Keaton Mitchell's return "not right around the corner"

Ravens running back Keaton Mitchell is making progress in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but he still has months of rehab ahead.

Mitchell injured his left knee in a Dec. 17 game against the Jaguars, cutting short his rookie season.

"It's not a come-back-during-training-camp or first game-type of thing. I think we all know that," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, via video from the team. "It's sometime during the season. It's not like right around the corner. We shouldn't be biting our fingernails: Is he going to get back? But I will say he's on schedule, maybe ahead of schedule. He's doing really well. He's always got a smile on his face."

Harbaugh said Mitchell will begin running on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

"That's a positive thing, and we'll see where it goes," Harbaugh said.

Mitchell signed with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2023. Injuries kept Mitchell out of the lineup until Week 6 when he amassed 138 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

In eight games, with two starts, he rushed for 396 yards with two touchdowns and caught nine passes for 93 yards.

The Ravens signed Derrick Henry this offseason, and Justice Hill and Mitchell are expected to be the primary backups. The team also drafted Marshall running back Rasheen Ali in the fifth round.