect anything to happen with our guys,” Harbaugh said. “We have a bunch of guys that [we] have full faith and confidence in that they’ll make the right choices and do the right thing. If somebody stubs his toe, then, obviously, there are always consequences of some kind for that.”
Harbaugh was optimistic about the status of starting center Jeremy Zuttah, who left Sunday’s win over San Diego with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. Zuttah, left tackle Eugene Monroe (shoulder), and guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele did not practice on Wednesday.
“Things do look good for Jeremy,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll know more Monday — see if he practices Monday, Wednesday — but things do look good.”